sarah's own natural garden

updates from our lifestyle block – gardening, chickens, green cleaning and more


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Life with chickens

Chino & the chickens

Chino & the chickens

After three years of owning chickens I’d love to say they’re an easy way to keep us in eggs.  While not totally the case I’d still recommend them.  The initial months are spent nervously hovering and checking on them and egg production isn’t consistent but they’re pretty easy to keep really and good fun.

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Simplifying food scrap disposal – the chicken compost bin

the chickens and their compost bin

the chickens and their compost bin

When we lived in suburbia I had a compost bin and worm farm so it’s fully ingrained in me to not throw away food scraps or put them down the waste disposal (we’ve never installed one much to hubby’s confusion).  We now pay for our rubbish pick up so it’s an incentive to reduce what we put out plus we have a septic system which I think is uneconomical to use to process food waste.  Although we have chickens, getting rid of food waste is somehow very complicated since they (and the worms) don’t eat everything I want to give them.

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Lambs + daffodils = spring

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It seems like it’s been a long wet winter.  The ground is soaked, the plants are tilting in the wind and wet and I struggle to find enthusiasm.  We’ve had a couple of warm days but I didn’t want to put away the thermals yet.  Then there’s been a couple of hopeful signs spring is on the way – lambs and daffodils.   All around us lambs have been literally springing up.  Here’s a few shots below of our neighbours’ eclectic bunch of mums and babies born several weeks ago now. Continue reading


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And now we have a broody chicken

bantam eggs

bantam eggs

It’s been a slow 2016 egg wise for us.  Our three big girls have spent most of the year moulting (read about it here) and not laying. Fortunately our two new bantams started and we had about a month of small but perfect eggs.  Unexpectedly little Annie went broody.   Oh no – we’ve been there before (and ended up with our hen hatching a duck)……. Continue reading


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Moulting chickens

Finally I’ve had to conceed that the chickens are moulting and there’s nothing I can do to get them laying again except wait for spring.  Here’s the change in our Butter over the last two years.  Her appearance, especially her feathers had me starting to think she was unwell –

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Chino & the chickens

Anyone who knows us will know that we have the greatest puppy in the world and I could easily blog every day about what he’s been up to.  I never thought we would get him to stop chasing the chickens though so I thought I would share a few cute photos and tips for anyone hoping to achieve the same.

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Sprouting grains for the chickens

Janis

Why sprout?

I’ve been reading lots of blogs from people who make their own chicken food.  I’d like to do the same but it seems to involve alot of ingredients and care needs to be taken to get the right amount of protein and calcium so for now they mostly eat bought pellets with a ‘treat’ portion of mixed seeds.

On the path to making our own chicken food I have started sprouting wheat to add to the meal (not home grown but maybe one day!)  Sprouting grains unlocks the nutrients so is beneficial just as it is for us eating sprouted food.   Sprouting the wheat multiplies the initial volume so is also cost effective.  I’ve seen a couple of set ups where people do this as the everyday feed and wanted to give it a try.

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