My mate David and I popped over to visit the neighbours this afternoon to have a look at their new project. They purchased three Langshan hens at a chook auction for $15 each, and were extending their chicken coop. David and I decided to lend a helping hand to make it predator proof.
Danni and Dale bought some cage wire that you can make into a box shape, so David and Dale banged in a few star pickets and whipped up this little run.
It is about 3 metres long plus their house, and it has a wire roof to keep the local cats out. It should hold up quite well over the winter. It is all held together with rope and cable ties!
The chooks are cute, with feathers on their legs and very fluffy bottoms. Here is a close up.
Their eggs are quite large, weighing in at about 67g per egg. They have one sick hen at the moment. I did a bit of a Dr Harry, and discovered that the hen has something stuck in its crop. A sure sign that the girl was sick was that her comb was pink, not red, and it was drooping. Having watched chickens when I was growing up, I knew that this hen was not very well at all. I have included an anatomy picture, so that you can see where the crop is. The crop helps the hen break up hard seeds or layer pellets before passing these to the proventriculus and the gizzard.
It was large and swollen compared to the other hens. I had read somewhere that you can usually fix this condition up by force feeding about 4ml of vegetable oil with a syringe (no needle). The oil helps free up whatever is stuck. So we gave this a go, with Dale holding the chook and me feeding the hen the oil. She drank it down, and I suggested that they do this every day until the swelling goes down. Fingers crossed, this should fix her right up.
Danni and Dale’s veggie patch has gone crazy. They use grey water due to the lack of rain over the summer, and every plant is huge. The pumpkin patch is massive, and way larger than mine got. I ran out of pressure because the rainwater tank is very low, I just couldn’t keep up the moisture without breaking the water restrictions. Danni showed me at least 5 butternuts, but I dare say there are probably a few more hidden in that mass of greenery. Well done team.
It was good fun, and Dale gave us a beer each as payment. Thanks neighbours, keep up the good work.