Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baby Chickens are doing well, nesting boxes and Lemon Verbana & Mint Tea

The ISA Brown chook who had hew three chicks a couple weeks ago (see here) has been mothering them well and they are growing so fast

and in the last two days, two more chooks have gone broody.  "Elvis" an Arukuna (lays blue eggs), who is off in her own little pen, and has been there a couple days and I noticed just today one of the Cornish Game Hens has gone broody, so we'll throw a couple eggs under her as well.  We hope this doesn't start a trend or we'll have none laying and then a explosion of new baby chickens ... oh well, plenty of roast chicken dinners there then !

Chook Laying Boxes
A few months ago Toni scavenged some 20l plastic containers and I turned them into laying boxes for the chickens with the help of my handy jigsaw.  She scavenged another on the other day from her work and has me make another box.  I remembered to grab a pic, you can see an older one in the photo complete with "fake" egg (a golf ball) to encourage them to lay.  It's good to reuse, rather then recycle.  The old ones were cardboard boxes and had become quite decrepit.
Old laying box, (left), new laying box and jigsaw to cut the hole !
Automatic Chook Water-er
I aslo managed to get around to making another "automatic chook water-er".  Toni scavenged a few containers from her work for me.  I cut the bottom of a 15KG plastic conatiner of Sour Cream (green base) and reused an empty plastic Olive Oil Drum as the reservoir.  I used a plastic drum tap, a short length of  garden hose and some recycled bricks thrown out by the local brickworks as the stand.  I knew that my interest in science would help me out one day !
Automatic chook water-er
As the chooks drink the water, they lower the water level in the green container below the level of the bottom of the pipe fitted over the tap fitting in the bottom of the drum reservoir.  It then empties a little water, as the water level rises, it creates a seal and stops any more water coming out until the chooks drink some more, voila !

This is the second one I have made, the first one is inside the chook yard.  This one is for when they are free ranged outside, the previous owner used a kids potty ! I got tired of filling it and no, I didn't fill it in the traditional way one fills a potty !

Lemon Verbana Tea
Toni has just started brewing her own tea.  She uses a mix of Lemon Verbana and Mint,

(L) Lemon Verbana and Mint (R)

She then rips it up, places the mix into a tea infuser, puts the infuser into the cup and pours boiling water over it.

I find the smell pungent and dislike the flavour but Toni loves it.

I call it her Solar Tea; the plants grow in the garden from Sun and rain, she boils the rainwater we collect using renewable solar power collected from our solar panels and enjoys sitting on the front verandah, listening to the native birds and watching the chickens forage in the yard.  I can surely understand that sentiment !


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