We began keeping chickens last year. We now have six hens and two roosters. Having two roosters was a bit of an accident. A local farmer was going to kill one of them and asked if we wanted it. Being soft city people, and not tough rural New Zealanders, we said okay.

The two of them get on as long as the smaller rooster spends the night in a nearby tree. But the smaller rooster is growing pretty fast and is starting to challenge the older rooster. A few feathers have flown so far. A Kiwi friend gave us a couple of Bantams and an Orpington. The latter one is my favourite – a gorgeous fluffy grey chook with white flecks in the feathers.

Bantams lay smallish eggs whilst Orpingtons lay fairly large ones. So I’m assuming the large egg you see in the back row (photo below) has been laid by the Orpington. The chooks are currently laying like crazy.

Zeph and Zsa Zsa get a raw egg on top of their food twice a week. And once a week, I poach a couple of eggs and slap on home-made bread. Yummo breakfast. It’s amazing how much tastier true free range eggs are.

The chooks are given food scraps and roam around – although they tend to keep to the large chicken coop El Hubs built for them. I’d say this is largely because Zeph and Zsa Zsa are very interested in chickens. Zeph’s remote collar keeps him under control but little diva dog, Zsa Zsa, chased a few chooks the other day. She is now wearing a remote collar and receives a tone as a warning should she get too near. This seems to be working.

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