18 March 2012

An Exciting Day in the City Garden!

The City Garden has the most fabulous addition to it!  Today we picked up three little pekin bantam chickens to live in the chook shed that we built over the long weekend last week.  They are so gorgeous, I've just been sitting here all afternoon watching them and smiling to myself at their little chirping sounds.
Please welcome Betty, Mavis and Edna!


We fell in love with the idea of getting chickens after staying in a cottage on the Atherton Tablelands last year that had bantams in the backyard that we fed and collected their eggs for breakfast, but always thought that the City Garden would be too small.  Then I started reading about feather-footed bantams and started to think it might be possible.  So after discussing various options and potential issues, we decided that we should give it a go.

Feather-footed bantams (such as silkies and pekins) are supposed to be good because their feathered feet don't allow for too much destructive digging, they are small, so require less space and we worked out that their average egg-laying quantities (less than regular sized chickens) are similar to our egg-eating quantities.  It sounded like a perfect match!

I looked at a variety of pre-made chook sheds, but none really met our needs.  Our shed would need to sit on a paved area of the garden, so needs a floor, including the run, which would need to be secure and large enough for them to be in if we are not home if the local cats prove to be a threat.  The other disadvantages of most of the pre-made sheds included their exorbitant prices,  many were imported from Asia using dubious timbers, or even plastics, and many seemed really flimsy in construction, which all gave me the perfect excuse to say "Well I'll have to make one then!"  So with the help of a good friend with a ute to pick up materials, and a metal-work shop to cut up the roof sheets, M and I built it all last weekend.  It's a bit rough given that we did it in the backyard using mainly hand-tools, but it's really solid and it meets all of our needs and hopefully the chickens' too!  I'm really proud of the outcome, so I hope that our theory that we should be able to keep bantams successfully in our small City Garden proves correct.

I'd love to hear anyone else's experiences of raising bantams in a small area.  I feel like a nervous new mother, so any tips very gratefully received!


10 comments:

  1. They are lovely. I could watch my silkies for ages. They are a good choice for all the reasons you mentioned. We have five silkies and they give us 2-3 eggs a day. But at least one of them is always broody. Which I guess is why they lay fewer eggs. But doesn't bother me I just use what we have. I've only once bought eggs since they started laying and that was for a special recipe. I think yours will be fine on a small block. So long as they get greens. Enjoy!

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  2. Lovely to meet your Girls. They look like they are settling into their splendid new home. I love having chickens in the garden and they do make such a soothing noise when they are scratching about looking for treats. Favourite treats are silver beet, steamed rice and fresh corn.

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  3. Thank you for your comments VG and Susanne, I'm realising very quickly that the way to their hearts is going to be through green treats. I think they've just about worked out already that me walking through the back door means treats for them - not sure who's getting trained quicker, them or me!! They seem to be settling in, although the pecking order thing is very much evident and still being sorted out, and it's taking them a while to get the idea that there's a safe house with a nice perch for them to go into at night, but I think they are getting it all sorted slowly. And yes, Miss T, they are soooo cute!!

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  4. Can you please tell me where I can find the blueprints for this. I would like to build this to keep my chicks in, when they first go outside.

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  5. Dimensions please and materials send to jlewis631@gmail.com

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  6. Dimensions please and materials send to jlewis631@gmail.com

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  7. Dimensions please and materials send to Fmkennedy1931@yahoo.com?

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  8. Hi its a brilliant idea,can I keep my ducklings in here from the incubator?

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