Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Chicken update - Did they survive?

The last time I posted about our chickens, I'd built a separate emergency run for the newbies to hang out in during the day. It was to keep them safe from our original chicken, Fluffles, who had turned into a ferocious pecking machine at the sight of the two new invaders.

We kept the new chickens separate but side-by-side to Fluffles for a couple of weeks, so she could get used to them visually. It meant we had to manually shift them into the coop at night and even then, we were putting them in a box inside the coop, so Fluffles wouldn't run them outta town.

The little chickens didn't much like getting moved about at night, so they started settling down under the BBQ tray in their run area to sleep. I really wanted them to sleep in the coop with Fluffles, so she'd get used to them and because it was drier in there, so I made the call to reintroduce them to Fluffles' run full-time.
There was a bit of pecking, to be sure, but no blood was drawn and the little chickens got good at running away from Fluffles, using the kale for armour. The littlest chicken, Rosie Posie, also got good at hiding behind/under our medium-sized chicken, Nut Fox.

I really wanted to move the whole run area to a new spot, so Fluffles wouldn't feel so territorial, but I needed to wait for our potatoes to be ready to do that.
J and I finally dug up the last of the potatoes last week, so the girls were able to help me shift the coop, platform and run to the raised garden where the potatoes had been. (Check out this post to see how our chicken coop system works.)

I threw big handfuls of aged grass clippings from the compost bin into the potato garden first, and the chickens went to town looking for bugs in it as soon as they arrived in the new run.
Since moving the chickens to the new spot, I've noticed way less pecking by Fluffles. It's such a relief to see the chickens living together in relative harmony.
The younger two are definite besties, but Fluffles can hang out with them serenely too, most of the time.
The two gardens we moved the chooks out of were completely cleared out by the chickens. Nut Flox and Rosie Posie even ate all the kale, which Fluffles had never touched. I'm planning to turn over the soil in these gardens, to get the aged soil from the bottom up to the top, ready for planting some tasty autumn crops.

Although, for the life of me, I can't think what to plant at this time of year besides spinach and lettuce.

What crops would you recommend I plant (autumn in the southern hemisphere)?


  1. We've just planted broccoli and radish - radish from seed, broccoli from seedlings. Radish is coming up really fast, so we'll probably eat them within 2-3 weeks which will be just in time from broccoli to spread out in the planterbox (where it would otherwise shade out the radish).

  2. Radishes are a good idea! I've heard you can use them as a potato replacement - for low-carb dinners. I hope everything grows beautifully for you, Maria.

  3. Rocket is great all year round (Esp with peached eggs!) Have you tried NZ spinach? It's takes over (so best in a spot that's not used for something) but tastes nice!

    1. I love NZ spinach so much, but can never find it to buy. Where did you find yours?


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