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BlueWren's Patch in South East QLD

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  • #253237
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Well, I began this earlier with a long post but got timed out so here’s a shortened version.Probably enough anyway.

    It’s been a Perfect Day, cool, cloudy and dampish , so I was able to spend hours outside. First task was pursuading my broody Red Sussex chook, Little Miss Chatterbox – because she usually is!! – that she needs to eat and drink if she has any hope of hatching and raising her chicks. She has been velcroed to her eggs for over twenty four hours. I moved her from The Dome last night , where she’s been “sitting” on two fake eggs for a couple of days while I decided whether to let her brood or not, because she’s only 30 weeks old. She won! So she’s now on her own in a secure roofed pen sitting on a very mixed clutch of eggs. She seemed to be in a chicken trance when I lifted her off and she completely ignored the grain and water until I was able to dribble a little water along her beak. She suddenly “came to”, stood up and got stuck into the grain but I didn’t see her drink.I checked her again a short while later and she was back on the eggs. I might have to repeat that a few times a day if she doesn’t get off.

    Next task was getting stuck into Heliotrope seedlings and resprouting roots all through my six chook mandala garden sites. I had to remove all the foliage before the chooks went on as heliotrope damages their livers and perhaps ours too from the eggs.When I tired of that I planted out herbs and other plants, many of which were seedling swaps from the South Burnett GTG whichI have been growing on in pots. I enjoyed planting up tansey, yarrow, chamomile , feverfew, red clover, red rib dandelion and sweet potato.

    Last task was harvesting greens for the chooks from the mandala sites – chick weed growing around self seeded tomatoes, sunflowers , beans, ? rock melon, barley and ? kale from scraps and seeds missed by the chooks. I’ll just plant other veg in the gaps.

    The day was done …….. and then it rained to settle everything in!

    Perfect! 😀 :tup: :clap: Now :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:

    #477030
    edensgateedensgate
    Member

    Best to just leave your broody chook be. The trance has a purpose. If you keep knocking her out of her trance, she may up and leave the eggs altogether. She will move off them at least once a day to eat and drink and poo. Never fear.

    You got rain! Yay! We didn’t (and it still looks overcast today but I’m not holding my breath).

    Would love to see some pictures of your evolving garden, BlueWren. It sounds awesome and mandala gardens fascinate me endlessly.

    #477031
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    edensgate wrote:

    Best to just leave your broody chook be. The trance has a purpose. If you keep knocking her out of her trance, she may up and leave the eggs altogether. She will move off them at least once a day to eat and drink and poo. Never fear.

    I just made my other post asking for advice about my very broody chook, and how often I should lift her off. I was doing that because of advice in my two chook books. ???? I’d hate her to starve to death.

    You got rain! Yay! We didn’t (and it still looks overcast today but I’m not holding my breath).

    Just three mls. Looks like lots more on the way.

    Would love to see some pictures of your evolving garden, BlueWren. It sounds awesome and mandala gardens fascinate me endlessly.

    Yes, time I took more pics.Only just starting to plant up because it’s taken a while to get the creature proof fence up. We have a very frustrated brush turkey because he always cleaned up the morning scratch grain that bounced off the dome wire instead of through it . He paces up and down along outside the fence.I’m just really hoping he doesn’t think about flying over it! The chooks have one more site to work over – they will get moved on to it on Monday. Then two weeks for DH and I to finish the fence around the free range area adjacent to the mandela where the chooks will hang out for six months or so.

    #477032
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    edensgate wrote:

    Best to just leave your broody chook be. .

    Found a big black sloppy poo out in the pen today so Little Miss Chatterbox must have been out and about at least once. Very glad she got up to do it!!The poo may have been the result of a very “hot” chilli and garlic worm mash all the chooks ate with gusto on the day LMC went broody. So I’m going to let her and nature get on with the job.

    Another “perfect planting day” today between showers, lots more rain forecast over the next few days. I planted bush beans and a coffee bush, and when I get off here it will be in with beetroot and chillis and then repotting three types of mint into large pots.

    I have lots of seeds hopefully germinating in a mini greenhouse from Aldi, so that’s another whole new ball game for me. Broccolli , lemon pips, pigeon peas , capsicum and cherry guavas.Probably wrong time of year for the broc but just leaves will do for the chooks.

    Might be a bit dull for pics today but I’ll give it a go.

    #477033
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    A few early pics of my chook mandela garden, centred around a big old apricot tree. We have marvellously fertile red soil and I don’t think the tree will mind the competition, will probably benefit actually from all the chook poo etc. I have had to deeply dig the sites to remove kikuyu runners and am currently digging out heliotrope from seed and resprouting deep roots.Heliotrope is poisinous to chooks. I thought the tree roots might be a problem but I don’t think the tree will miss the ones I have damaged.

    #477034
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    The area expanding.

    #477035
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    The dome nearly ready to be moved onto Site One.

    #477036
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Chooks moved in and at work.

    #477037
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Last pic for now.Update pics soon. Big changes!! Been worth all the hard work by this Old Chook!

    #477038
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Stuffed up with that one! Time to go and do some planting I think!

    #477039
    gleanertgleanert
    Member

    :clap: love the look of that dome – is it bought or home-made?

    #477040
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Home made. I’ll find and post the link with instructions. Works well, especially with DH’s door system!!! I’ll add some close up pics gleanart.

    #477041
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    gleanert wrote:

    :clap: love the look of that dome – is it bought or home-made?

    Here’s the link for the geodesic dome instructions.

    http://milkwood.net/2009/07/27/how_to_build_a_geodesic_chook_dome/

    If you are interested pm me and I will send you some notes on the way we adapted it a bit because we have foxes.

    #477042
    lynnielynnie
    Member

    love the chook dome…. wonder if I could convince hubby to build one…. hmmm have been on at him for 2 years now bout getting some chookens

    Thanks for the instructions too 🙂

    #477043
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    lynnie wrote:

    love the chook dome…. wonder if I could convince hubby to build one…. hmmm have been on at him for 2 years now bout getting some chookens

    Thanks for the instructions too 🙂

    Good luck! Building the dome is a good “bonding” experience for a couple ……………. especially bending straight chook mesh around a dome shape……. so I’d choose your moment!! I am fortunate that my DH although not a “land man” is very handy and very patient with helping with my projects………. eg we are about to go and shift the dome onto the last site. It’s 2.33pm now – I’ll time the whole operation.

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