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Gentle Pullets 8/5 8 May, 2007

Filed under: Weekly useful stuff — makeityourown @ 9:39 am

Hi there and Happy Tuesday. This week: chickens and Breeze yarn. Thanks to those who left comments. If you visit my blog and haven’t commented, please leave one; it would make me very happy.

We have six lovely New England pullets (also known as point of lay hens). We bought them just before Easter for $13 each and 2 of them have finally decided to lay. When you buy point of lay hens you usually expect them to start laying within a week or two. I guess these were still a bit young. Pullets lay tiny eggs, like Bantam eggs. I don’t mind, I’m just pleased they’ve finally started. We have two geriatrics in a different area of the garden and one of them is laying sporadically. Eight chickens and only an egg every second day is not enough! New England chickens are medium brown with a collar of lighter feathers. As they grow, their combs will grow too and become dark red. They coo and cluck and gently scratch around, stretching their wings occasionally.

WHY KEEP CHICKENS?

We’ve kept chickens for about six years and they are very rewarding. The obvious benefit is the eggs, beautiful, deep yellow, fresh, delectable, untainted eggs. Nothing you buy can compare to a fresh homegrown egg and a perfect fried egg next to some good bacon is food made in Heaven. If you are into poaching eggs (I am), fresh is best and I mean laid a few hours ago. Chicken manure is very good for the garden. They eat all your left over food and scraps. Don’t underestimate how useful this is. You need never feel guilty about wasting food again; just give it to the chickens and convert it into eggs. They’ll eat most things and what they don’t eat will turn into compost on the ground. Chickens make nice pets. Ours are probably closer to livestock than pets to us but I still enjoy talking to them and hearing their soothing gentle clucking in response.

Even one or two will fit into most backyards and they are not expensive to feed; definitely cheaper than your average cat or dog. They need to be enclosed if you have a garden, have ready access to water and shelter, a comfortable, cosy place to lay and, of course food, every day. They also like mulch, pea straw or shredded paper to scratch around in to keep themselves entertained. Get some, man!

WHY NOT KEEP CHICKENS?

If you don’t like them. If you can’t be around to feed them everyday (missing a day here and there won’t hurt them but you wouldn’t want to do it regularly). If you don’t eat eggs. If you live in an apartment (well, duh).

SELBY’S YARN PICKS

imgp1142.jpg

Breeze by Heirloom, 30% wool, 69.6% cotton, 0.4% lycra, 50g, 95 metres.

Heirloom Breeze

Breeze is a very comfortable yarn to wear and and is enjoyable to knit with. I have knitted a pair of socks with it and they have the comfort and feel of a pair of cushioned sport socks. The high percentage of cotton makes for a cool garment, the wool counteracts the heaviness of cotton and the lycra gives elasticity, which is usually lacking in cotton. From others who have used this yarn, I hear that it lasts very well, especially if hand washed. It knits up to the same tension as an 8 ply so you could substitute it for other yarns easily enough. Because of its lightness and bounce, you should have no worries substituting it for pure wool and you will end up with a cooler garment (if that is what you prefer). There is an extensive range of colours and it retails for around $5.50. Excellent for cushiony socks, summer and mid season garments, garments for warm climates and baby gear.

Sorry: no book review this week. No excuse, I’m just lazy.

Tune in next week when I’ll probably be showing the fixing and altering of a friend’s woolly jumper and maybe some of the things I’m working on. Plus a book review and maybe a yarn review and maybe a podcast review and maybe…we’ll see.

Have a good week. Sarah.

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2 Responses to “Gentle Pullets 8/5”

  1. theoreticgal Says:

    I love my “girls” too. I have Isa Browns and they are great quiet unflapable chooks, which lay really well.

    re: Breeze also try Bendigo Harmony. The colour range is more limited than Breeze but price is great $AUD11/200gms http://www.bendigowoollenmills.com.au/products.php?cat=3

    I am still kicking myself for not grabbing some of the black they had last year but I can still gte it in Breeze.

  2. phant Says:

    i started with hamburgh bantams. i mixed them with polands. after 2 generations of interbreeding i now have something that looks like large crows. which was my intention after seeing one hen from the initial mix. they are very trusting and frequently come into my house to see what is going on. unfortunately i have just rescued a baby la beauceron puppy who seems to feel it is her job to cull the chickens everytime the electric fence is turned off.

    i love watching the chooks. they are so full of character.


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