After much discussion (and coercing), Kim has finally agreed to let us have four chickens. I like chickens and remember that we always had some on the dairy farm that I grew up on. We decided that we would rather know that our eggs are produced with lots of tender loving care, and not to sponsor cruel egg production techniques. We will not be using them for meat, and all will have names. I think Kim has already picked them, and I think Henny Penny was one of them!
I checked the local laws for our shire for the rules, and I am allowed to have up to 12 hens without a permit. There are other rules, for example, the hen house must be 2 metres from the fence line and it must be 6 metres from any building on your neighbours side of the fence. We have found the perfect place near the plum tree as the structure is already half built. I will do a bit of research tonight about making up the shelter part of their cage with laying boxes that will have easy access.
I have also been reading a great book by Alanna Moore called “Backyard Poultry – Naturally“. It has been a great source of knowledge and helped me learn about poultry keeping. I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of starting off in the home egg business. So this weekend, I will need both Kim and Adam’s assistance in making the cage and house! It should be great fun, and I should be able to use some recycled materials we have around the place. The other stuff, I may have to buy or scrounge. I will see how it goes.
Then, the next problem will be where to source these hens. I don’t want to buy unsexed week old chicks, as I don’t want the problem of disposing of the males. The trading post looks like a likely starting place, but I do know there are a few free range chicken farms around Melton, so I might check those out first to see if they sell to the public. As for all the other technicalities, I will work them out as I go along. I don’t mind mucking out the coop every few days. I will just make sure that it is easy enough to do, so that it doesn’t make my back flare up. The muck will go straight into the compost bin, and the garden will love it! I will take photos of how it all progresses and of the girls when we get them. I am excited. Let the fun times roll.