Tuesday, November 6, 2012

meet Bob ...

... with his girls Babs, Brenda and Bee (the 3B's).

Bob (aka the rooster) is in the very back .... he has the pink comb.  he wasn't the most aggressive
or assertive, but my research would indicate that you want a protector not an aggressor.
these guys will form our breeding group. a huge step forward in the cycle of life here at JustEarth and an important one.  successful breeding means that we will be in eggs and roast chicken as long as we manage the process properly.  our first foray into sustainability from a meat perspective.

the idea for us is that we start with something we can handle and learn from.  when we lived in the blue mountains we got utility chooks as layers and enjoyed the eggs and learning about the best way to manage and care for chickens.  now that we are comfortable with that, we are making the leap into the world of heritage chooks.

heritage animals are important, and if you want to learn about our choice for plymouth / barred rock ... you can read that here.  but our kiddo's have grown and grown ... starting life as these small little fluff balls, and becoming gangly teenagers.  the boys are starting to fight so it is time to separate out the best boy to have a harem .... (being a male on a farm is really only good for you if you are at the top of the proverbial pecking order!).

have had to do a fair bit of research on choosing the best birds as hens and which would be the ideal rooster, etc.  i highly recommend the book The Small-Scale Poultry Flock, by Harvery Ussery .... fabulous resource .... truly.

it will be a while before we are getting new life out of these birds.  if we had older hens or an old rooster it might be different ... as they would be inclined towards breeding straight away .... but given the length of warm days and nights here in the Northern Rivers of NSW, i reckon by early next spring (that is August for all you folk north of the equator) we will have new chick life becoming part of the life force at JustEarth. .... maybe earlier .... but that is the aim!

the diagram below represents the chicken cycle at JustEarth.  an aside .... i am sick and tired of buying eggs from the store.  so what that means is that i am going to kick start our layer hen flock with 5 or 6 point of lay isa browns in the next week or two (geodesic dome #1 goes in this weekend) .... to start rewarding us with some yummy fresh pasture eggs ..... nom, nom, nom .....

an aside for those of you who are wondering about names.  there are two reasons you see.  one is to preserve the lines and prevent inbreeding (although not a huge issue).  the other is well, in ode to one of our favorite muso's Sandra Boyton ... and her little ditty about a boy with numerous pets ... all named Bob.  ergo Bob and his brood of "B" girls .....

and if you were wondering what happened to the other 8 chickadee's (we started with 12).  well, they are enjoying life as our first true "pastured poultry" ... and loving it!

1 comment:

  1. We have a mixture of heritage breeds and we can't believe the difference between those and the standard layers. Far more hardy in the hot weather and more'scratchy' (which is very important in a chicken dome).