Thursday, July 23, 2009


I was listening to a discussion on ABC Local Radio yesterday about cats, specifically the problems cats cause when they stray, and occasionally go feral. Toward the end, someone rang and said everyone should get rid of their cats and replace them with chickens, which are production and not destructive.
Given the problems we have with feral cats in this neck of the woods, I can only say hear, hear! (Apologies to cat lovers, I don’t really think you should “get rid of” your cats).
Chickens make great pets, even if they are a trifle standoffish.

At the moment, we have three ducks, 2 roosters and 6 hens. We get about two-three eggs a day, because most of our hens are advanced in years, and don’t lay every day. {Sigh. The dilemmas of elderly chooks. They don’t talk about this in chook books}.
Because of the feral animal problem around here (cats and foxes), the poultry is enclosed most of the day. We let them out for a run in mid afternoon to have a scratch, and then lock them in again at nightfall.
They are fed with kitchen scraps, pellets and whatever they get out of the garden. One particular chicken always hops up onto the kitchen window sill and eats the spiders that live in the corners. My nonna used to give her chickens layer mash porridge made with hot water. The chickens loved it.
We love the boys and girls, not only for their eggs but for their presence in the garden. Life without chooks: can’t imagine it.


nevyn said...

I love that idea, also the part about getting rid of cats.

We have 7 ducks, 2 hens and 1 phsycotic rooster. We can't imagine not having them, except for the rooster. They are way more productive than cats and have tons more character.

In the name of objectivity I have to admit to been a dog lover, so my opinion towards cats is somewhat biased :-)

Paola said...

Hi Nevyn, Yes, I'm more of a dog person too. Funny that whenever I'm near a cat and seated, they make straight for my lap.
Thanks for leaving a comment!

SMB tech geeks said...

We live in an urban area, but our neighbour's chickens regularly wander over to say hello - it can be a bit freaky at seven in the morning, having to herd them back over the road with nothing but the aid of the recycling bin lid!!

They're rescued chickens; it's quite a big thing in the UK, rehoming battery farm chickens. There's even a fashion for knitting them jackets to keep them warm, check out if you'd like to see more. I know you're still recovering from your recent injury, but you could always send over emergency jumpers when you've recovered ;0).

Paola said...

Hee hee, chicken jumpers. If I show that site to the kids, they'll demand I make some chicken jumpers! I wouldn't be able to keep up the pace, I'll just tell them Aussie chickens tough out winter.
As for my injury, well I've recovered enough to knit my way through the mountain stages of the Tour de France. Am averaging one square per session. At this rate, I might finish a blanket before next year's tdf.