It’s been awhile since I wrote my last post, the website has changed several times, the world has gone crazy and we moved house – total chaos! Fortunately there is now peace in the chook pen at here at work as the three ‘home hens’ have found their place in the work chook pen. The old grey hen Lisa remains the ‘boss’ and matriarch, mainly I suspect because she has been in the pen the longest. The little bantam rooster ‘Grian’ and my feisty hen ‘Tiger’ spent several weeks fighting and but have totally made up… so we discovered that when a mate incubated a few of the eggs – all the green eggs produced chickens.
Given that chooks have suddenly become very trendy, (my grandparents would be thrilled to see that the backyard chook and veggie garden are the latest thing in virus survival 😀). I thought it might be a good idea to put some lists together on what you need to keep them. I classify chooks as a pretty easy care pet/live stock: you can leave them alone for a long weekend away and they don’t need daily walks.
So you’ve brought home a few ‘point of lay’ chooks, congratulations and welcome to the chook club. Chooks are good pets -they don’t sleep on your bed and have the bonus that they lay eggs! Yes you can create a chook palace and feed them a range of fancy treats but they can live on chicken crumbles or pellets and water. Water, food, some shelter and a nest box to lay eggs in. It’s really that simple.
Enjoy your chickens, Helen (aka the crazy chook lady) 🐣🐤🐥
With the long weekend coming up we’ve had the usual enquires about the bigger chook feeders. Since a ‘large’ feeder will depend upon the number of fowls you are feeding (ie if you’ve only a couple of hens a 1 or 2kg feeder could be considered ‘large’ since it will provide several days feeding) for the purposes of this article I’ll look at the 8kg and bigger feeders we stock for poultry.
I was very surprised to learn, when I started here about 6 years ago, that the average laying hen will consume around 200g of food & 200mL of water (without other food, most of our customers hens also receive scraps and such so won’t actually eat that amount of layer pellets). But when you think about it, laying eggs is hard work and consumes a lot of energy, not to mention vitamins and minerals. We’ve had a number of customers comment on the very big appetites of the their rather small Isa Brown hens – who produce very big eggs, given their small body size/weight. So in order to enjoy the long weekend away without worrying about the chook food which feeders would we recommend?
The five hens (& Bruce) here at the shop have the 10kg Metal feeder in their house. This enables me not to stress about their food requirements over weekends & longer breaks (since we don’t live on the property). Fortunately my in-laws do tend to keep abit of an eye on them for the longer breaks & ‘steal’ the eggs 🙂 But I know that they have plenty of food and an automatic waterer. There is also a larger 20kg version of this feeder.
The largest feeder we sell is the red ‘Range feeder’ from the US. This UV stabilised plastic feeder, comes with a weather shield and feeder saver grid to stop the chooks from flicking out the food. Customers tell us it is very nice to be able empty an entire 20kg bag of food into this feeder.
I got a question the other day, that made me think for few seconds. ‘Have you got feeders for ducks?’ People ask about baby chickens all the time and I know exactly what feeders to show them but ducks need abit more room than chooks and don’t like the ‘guards’ that many of the poultry feeders have to stop the mess and waste. After a little looking around…and consultation with Jeff (who knows all about the different sorts of birds and all of our stock!) I realized that we do actually have quite a few feeders suitable for ducks. So if you do have ducks and need a feeder for them, these are some of the feeders you could consider.
10 or 18kg chute feeder.. from Italy. These come in both chicken (not so high) and chook base and there is room for a ducks bill.
The Yellow plastic 7, 9 & 12 kg feeders. These have plenty of room for ducks (or geese) to feed and they are great value.
If you don’t want the storage, the hanging metal troughs (available in several lengths) are another option.