My backyard

firm351

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G'day folks,

In October last year we moved to our new place in Mundijong near Perth WA, since then we have been flat out tidying the place up. We bought it off a lady who's husband died a few years ago so the place was a little run down and all the gardens and yard which once would've been in great shape had been let go since then.

Anyway i thought i would start this thread to share with you all some of my projects that i will have on the go.

I will start off with my chook pen, stupidly i didn't get any before photos was this over grown and just a bloody mess. After a lot of work to restore it back to a condition that was safe for some chooks this is what i have now
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Here are some of our girls, we picked up 10 hens that some one didn't want anymore, they may as well come and live out their days at our place
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This is the feeder i made a few years ago, i'm not sure if its big enough but it seems to handling 10 birds ok.
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This my original coop i built a few years ago, the guinea pigs have had an accommodation upgrade and now live in here.
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One of my upcoming projects will be making a vegetable garden just on the other side fence behind the trees to the right. First i need to get water to this area we have really good bore water so a bit of plumbing and that will be sorted.
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And here is a pic of my new best mate Jimmy.
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Mark

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Thanks for sharing some pics of your property Paul it's really great to see!

Your chicken pen looks like a perfect spot with large trees for natural shade and even the leaf fall helps to create mulch for the pen. You've done a nice job at cleaning the pen up it from how you described it has everything it needs and lots of space. That's a nice flock of hens too did they give them to you for free? Seems to be a couple of Rhode Island Reds, a Welsummer, Australorp, and several browns hey?

It's great that you have a bore it will come in very handy believe me. Are you going to go with raised beds or start with a traditional in-ground furrows type of vegetable garden? I'm thinking raised as your soil might be a little light there but regardless getting a vegetable garden going is a fair task and an interesting project.

Jimmy is a cute puppy, I bet he'll love the acreage to explore and run around! :cheers:
 
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firm351

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Thanks for sharing some pics of your property Paul it's really great to see!

Your chicken pen looks like a perfect spot with large trees for natural shade and even the leaf fall helps to create mulch for the pen. You've done a nice job at cleaning the pen up it from how you described it has everything it needs and lots of space. That's a nice flock of hens too did they give them to you for free? Seems to be a couple of Rhode Island Reds, a Welsummer, Australorp, and several browns hey?

It's great that you have a bore it will come in very handy believe me. Are you going to go with raised beds or start with a traditional in-ground furrows type of vegetable garden? I'm thinking raised as your soil might be a little light there but regardless getting a vegetable garden going is a fair task and an interesting project.

Jimmy is a cute puppy, I bet he'll love the acreage to explore and run around! :cheers:
Cheers Mark,

Yeah i'm pretty happy with the chook pen set up and the best bit is it was all there already all i had to do was fix it up. We paid $50 for the 10 hens 5 bucks each is pretty good i reckon. They have all settled in to there new home well apart from one of the rhode island reds which i think is getting beat up by one or more of the others, she's lost a heap of feathers on her back and on the back of her neck, most of the feathers are on the ground under the roosting rails but i haven't caught any one in the act yet so i don't really know whats going on.

Do you reckon shes getting plucked by one of the others or could there be something else wrong with her?
s
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As for the vege garden i think i might have to go for the raised beds due to the poor soil over here, that way i can start small and work my way up, i don't think i will ever get to your level of vege growing but who knows hey.

Jimmy is a pretty cool little fella, he's 8 weeks old and loves running around the paddock out the back, i've just come back to work for 2 weeks so hopefully he remembers me when i get home.

Cheers Paul.
 

Jenni

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Thanks for sharing Paul. How fantastic that the enclosure was already there even if left to ruin. You have done a great job in getting it all back up and running again.

You just need some more birds now to fill up the other side... Maybe try some quail :)

How cute is Jimmy.
 

Mark

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Do you reckon shes getting plucked by one of the others or could there be something else wrong with her?
Yes 90% positive you're right about your hen getting picked on and feathers plucked by other hens. Sometimes hens pluck their own feathers if they have mites or lice but obviously only where they can reach like on their back and only if they actually have parasites. In this case I'm almost certain it's bullying.

What I do is monitor the bullied hen and if the plucking of feathers doesn't stop then the best thing to do is isolate the hen for a week or two by placing her in an isolation pen still within the community (ie a small pen of her own with feed, water, and a perch but still in the main pen) so the other hens can't get to her but they can still see her and interact. You will find her feathers will grow back quickly and then when you release her back with the rest of the flock hopefully she won't get picked on anymore.

I have done this several times successfully with my hens and it really does work! Sometimes they just get into a habit of picking on one hen and the best solution is isolation for a short period and then they forget about bullying. Also, having a small isolation pen (or two) can come in handy to let a sick bird recover, or two hold a new bird/s for a day to help integrate them, or hold chicks/pullets until they are big enough, etc

As for the vege garden i think i might have to go for the raised beds due to the poor soil over here, that way i can start small and work my way up, i don't think i will ever get to your level of vege growing but who knows hey.
Once you get the GYO bug who knows how big you'll go - if you're anything like me, make sure you leave room for expansion :D
 
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firm351

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Thanks for that mark, i will pass on your reply to my wife and hopefully she can sort something out because i think the poor hen might have no feathers left by the time i get home.
 
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Mary Playford

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Lovely pics of the chooks and their dwelling Paul! That is one pretty tree in the pen too. Mark V did a chook feeder with less mess video that is worth a watch.

Nice view on the other side where your garden is going to be. Just beautiful!

Raised beds are great to start with to give yourself time to work on your soil as you go. I am thinking of making some for my backyard because my soil there is clay. I just make compost as I go to add to my garden and eventually I will have a nice soil there for my edibles.
 
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firm351

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What I do is monitor the bullied hen and if the plucking of feathers doesn't stop then the best thing to do is isolate the hen for a week or two by placing her in an isolation pen still within the community (ie a small pen of her own with feed, water, and a perch but still in the main pen) so the other hens can't get to her but they can still see her and interact. You will find her feathers will grow back quickly and then when you release her back with the rest of the flock hopefully she won't get picked on anymore.
Thanks for that mark, i will pass on your reply to my wife and hopefully she can sort something out because i think the poor hen might have no feathers left by the time i get home.
Well its been a while since iv'e been on here and i thought i better follow up on this one. What i actually did to fix her up was nothing at all, buy the time i had gotten home a week later, all her feathers were growing back and about 2 weeks after that she was good as new, now that was an easy fix.:twothumbsup:

All our hens are going great, we are getting 6-8 eggs per day from 9 hens and we have 1 hen that decided she wanted to be a mum so we got her some fertilized eggs to sit on and see how we go. She's been on 8 eggs for 14 days now so another week and we will hopefully have some chicks.
 
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Mark

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They are Australorp eggs, the broody hen is a welsummer hopefully she wont ditch them because they don't look like her.;)
Nah, she shouldn't ditch them. It's late in the season for a hen to be broody though! They usually become broody around spring then taper off into summer. I suppose in our climate early autumn is a good time for hatching out as the temps are quite mild (similar to spring I suppose). Australorps are a great hen too - hard to beat...
 

firm351

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Update time.

Out of the the 8 eggs we put under our broody hen we had 5 hatch, once they started to hatch Mrs Pecker(that's what my kids call her) got off the rest of the eggs and i think maybe she must have known they were duds so she left them, anyway 5 hatched and were all doing well till a couple of days later when i found 1 had died overnight, the other 4 are going strong now, they are 7 weeks old.

Its the first time i have had anything to do with raising chicks from the egg and i have found it fascinating to watch them grow and develop, i could watch them for hours following Mrs Pecker around and copying everything she does and learning how to be chickens, she's defiantly a good teacher that's for sure.

When would be the best time to introduce them into the flock with the rest of my chickens? i'm thinking i might give then a couple more weeks then see how they go.


Another project i have just finished is the building of a carport, i bought it as a kit and put it up myself with the help of a mate, i got some quotes to supply and install a carport and they all wanted around $1000 to put it up so i thought i would be self sufficient and do it myself, i'm really happy with the finished product it looks like it was built by a couple of pros, only took 2 days to do it and saved me $1000 so i'm very happy with that.
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firm351

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G'day folks, once again its been a while since i've been on here and i thought i should update this thread a bit.
I've been busy lately extending my chook pen, originally it was 2 3 metre x 6 metre yards side by side each with a shed enclosure a one end, i have now put a new fence all the way around the whole thing, the new fenced area is now 25 metres x 12 metres so its a pretty big increase in the area for the chooks and they love it.
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The main reason i did this was because my chook numbers have gone up a bit, we started out with 10 and at one stage we had 26 chooks, at the moment we are down to 19.

The other reason was so they could be let out of the smaller pens with out me worrying about the dog harassing them.
He's never done them any harm but he is a boarder collie and may be slightly confused about the differences between chickens and sheep so he spends all day rounding them up and breaking them into little groups and what not, so now they can have there own area to free range separate from the dog.

The chooks still get locked up in the smaller pens at night because they are fox proof, the new fence only goes down to ground and is not dug in at all.

Having the separate pens has worked out really well for segregating the chooks at different times especially when we have young chicks, one of the pens i have gone around the whole thing with 900 mm high bird netting because the 50 mm holes in the chook netting was to big and the little chick kept getting out and getting into mischief.

We have hatched 3 lots of eggs now, the first one was fertilised eggs that we bought from some one else, the next 2 were our own fertilised eggs from a rooster we got out of our first lot of eggs that we hatched so now i'm not just a chicken keeper i'm a bit of a chicken breeder aswell:)

Anyway thanks for having a look at this and hopefully it wont be another 6 months before my next visit.
 

OskarDoLittle

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Hey Paul,
Thanks for the update...lovely to see what other people are doing. I have serious land envy! How's Jimmy the dog?
 

Mark

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That's a big fence and it certainly looks solid well done on the build!

I have a similar method with my outer boundary for my chicken ranging area being dog proof and that surrounds the pen which is fox proof for bed time.

Having peace of mind for the hens and the owner knowing that they are safe does wonders for all aspects of chicken keeping and it's totally worth all the effort building that extra external fenced boundary.

Thanks for updating!
 

James P

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Wow, nice coop! I really like the look of your birds, Australorps and Rhode Island Reds sure are the way to go!
 

firm351

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Wow, nice coop! I really like the look of your birds, Australorps and Rhode Island Reds sure are the way to go!
Thanks mate, i really like the Australorps, not the biggest fan of the Rhode Island Reds but they have turned out to be very good broodys and are excellent at raising chicks.
I do have a couple of Australorp X RIR birds now and they are one odd looking chook.

Hey Paul,
Thanks for the update...lovely to see what other people are doing. I have serious land envy! How's Jimmy the dog?
Jimmy is good, he's a great dog, very good with the kids and other dogs.

That's a big fence and it certainly looks solid well done on the build!

I have a similar method with my outer boundary for my chicken ranging area being dog proof and that surrounds the pen which is fox proof for bed time.

Having peace of mind for the hens and the owner knowing that they are safe does wonders for all aspects of chicken keeping and it's totally worth all the effort building that extra external fenced boundary.

Thanks for updating!
Thanks Mark, it was a pretty good job to do, a bit difficult to get the wire on by myself but i got there in the end.
This chicken keeping game can start getting expensive if your not careful.
 

Mark

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This chicken keeping game can start getting expensive if your not careful.
I suppose the beauty of it is that you can keep chickens according to your budget and if it means only keeping a few scratching in the backyard with a makeshift box as a coop or building a super pen, everyone can enjoy keeping chickens if they really want.

Your pics look better on a PC (I hate browsing the internet on my mobile unless it's to Google something) but your flock does look happy and there plenty of shade around also which is a nice bonus.