Adopted chooks

The blue skies have returned and the weather man says we are going back into a dry cycle. 

We are still very lucky though. Our dry spell is nothing like the droughts they are having down South. All weather is relative really. An Australian drought would devastate this area.  And a mid west drought would be a Hawke’s Bay dry summer.

But the local crops will come in thin and short. And the price of grain  (and feed) is already beginning to rise. Lately the price of meat in the stores has begun to rise too.  I read that ground beef is the highest it has ever been.  So for the farmers there will be a shortage of hay and very expensive grain. Sustainable looks better and better every day. 

The lady down the road is downsizing her flock to cope with the rising costs. So our chickens are being asked to share their grain with the chooks from down the road. 

Awaiting their night time release are eight big Rhode Island Reds. I have enough clients to sell their eggs to, so their grain is covered as long as they keep laying.  Rhode Island Reds are good winter layers and these are still young. So they be able to segue  into the farmy cycle  easily.

Of course Sheila is looking forward to meeting the new arrivals but has discovered to her horror that she cannot fit through the gate anymore!! Thank goodness. 

The Duke of Kupa left you a gift. 

The nights are cooler and he is beginning to shed. So beautiful.  The design of these birds is superb.

Good morning. Daisy gets her third hormone shot on Sunday and then the vet will come to breed her.  I hope she gets pregnant the first attempt so that she can calve next years calf on the spring grass.  Though it will not be much earlier than this year.  I really do not want her calving much later. Milking into the deep winter will be hard on her and me.

You will remember that this year you and I are going to New Zealand in December for a few weeks, so I am hoping to be able to dry her up by then.  If not I have stand-by milkers, a lovely retired couple from down the road.  You cannot dry up a cow who is milking a large amount of milk.  It is dangerous for the animal. The cow kind of slows down herself and once her production has dropped right down, then we can stop milking and dry her up.  So I have to be prepared for both scenarios. And be guided by Daisy herself.

Have a lovely day.


What was happening on the farm a year ago?  Quite a bit by the sounds of it.  Sex on the farmy is the first time the animals began to really find their voices.  This is still a funny read!

74 Comments on “Adopted chooks

    • Morning Roger, we call them chooks in NZ, their call is chook, chook, chook! Funny the things you learn on the internet! c

  1. Congrats on your new chooks, but bummer for the lady down the road! I hope the hard times don’t continue to get harder for everyone there.

    Hoping you have a great day! 🙂

  2. How lovely to find Kupa’s jewel like feathers strewn about. It was interesting to read about your plans for Daisy; I’ve always wondered about how and when the dry spells come.

  3. That photo of Kupa’s tailfeather is postcard-worthy, C… just perfect!
    I’ve got the go-ahead for both chickens (where do you suppose the word ‘chook’ comes from?) and dairy goats (found a small slaughterhouse nearby that will make that possible), but my Learning Curve is steep…Any chance you could do some Day in the Life posts on keeping chickens?

    • Oh what a wonderful idea, I can definitely do that! And Angel will LOVE having chickens to feed! and goats at last!! c

    • You are going to have to put me on speed dial!! i checked it and reloaded it. Good catch.. again.. I will have to start loading those the night before when my brain is in gear! Thank you again.. c

  4. I think of this often and since you are a farmer, I will ask you. The prices of corn here and meat in general everywhere continue to rise because of the drought. Does this help farmers with higher prices at the store, or make is worse?

    • The higher prices in your supermarket would not as a rule flow back to the grain farmer. For the corn and beans he is offered the price of the day, if he does not like it he will store his grain a bit longer and sell it on another day when the prices are higher. This is his paycheck. If there is not a lot of grain to sell, he will be holding out for more money, When they sell their grain for higher prices then the stock farmer will have to pay more to buy it from the feed mill to feed his cows. Then he will sell his meat for more to recoup his feed bill. Though most of the meat you buy in the supermarket is grown on contract by enormous consortium feedlots. In fact most of the meat in the US is grown and marketed by only four major companies. If you buy it at the farmers market your cash will go directly to the farmer. I hope that actually answers your question and i did not go off on a wild tangent! morning terry.. c

  5. Great post! Wonderful that you could provide a nice home for the chooks, they will be very happy at your place, I am sure….

  6. Poor Sheila! She’s grown too big for her own good. I had wondered when and how Daisy would stop producing milk. You teach me something just about every time I come here. 🙂

  7. So much to think about as the seasons change! Here too, we are thinking of the rising costs of things. And stocking up the freezer for school lunches and dinners on the fly! Good luck with the chooks…it’s been a long time since I heard them called that and it brings back fond memories….

    • Yes like you we have to make sure we have stocked up well for winter. i don’t think we will starve this year!! c

  8. Love the “calling card” from Kupa and the chickens insistent impatient peering through the chicken wire.

    • They were SO pleased to get out of their transition cage, First i just had to Make sure that we did not start a war!! c

  9. Yes, Cecilia, replacing you would be major, that is why it is so important you take good care of yourself . Many many depend on you not just physically and emotionally, but “educationally” too. I’m trying to say you know so much — on top of doing so much .

    Mother Equus has spoken!

    • When you put together a group like this, in the Comments Lounge.. we are all learning. I have learnt heaps from you guys!

  10. Poor Sheila!
    I wonder if Daisy will be asking to go into the milking shed for a feed, even after she dries up?

    • Very good point, it is her favourite place to be! But she is not allowed to poo or pee in there so i am not sure how it will work out.. c

  11. P.S. have you ever heard of Laura’s Beef? 92% lean. Do you know if it is produced by one of the big four? We buy it at Dominic’s and jewel and hope it is good for us. “no hormones, no antibiotics, vegetarian fed”– whatever that means.

    • It means that there are no fatty meat products in the feed.. makes you reel doesn’t it! The idea that they could .. Laura’s beef does sound good. Big probably but they are trying.. we should do some research on them.. They are not one of the big four though, I am fairly sure.. c

  12. I would love one of those fabulous feathers! Does he lose all of his tail in the autumn?
    I burst out laughing when I read ” then the vet will come to breed her. ” I do hope that is not personally!

    • oo that did read a little humorous! We need to ask Julie my peacock guru but i am under the impression that they molt in the autumn and regrow in the spring.. c

  13. That’s the good thing about laying hens when you’re a small concern, they certainly earn their keep!

  14. I love how good you are to her, and making sure she dries up naturally, not taking any chances on her health.

    • She is our Mother Ship, a pivot in the farmy and an animal i spend an awful lot of time with, as you we can’t take any chances really.. lets hope it all goes well for years to come! c

  15. A lovely Saturday with Celi. I loved hearing about the Rhode Island Reds. The chickens down on the Home Farm (where I get my eggs) have almost stopped laying it has been so hot. l8 chickens and only 6 eggs yesterday. It was 36 C. and not at all pleasant. But today we are promised a thunder storm. Hurrah. I don’t have to water the vegetable garden. Have a gorgeous weekend Celi. Hugs Virginia

  16. Sheila has such a funny look on her face. That second picture is perfect. ( and they have intent expression on those little faces) Glad you’ve had rain and a bit cooler at night…you can manage the hot days if nights cool down.
    We had rain this afternoon and maybe more tomorrow – so grateful that this year the lakes are managing to stay full – even so, it takes a while for the land to recover from such a drought as we had last year. Everyone is worried about the cost of hay and feed.
    Hope all goes well with Daisy.

  17. How exciting that you are making a trip to NZ, hopefully to summer weather and blooming pohutukawas. Kupa’s feather is gorgeous, and it shimmered as I scrolled up and down! The photo of Sheila is the funniest ever! So glad that you got that rain before the next dry patch.

    • Oh Our pohutukawas.. there is not a tree like that in all the world, clinging on, right there, next to high tide.. christmas is not always warm but it will be warmer than here.. ! c

  18. I didn’t know you were coming back for Christmas!!! How exciting! If you need a bed in Palmerston North just let me know… (I will evict the cat for you) XXXOOO

  19. It is sad how the price are rising. However, it will sooner or later level out. Everything is still way more expensive here in HK as most things have to be shipped in. Take Care, BAM

  20. Oh, Celi, please do not talk about Australian droughts: our last one, as you would know, lasted seven horrible years and for three weeks one bushfire-ridden summer season we wore facemasks, could not see beyond about 20-30 metres and were able permitted to water about four hours a day three times a week! Dams pretty full now! Oh, for those who do not call chickens ‘chooks’, bushfires equate to forest-fires 🙂 ! Can’t wait for you in Kiwiland!!

  21. More chooks, and eggs – fantastic. I’m making lists of good to own chooks, I have recorded Isa Browns, and now adding Rhode Island Reds. Re Anne @GtSlamseysFarm’s comment and your question about duck eggs, personally you can do anything with a duck egg but better. Our country RHS neighbours’ ducks escaped to our RHS neighbours’, and made occasional forays through our yard picking off all the snails 🙂 and leaving eggs. Not be ones (as both neighbours were) to look a gift duck in mouth, we feasted on duck eggs, fried, boiled, scrambled, frittata, and in cakes for weeks 🙂

  22. Kupa, thank you for such an exquisite gift! I never realised it was quite so scientific when it came to cows C! I am sure Daisy will take our trip into account later this year.
    🙂 Mandy

  23. We are expecting food costs to rise here as well, a result of the drought in areas that ship food to us. Would that I had an acreage to grow at least some of our veggies.. that would be so nice!! I love that photo of Kupa’s feather <3.. xx

  24. Those pigs crack me up. I imagine you going out there one morning and the pig kind of seesawing on top of the fence rail. Oh, that wasn’t meant to sound cruel! I just can imagine him that determined to get out!

  25. And I fuss over leaving one little black cat! Thank goodness someone retired who knows what they are doing and stayed in the area!

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