Our Backyard

I'm amazed lately at just how much I am learning from our very own backyard and am enjoying every moment.  I am really gaining just so much by doing, making mistakes and learning from them, successes as well, working with the environment, the weather, our Samson, our chickens and so much more.  It is an absolute treasure.

Over the summer months the Hellebores I planted outside our bedroom window were merely just twigs.  Now they are looking strong, growing lovely green leaves and hopefully will flower over Winter.  My next step in this area is to purchase some more Hellebores to fill the area.

Coming back to life.

A few weeks ago I planted broccoli and cauliflower seedlings however noticed they weren't thriving much.  The broccoli was doing just a little better than the cauliflower.  After checking the PH level of the soil I was surprised just how low it was.  I believe this has a lot to do with our compost.  I am working on improving this right now and have also started a compost bin with chicken manure and bits of bedding.

Cabbage seedlings - a first for me.

In the meantime I removed the cauliflower and replanted new seedlings.  I also added some compost which I reluctantly purchased throughout the whole veggie garden as well as lime.  The PH level in the soil is now within the right range.  The broccoli is much happier and is sprouting some beautiful new leaves and the cauliflower is looking a lot healthier than the first lot.  I've also planted cabbage seedlings, kale seedlings and extra herbs.  I want to supply the chickens with freshness from our garden as well as us.

Plenty of kale to come for everyone.

I've quite a few lots of parsley going as well as other herbs.

Wherever I go Samson is always right there with me.  It doesn't matter how many times I move around he gets up and then plops himself down again right next to me.  He is beautiful.

Always close by.

Now we have the wonderful addition of our chickens.  We all enjoyed our very first egg a few nights ago and yes we divided it into four.  This is just all part of the joy and having the kids involved is the best.  

Twas a double yolker!

Now I know what you all mean by the taste.  It really, really tastes so much better.

I'm sure the novelty will wear off - maybe.

A few days ago I noticed Eggsy was sort flopping over on her side, rubbing her head into the ground, flicking her feet and I was so worried.  Turns out she was just having a bath.  OK another lesson for me, I now know what a dust bath looks like.  

Yesterday I went out to the clothesline and my heart sank.  Four chickens in the run, one was missing.  Samson was sound asleep on the decking.  The run was over a small ditch and I noticed it was a little wider.  Then I heard a noise and found our Floss having a good old bath.

Floss bathing.

She was so happy and calm and let me pick her up.  Once I had her safely back in the run I then moved it away from the ditch.  Our Floss didn't look comfortable though.  She started pacing up and down, desperate to get out.  Next thing I know out comes an egg.  The others started pecking at it so I removed it straight away and Floss was back to her calm self again.  I knew Floss was the one who was laying, she is very clever.  Yes I weighed her second egg too, same weight.

I held my very first warm egg.

Eggs for breakfast today.

Floss' egg on the left and egg from supermarket on right.

As our chickens are in a run I am making sure I move it around as much as I can to supply them with fresh green grass.  As I've read it will boost the Omega 3 in the eggs.  I also collect flowers from around the yard, extra grass, straw and today I dug out some worms from the veggie patch for them to feast on.  I want to make sure they also get enough protein so will be starting our own insect and bug collection.  I have found so much of my information from Rhonda's Down to Earth blog.

In the meantime I will continue with their greens, pellets, fresh water, eggshells, porridge, rice, veggies, worms and today I purchased some dry meal worms.  They have taught me so much in just a few short weeks.

Porridge - plain rolled oats, milk and sunflower seeds.

My trips out to the clothesline these days takes so much longer now.  The garden will grab me or our chooks as they are such a joy to watch, Samson, the sun, everything.  It is exactly how I like it.

I don't think Samson will let anything hurt our chickens.

All this and more in our very own backyard.  Now time to get back out there as I think Eggsy may be our next egg layer.


  1. The cool thing about eggs is as the hen becomes older the egg becomes larger. There may not be an egg per hen, per day as they age but hens have entertainment value and are the best vege bed reconditioners, if you place them in a mobile pen over the used bed you want fertilised, dug over and the bugs removed. In my experience egg pecking often means protein deficiency. Your brood sounds as if they are receiving plenty of protein though, so just ensure they don't have many opportunities to peck eggs. Egg pecking is difficult to stop them from doing once they make a habit of it and begin eating the eggs. A mobile nest box may be a good idea, as well, as if they can't see it they won't want to peck it.

    1. I've been reading quite a lot about egg pecking. At the moment I'm removing them as soon as possible. I will keep supplying that protein.

  2. I can tell you are thoroughly enjoying your chooks, Kylie. I know a lot of people have said their chooks have stopped laying but yesterday we had three eggs out of four chickens and I think the fourth is laying her eggs where we can't find them. We really need a run like you do rather than having them out all day but that's not going to happen in a hurry unfortunately.

  3. You have a lovely backyard Kylie. Kale is one of favorite greens.

  4. Samson and the chickens share the kale love with me however the rest of the family are not as keen. I add it to their meals all mixed in and they eat it that way whereas I can just eat it straight out of the garden. I'm not such a fan of kale chips though.

  5. SO lovely that you are enjoying your chickens so much, Kylie. Home grown eggs are the best! Samson is a very handsome fellow, our Sir Steve dog is never far away from one of us either. He loves coming down to the garden and plopping himself down in the middle of things. When I was planting out seedlings recently, he lay right down on top of the mulch for a snooze. Meg:)

  6. It looks like you and Samson are having a grand time in your own backyard. It's fun to hear about your life with chickens and your veggie growing progress.

  7. Thanks Julie. We really are enjoying this so, so much.


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