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the hatching begins: 5 quail and counting

2016/09/28 deej 1

The first little peep hatched yesterday, and more hatched overnight. So far there are five tiny, baby quail chicks in the brooder. So fluffy!   Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica (not Coturnix coturnix – that’s the common quail from which the domesticated Japanese quail is derived), are a small, round bird kept for eggs, meat, and sometimes for their voices. I’m unsure about that last, since they’re not especially tuneful; they’re not a noisy bird, though, and I imagine their quiet chattering and the occasional trilling crow of the males could be a pleasant background noise.   Because quail are relatively […]

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so many eggs

2016/09/22 deej 0

The other great thing about spring is that the chickens have all finished (or mostly finished) moulting, and have started laying again. We’re getting 4 – 10 eggs a day. So today was an egg-using-up day.   (On that note, if anyone is interested in putting in a regular egg order, please contact us. We don’t have an endless supply, but we definitely have more than we can use. Note that our chooks are not free range, because we don’t have the ability to protect them from foxes if they’re out and about, but they do have very swish and […]

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spring by any measure

2016/09/20 deej 0

I love spring. I know that in a month or two I’ll be longing for a cold night to cuddle up, but for now (while there are still some very cold nights up here) I’m loving the sunshine and the flowers and the (slightly) warmer weather.   Almost all the stone fruit are starting to flower now, and the persimmon has put out a few green shoots. The wattles have put on a growth spurt, and most of them are now taller than me – only 2 years in from being planted as 30cm high seedlings. The open soon-to-be-pasture in […]

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Drinking yoghurt and cultured milk products

2016/09/09 deej 0

A few years ago (quite a few, actually) I went travelling through Europe. Some of the trip I did with a dear friend of mine, some I did on my own. One of the things I discovered was drinking yoghurt.   Now, drinking yoghurt (i.e. yoghurt which is thicker than milk, but thin enough to drink like a smoothie) used ot be not uncommon in South Africa when I was little, but it’s almost unheard of in Australia to the best of my knowledge. I remembered liking it as a child, so I tried some in the Netherlands, and in […]

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Chicken culling

2016/09/08 deej 0

A quick warning for anyone who is squicked by reading about killing animals – this post is about death. Specifically, the death of chickens (roosters). There are no graphic pics, however.   One of the parts of keeping pet chickens that isn’t so often talked about is what to do with the extras. The hens who’ve stopped laying, the roosters which inevitably hatch from about half the eggs you or your broody mama chook incubate. If the birds are pets, you can simply keep hens who’ve passed their laying years – but most people don’t. Councils restrict the number of […]