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Aussies Living Simply

Chook Chat Part 2

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 497 total)
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  • #257135
    Lady BeeLady Bee
    Keymaster

    Continues from: Chook Chat

    Cluck Cluck…..

    #525606
    EdiediohEdiedioh
    Member

    Light Sussex Roos went for $65 at the last traralgon auction! The woman who owned them needed to sit down. She couldn’t believe her good fortune. Maybe you’ll be lucky too.

    #525607
    EdiediohEdiedioh
    Member

    I w et to the vet to ask for cocci’ meds (baycox or sulfas which should cost about $25) – but after looking at Simon the rooster left with a bill for $198.00. I’m stunned. Those Chooks had better be the healthiest on the planet in a few days. All I wanted was a little pre-spring clean out to ensure they were in tip top condition before breeding season.

    My first chicks for the year are due in 10 days. I have 2 clucky mums sitting on 25 eggs between them.

    #525608
    Jenoka77Jenoka77
    Member

    Vickie Im very sorry he has to go. Im sure you will find some lovely girls to replace the hole in your heart.

    Tomorrow i have decided to begin to re-home the roosters I dont want to use. Out of my first 2 chickens and two ducks I ended up with two drakes and two roosters. The hard part is the Kids have named them. They understand the two roosters have to go, but that does not make it any easier.

    If you dont mind and i can get this thing to work im going to add some pics of my little flock.

    Out and About

    [attachment:2]The Run.jpg[/attachment]

    Their Run although duck pen is up now so will take more pics soon

    [attachment:1]All Out to Play.jpg[/attachment]

    the Ducks

    [attachment:4]Maddie.jpg[/attachment]

    and the watch Dog Maddie Mad Dog

    [attachment:3]the Quack Crew.jpg[/attachment]

    Have a great night all

    Hugs Jo

    #525609
    purplehatpurplehat
    Member

    Well.. I hope not to appear too heartless, but I’m quite pleased that I finally sorted my young roos today. I did get quicker at it.. the first two took an hour each, and the second two took under 40 minutes each. There are two remaining but I want to keep those and see how they look as they get older. So we’re down to just 3 roos in a ‘no rooster’ area. :blush:

    I’m seriously considering a plucking machine. :blink:

    On a happier note, the ravens and/or magpies havn’t been stealing eggs lately, and I’ve been collecting a couple every day. I think they mostly steal the eggs when the door is wide open and when the nest boxes were low to the ground.

    We’re trialling using eucy mulch as a deep litter inside the chook house. At least it smells nice! 🙂 We’ll keep it moved around, but should work well for longer than the straw does. Either that, or we’ll be cursing it in a few months. :p

    #525610
    kerriebkerrieb
    Member

    Purplehat watch those sneaky ravens the pair we have around here would start up pinching eggs in the spring everyyear when they were nesting. The rest of the year they weren’t too bad but then they would go to any lengths to get them.

    I finally fixed it by completely covering their run. Just ended up getting a length of black woven bird netting that you’d use over fruit trees it was the cheapest option.

    #525611
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    Jenoka the piccies didn’t work… I couldn’t get attachment working either so had to use photobucket.

    Purplehat, I hope you don’t mind my asking, but why do you do your roos yourself rather than take them to a butcher? Is a butcher very expensive?

    #525612
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    Well unfortunately I’ve been out with a virus the last week and haven’t done any gardening. I can see through my window though that the mound I planted a mandarin tree into a few weeks ago is getting it’s perimeter dug up by the chooks and the mound is getting smaller and smaller…. I hope I can fix it before it’s too late by fencing off that area with a bit of bird netting. I am surprised by how much chickens dig! Yet they still eat a lot of layer pellets too. I haven’t had an egg for a week, but I think only one is laying yet.

    #525613
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Hope you will be weLl again soon.

    I believe it’s best to keep chooks out of the root area of fruit trees because they are shallow rooted and easily damaged.I don’t know specifically about citrus roots but would be best to fence it off anyway as it is young.

    #525614
    purplehatpurplehat
    Member

    Fencing around the trees usually works, but failing that, you could try just putting branches and stuff around the base of the tree, or even whole straw bales maybe.

    I didn’t consider asking the butcher to process the boys. I don’t think he has facilities to pluck either. There is a place in Bendigo that does it aparantly, but that’s a 2.5 hour drive I’d rather me and the chooks didn’t take.

    The eviscerating/dressing is the easy part. It’s only the plucking that takes the real time and effort. If/when I get a machine for that, I’ll probably have the process down to less than 10 minutes a bird, at most, including saying goodbye. That’ll be good.. I’ll be able to get the birds down to a safe temperature much quicker.

    Oh, I did it inside the shed yesterday to avoid the european wasps. They chased DH and I away last time we did it. Even in the cool weather, they’re still about! Blasted things.

    Oh.. on the subject of magpies/ravens.. I can’t really fully enclose my girl’s area, but I was thinking that if this fails, I’ll make some roll-away nest boxes. So far, they seem unhappy with the door closed, or when it’s open, there’s a sheet of burlap/hessian stuff over the door. Seems to discourage them when it’s down.

    #525615
    EdiediohEdiedioh
    Member

    Purplehat: depending on how you want to use them you can skin instead of pluck. Doesn’t take nearly as long, much less stressful — and you can get them in the freeze before rigamortis (Sp?) sets in so it’s much less confronting.

    Having said all that I have to admit I’ve never done either!

    #525616
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    Thanks for the suggestion re the trees, I already know exactly what I’m going to do to fix it once I’m back up and about again 🙂

    Has anyone ever heard about/read this book? I really like the cover and was thinking of buying it:

    #525617
    purplehatpurplehat
    Member

    I tried the skin instead of pluck theory. It kinda worked, but the feathers get all over the meat and stick to stuff. Kinda weird. 🙂 It took me about the same amount of time as it would have plucking.. so I imagine it just takes practice. 🙂

    #525618

    **WARNING – MY POST MAY UPSET SOME PEOPLE – READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION**

    I processed my own birds for the first time this week. The killing part was hard. We went to a local biodynamic farm to learn how & I had it in my mind that he would use a cone & a sharp knife, but when we got there it was a block of wood & a machete – much more brutal than I was prepared for. I did 3 kills myself, but I didn’t do the third one cleanly so I was pretty upset about it. Had an audience of others wanting to learn too, which didn’t help. 🙁 Still, I did it. Then DH did the last 4 of ours while I moved on to processing. I actually found the plucking & gutting much easier.

    Purplehat, we put vinegar & detergent in the hot water to dunk the birds in. The feathers came out very easily. They do stick to everything, but it wasn’t too bad. They said the plucking machines bruise the meat too much. Do you use a killing cone? If so, do you cut the jugular or take the head completely off? I saw the Polyface Farm video on it & they cut the jugular only, but I can’t remember why.

    **SAFE TO READ FROM HERE DOWN**

    So the rooster yard was empty so I’ve separated off my light Sussex in there now. Hoping they start laying soon. I’ve got a dozen eggs in the incubator, 9 of them pure Australorp. The turkeys are now living in the paddock orchard too. They had access to the chook yard & kept going in there mingling with the chooks so we’ve build another fence today to give the chooks the top strip of the orchard & the turkeys get the rest.

    I have a beautiful black Australorp rooster, Castro, who is surplus to my needs now that one of my Australorp hens died. I’m wanting to sell him for $25 if anyone is interested. I’ll post a pic of him soon.

    #525619
    purplehatpurplehat
    Member

    Sounds horrible BV! I use the broom handle method. No blood.

    The course I took on killing and processing used the hatchet method, and I wasn’t a fan. Just about everyone missed, or only partially hit at least once. It’s a bit bloody too, for my liking. Of the 4 I did yesterday, I only messed up the 4th one by letting his head slip from under the handle. He looked surprised, but at least wouldn’t have been in any pain.

    Thanks for the detergent and vinegar suggestion! I’ll try that next time. Also, I need to get the water a bit hotter, I think. I heard that the machines tend to bruise the birds, yes. The jugular is cut so the bird can still breathe and stuff, it just looses the blood and drifts off to sleep – but I havn’t tried it. (Again, too bloody for my liking!)

    The broom handle method can be bloody too, if you pull too hard, but it doesn’t take long to get the ‘feel’ of it. A good video of the principle – yes, he does kill the chicken, so don’t watch if you don’t want to see!

    edit:

    I can’t get it to be just a link, and didn’t think it to be appropriate to be in the middle of this thread.. sorry..

    if you search for “Humane slaughter of chicken” on Youtube, it’s a video uploaded by Greggorio1

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