My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?


In case you were wondering

I have had backyard hens and my “chook” blog since 2012 and have loved every minute if it. Yes, both the hens and the blog.

In November 2013, my husband’s daughter and her 7 month old baby came to live with us, joined by her partner a few months later. I was struggling to manage my life and all of the additional stress that came with it.

Early one weekend morning in April, when I was lying there panicking and almost in tears, thinking of all the things I had to do that day, I made a very difficult decision to close two of my three blogs down. My blogs are a big part of my life and require energy and love and lots of time. If energy, love and time is not able to be given, then as far as I was concerned, I was not able to continue for myself or my readers.

A few more months have now passed and we have one less person living in the house. (We still have mum and baby, who is now a 15 month old toddler).  For some reason in the past few weeks, the grey fog that was surrounding me has lifted. Maybe I have come to terms with my new life, or maybe my tiny flock of backyard chooks has helped to lift me.

We are past the shortest day here in New Zealand and my chooks have started laying again and King George, my magnificent rooster, has most of his feathers and his mojo back.

When I closed my blogs down, I made them private. I did not delete them. I am sorry to my readers that I didn’t put up a post to explain what I was doing. I am now ready to start blogging again about my tiny flock but forgive me if the posts are a bit few and far between. I realise I would have lost most of my readers but maybe they will see my posts and start to come back.


My chickens have forced me to do an egg hunt!


Where on earth do I start to look for a nest of eggs? There are so many wonderful and safe hiding places for a chicken to lay her eggs. I am sure the nest is on this side of the house, somewhere in these bushes because this is where I saw George patiently waiting.

So Haitch and I entered the bush and started scouring the undergrowth for a nest of eggs. Surely the eggs would stand out against the dark floor of the bush. This shouldn’t take long.

We looked and looked and looked in the general direction I had seen Hannah coming from the day I thought George was protecting her whilst she laid. But there was no sign of a fresh nest.


But although I couldn’t find the new nest, I found an old nest hidden under the fern fronds. I had no idea that any of my girls had ever laid in the bush before. And here I was thinking they were such good chickens compared to other people’s! Clearly not.


When Haitch put these eggs in the bowl, one slipped out of his hand and cracked and oh dear. This is a very old nest. Smelly, smelly eggs. I am surprised that no critters had eaten these eggs, weasels, stoats, ferrets, possums even?

My girls are currently being locked up every day until mid afternoon when my wonderful neighbour comes up each day to let them out. We will do this for the rest of this week and see what happens in the weekend.

Hilda and Helen are both laying in the nesting boxes while being locked up but Hannah has not yet. She is either not laying at the moment (hmmmm) or she is holding onto her egg and then laying once she is let out. I might have to leave her in all day if she doesn’t give me any eggs over the next few days. She may be cleverer than I thought.