The New Tales of Chookonia #1

Finally, the Girls have arrived.

On perhaps the hottest day of the year so far, we filled their waterers and feeder, put up a gazebo in their chook yard to provide some sorely needed shade, wiped off some of the sweat and went to fetch them.

We’d planned for Point of Lay pullets, but we wanted them this week because the Husband is on leave and we have time. Unfortunately, this week the supplier didn’t have 21/22 week pullets, only 15 week pullets, so we’ve brought the 5 of them home a little early, and will enjoy watching them grow for another 5-6 weeks before they start laying. We were charged less because they’re not full size yet. Bonus!

The cardboard boxes they travelled home in were liberally anointed with chook poo, and will be going on the garden to mulch the forthcoming potato patch in due course. Their chook house has a deep litter of pine shavings which will keep things fresh and discourage bugs and mites, and again, when it’s full of poo, I shall shovel it out and compost it for garden use. They will get garden and kitchen scraps in addition to their grain ration. I do like a self-sustaining system! Once they’re a bit more acclimatised, we’ll let them out on the grass, perhaps using the moveable, adjustable dog fence to ensure they graze the grass area by area and don’t create huge bald patches in one place and leave rank grass in another.

I’ve put the dummy eggs in the two nesting boxes to encourage them when the time comes. There’s a thinnish layer of sugar cane mulch in the chook yard for them to scratch in, which I’ve scattered with a handful of grain and vegetable scraps from the kitchen. So far, they’re ignoring everything except the water, the green weeds and the pumpkin vine, which is providing a shady spot to rest in. I must get some river sand and D.E. for a dust bath fairly soon, or they’ll be digging up the ground to make their own.

They’re pretty calm and docile, and very healthy looking. It’s so good to have Girls in the family again! We brought Mouse out into the garden after they were installed, and he glanced at them and then proceeded to ignore them completely. Perfect.

And yes, of course they’ve been named, although at this age it’s a little harder to tell them apart. They’re Eggatha, Eggnes, Egglantine, Eggnetha and Egglaia.


38 thoughts on “The New Tales of Chookonia #1

  1. Yay! They’re nice big healthy looking girls for 15 weeks! Another bonus of younger hens is they will be grow accustomed to their surrounds and you at a much younger age, so hopefully more amenable.

    • katechiconi says:

      Exactly! We were able to pick them up out of their boxes one at a time with minimal fuss and squawkery, as I want to get them used to being handled from an early age. It makes dealing with any health issues so much easier. They are very quiet, just that sort of gentle crooning noise, but I bet they get pretty vocal once it comes to laying time!

  2. Marty K says:

    What sweet little ladies. Enjoy your new chooks!

  3. They are so sweet, and look quite large to me (knowing as much about chickens as I do about nuclear physics!)
    Their names sound like something out of Star Wars. No idea why my brain is making that connection.
    Happy chickening, and wishing you many omelettes in your future.

    • katechiconi says:

      They’re quite fluffy, but when you pick they up, they have gangly adolescent bodies and are very light. They need to put on some heft… I have to say, for the half day they’ve been here, they’re eaten down an *astonishing* quantity of the weeds in that enclosure. I may never need to weed again… Not sure why the names sound Star Wars-y, I was obviously going for eggzactly those names that would indicate what their job is! I reckon we’re at least 6 weeks off an omelette, but it’ll be epic when it happens.

  4. Eggcellent names to all your beautiful girls. So happy they are home with you now albeit the hottest stinkiest day of the year so far. 🤩

  5. Caroline says:

    Haha, love the names … does that mean when you go out to them you call out “Eggy, Eggy, Eggy, Eggy, Eggy”.
    At least they’re not Oggy, that would make you sound Welsh.

  6. manicmumdays says:

    Welcome pretty chooks!

    • katechiconi says:

      Considering they’re all the same breed, there are some quite noticeable differences between them. Some are pale, with laced feathers, and others are quite dark.

  7. anne54 says:

    An eggeptional start to their life in Chookonia! I hope you are planning to make them quilted nesting boxes…although they won’t need them for warmth in FNQ ☺️

    • katechiconi says:

      Probably not, and cosy little garments are out too, their feathers are much too pretty. Perhaps I can make a nice bowl cosy to go INSIDE the bowl to hold the eggs attractively…? Still, all that is some weeks off, both in terms of their internal ecology and the weather forecast!

  8. Eggstraordinaryily eggcellent news! Their names sound Borrowers-y to me. They sound like they are adjusting well so far!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, a little Arriety, I agree! I have just let them out, and they were still sitting tidily on their perches, quietly conversing. Scattered some grain, and down they hopped sedately. They have been very well brought up!

  9. Going Batty in Wales says:

    They look great and I am looking forward to hearing progress reports.

    • katechiconi says:

      So far, I’m impressed with them. They travelled well, got straight to work in the chook yard, put themselves to bed and accepted assistance in working out how to roost, and have given Mouse cautious respect whilst not going into a total flapdoodle when he’s around. I think this is going to be a huge success! The Husband and I are discussing setting up some chairs outside the chook yard to watch them work…

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        It is lovely to watch them interacting.

      • katechiconi says:

        They’re remarkable tolerant of us, considering their age, and have obviously been gently and frequently handled. I’m still having to teach them what the roosts are for, as they’re tending to arrange themselves in a feathery heap on top of the two nesting boxes!

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        I am delighted you are enjoying them.

      • katechiconi says:

        Oh, definitely! They are endearing creatures at the best of times, but when they’re young and gawky, there’s a special cuteness I find hard to resist.

  10. claire93 says:

    a big warm welcome to all the news gals ^^

    • katechiconi says:

      The Girls would, I’m sure, pass on greetings to your ladies if anything entered their tiny brains except food! They’re at the age when they still have a lot of growing to do, and nothing else seems to interest them right now…

  11. Welcome to the family, girls. Kate, you certainly have done your research. Have your raised them before? I’m sorry to read about the dreadful heat (and mindful that our own summer is just a few months off now). Enjoy!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, I’ve had chickens before, which is why I’ve been pining to have more! ISA Browns lay loads of eggs and are very social and calm, which is why I was pretty sure they wouldn’t have an issue with Mouse, or he with them. Also, they were raised about 30km away, so they’re used to our climate, which helps when getting them settled in. I definitely think there will be ‘viewing chairs’ outside their run soon…

  12. nanacathy2 says:

    Otherwise known as Egg for short. They look pretty content to me.

  13. cedar51 says:

    agree, those “egg…extns” are going to be hard to remember when you realise you just called “e…ntha” something else akin to reminding of you of a person named “Louise”

    but what fun…

    • katechiconi says:

      To be honest, they are still too young to have much personality, so I’ll probably wait to assign names until they become the rampant individualists I’m used to in hens!

  14. Does my heart good to see these happy girls in their new home.

    • katechiconi says:

      They’re only young, but they got right down to work, and have decimated the weeds already. I think the green stuff must be more tasty than they’ve been accustomed to, since they’re virtually ignoring their grain ration most of the time. We threw in a large grasshopper for them to take care of, and their battle for supremacy over it was epic!

  15. I read out the names to MrG and only when I read out Egglaia did I grasp it. Brilliant. Enjoy.

    • katechiconi says:

      Well, the original Aglaia was the Greek goddess of beauty and adornment, but in this context I hope her namesake lives up to the variant. To be honest, most of them are developing fairly clear personalities not altogether in line with their names. I may have to announce a renaming…

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