Thursday, December 20, 2012

Shared parenting

Although Henrietta has been brooding her chicks, Molly has stepped up in the last week and is now also brooding the chicks. Despite being a week older than the chicks from Melbourne they are smaller due to being bantams.

Growing Chicks

The little chicks that joined us from Melbourne have grown a lot! A few weeks ago they needed a hot water bottle, but now they have more feathers they are keeping each other warm. They stay inside during the day, but are starting to have some play time outside when it is warm enough.

30 November

20 December

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bye little quail

We cared for him the best we could, and did the research, so we were doing the right things, but unfortunately the quail died late tonight after 36 hours in our care.
With something so tiny it is hard to see anything obvious that went wrong.
I'm not sure that I will get used to the death that comes with having animals. I find it very hard.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Today while mowing for hay, Tom disrupted a family of quail. He managed to find one chick chirping in the unmown grass, so in a box next to my ever growing cheeping chicks, I now have a very tiny quail.
It is very shy, but I got a slightly blurry photo so you can see how small it is. It would not be more than 5 cm long. It was very cold and floppy when Tom got it home, but with a hot water bottle and some chicken crumbles, it has sparked up.
I'm hopeful that some of the chicks managed to avoid the mower and were reunited with their mum.
With some TLC, I hope this little bird will survive.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chicks update

I was checking the chicks this morning, and to my surprise, two more eggs have little holes and cheeping chicks inside. I am home alone, so it is taking me a lot of self restraint to not sit in the hen house and watch them pop out of their shells!
The two oldest ones are now only a week old, but have started to get little feathers on their wings and are starting to lose their beautiful fluffy down!

First feathers


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Chick!

Tonight, 3 days after the other two, we had another chick hatch. I got some photos of its progress, and still marvel at the fact that such a beautiful fluffy chick emerges from a tiny little shell that began at only 35 grams!
I know it looks dead in the photo, but it is just finding its feet and is happily chirping away.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Today we had two chicks hatch. I'm so happy that these ones hatched safely. There are still a few more eggs, but I'm not sure they will hatch. Henrietta is still sitting on the other eggs, so I will leave them there until I can be certain they are not going to hatch.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hatching time

The chicks are now due. I rushed to the chook house tonight to find one egg with a small hole in it, and a cheeping chicken 'stuck' inside. I carefully helped the chick get free of the shell, but when I saw blood on my hands I knew something must be wrong. I put the chick back under the hen and jumped onto the Internet. I am now more educated and have discovered that you should almost never help a chick hatch, and that the hatching process from that first hole can take 24 hours. Unfortunately the blood vessels seal over in the last few hours, and I was clearly too early with the chick.
I'm upset that I jumped in to 'help' and ended up killing our first chick. I can hear cheeping from another egg right now and will definitely be leaving these ones to their own devices.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Growing the family

We may be recently married, but a larger family of the human variety is not on the agenda yet! However, whilst we were away for the week on our mini honeymoon, Henrietta took it upon herself to start growing our family.

She is sitting on 7 eggs, and the 'torch test' showed me that there are at least 2 embryos. Fingers crossed we have some chicks in another 2 weeks.


It has been a long time since my last post, and a lot has happened since then. The biggest news being that I am now a wife!

The farm has continued to develop. A bare rooted apricot and black currant tree along with a ruby red grapefruit and lime are new additions. Although the lime dropped its leaves not long after being planted, new growth is proving that it is still alive (see photo).

With wedding preparations taking priority recently, the herb garden has been neglected. The recent sunshine forced me into action on the weekend. Although there is still some more harvesting to be done, I thought I should take a photo of the herb garden with my coriander that is over 1 meter tall! The parsley was a similar height, but is now chopped and living in my freezer.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Last calf before the Wedding!

Yesterday, Chloe had her Nielsen French sired bull calf. The bull calf will be the last one until November.
Although there will be a break from calving, Tom is now busy with artificial insemination.
The calf was quick to get his first drink and Chloe is looking after him well.
Chloe is a good mother, and was very patient when Tom picked up the calf to weigh him yesterday. Tom wasn't too impressed with my delay in reading the scales because I was taking a photo! Holding all 43kg of the calf, I think he had a valid point when he told me to hurry up!

Best Mates

A few weekends ago we had 'I'm a real Kelpie' Tera come to visit. Buck and T-Dog are best mates, and I think Tera enjoys being a 'real' Kelpie on the farm.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Getting muddy

With the high levels of rain we've had here in Gippsland, the paddocks are getting very muddy. The poor cows are up to their knees in mud when they are around the hay ring!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Taj McCoop 1 : Fox 0

Within a week of the chook run being complete, a fox tried to test the boundaries. With the corrugated iron in the ground, the fox didn't get too far. He must have been determined, as he tried in 3 different spots.

With better climbing skills, a rat has had more success in getting into the hen house. In an attempt to scare him out last night, Tom also managed to scare the rat into jumping off the hen house through the air ... and right towards me. I think I may have pulled a muscle in my stomach trying to move at lightening speed to get out of the way of the airborne rat!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Welcome Chooks!

After losing all of my Chooks including the rooster to a fox a few weeks ago, I now have a new group of ladies and a man about the hen house.
The rooster was free to a good home after being hand raised with hope that he was a hen.
Although the rooster (who we've named Leo) is bossing the girls around at the moment, I hope he will settle down soon enough.

The chickens are now safe in the fort-knox like chicken run. With corrugated iron in the ground and chicken wire 1.8m high, hopefully they will be safe during the day. 20 square meters should be enough for the hens to get some sun during the times that we are not home to supervise.

The rooster is an Araucana, and the hens are bantam Wyandottes.

A massive thank you to my helpers for making my ladies safe ... you know who you are. xx

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three big bulls

Tomorrow we are sending three bulls to a European Breeds Bull Sale.
Fingers crossed that they all find good homes. I will be sad to see them go, but am glad that they will have a chance to work and enjoy themselves!
Hopefully we don't come home with any of them.

White Rabbit

For the past week I have been watching a white, long-eared domestic rabbit eating grass in the morning and evening when driving to and from work. Each time I drive past, I smile with amazement that he has not been eaten by a fox.
At the same point of my 53km drive to and from work, I looked forward to seeing the rabbit. Unfortunately the rabbit was hit by a car. It turns out I was wrong about his danger being a fox.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two new arrivals

Today we were joined at the farm by Debra's new bull calf sired by Amaroo Upmarket.
Tonight the hens will be spending their first night with a 4 month old Andalusian x Wyandotte rooster.

Will try and add some pics over the weekend when both boys have settled in.

Monday, March 12, 2012

End of Summer

Summer has well and truly departed us for the 2011/2012 season. Before the season was over we even had a night cold enough that we had to light the fire.

Nothing too exciting has been going on at the farm lately, just more of the same stockwork and fencing (which I think will continue for months and months to come!).

The broody hen is still sitting and unfortunately nothing came of the eggs she was sitting on. We are hoping to pick up a rooster within the next few weeks, so maybe he will get her moving?!?

Here are some pictures I took around the farm today.


The two Spiny Spiders are quite common down in our 'swamp' paddock. Fortunately they are not venomous!

The black Angus calves are growing quickly. The calf with the splotchy face is the only multi-coloured calf on the property.
Afternoon rest


Chloe looking for a treat
The trees we planted with the help of Mum, Dad, Lana and Jarrod are all growing rapidly. I'm sure they will be giving the cows some shelter in no time.


I was planning to take Willy for a ride this weekend, but once again, he is lame. Not sure what it is this time, but he seems a little better today.

Buck is still obsessed with the Chickens. They now seem to play games with him. The latest was a chook standing on the window sill this afternoon. I'm sure Buck would have eaten her if there wasn't a window in between. Mind you, if there wasn't a window in between them, the chook probably would have been smart enough not to jump up there!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Broody hen

Last week one of our hens started sitting on the nest. I followed some advice given on various websites, including sitting the poor girl in cold water, but she kept returning to her nest.
After a week of sitting, I figured she could at least sit on some eggs, so I got Tom to bring home some eggs from his parents' house from two hens that live with 'Zorro' a black Andalusian rooster.
With some luck we might have some chicks in about 3 weeks time.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


With the dryer weather, the hay has now been cut. Only a small area was mowed, but we still managed to get 80 bales of hay.

After a multitude of bull calves, a heifer was born today. Despite the heat, the first time mum had no issues.

After taking the pictures tonight, I had a conga line of Blonde d'Aquitaines following me down the fence line.