Raising chickens

Wanting to have dual purpose meat and egg birds, we ordered a batch of fertilised Light Sussex eggs, all the way from WA (closest we could find them).

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Into the incubator for 21 days, with the last 3 days ‘off rotation’ so they did not turn, increased the humidity and decreased the temperature.

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They hatched over a 24 hour period and we left them in there to dry (they get food from the yolk for the first 24 hours).

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Yeoman’s Keyline plowing a success

Having done some Yeoman’s keyline plowing in January and throughout a little of Autumn, the results are now pretty clear…

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Not only is there increased green leaf compared to the rest of the paddock which is quite yellow, but there is also a change in pasture composition, to microleana and/or phalaris (the original pasture before fire).

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These pastures have had nothing else done to them, and, although have recent rain, it is below the yearly average…

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Breeding baby chickens

1 day old baby Light Sussex chickens. We started with 3 dozen in the incubator. 1 dozen got discarded due to being infertile eggs or not forming a proper embryo. So far we have 8 hatched and healthy, and a few more eggs we’ll give to the end of the day…

In the incubator.

Newly hatched

New home after 24 hours

Huddling together…

Chicken Tractoring

We started with 6 Isa Brown chickens to test our our newly built chicken tractor.

We added another 20 and moved them from the yard out into the paddock using 50m electric feathernetting.

The tractor has roosting in it, plus laying boxes, and the hens return there each night, as well as laying their eggs inside the tractor. They are moved onto fresh pasture every 3 or 4 days so that they can scratch for bugs in fresh grass and fertilise the soil as they go. They are given supplementary feed for their health as well as shell grit to … CONTINUE READING

Summer 2013 – water, bushfires, regeneration and lots of learning

Summer 2013 at ‘Caroola’

Summer 2013, what can I say, huge exposure to external influences, including bushfire and lots of rain, but continued planning and a solid and exciting way forward!

Water…

Water, as any permaculture designer will attest, is one of the most important issues for designing a productive system. Suffice to say the water situation at Caroola needed improving. Whist rainwater runs freely into tanks, the capacity and pressure is not enough to service future stock, tree and garden needs. There is a water easement to the nearby Mulloon Creek and an unequipped bore as well, but working … CONTINUE READING

Wrapping up 2012 at ‘Caroola’

The last few months of 2012 at ‘Caroola’ were a hive of activity, with many visitors taking the opportunity to help out along the way…

Planning

After deciding I needed to take the ‘planning’ approach, rather than just diving head on in to activities around the house and on the farm, I engaged Cam Wilson to look at overall farm design for me. So a fair bit of time was spent collating information, thinking about my objectives and measuring areas.

Zone 0

In between times, the focus was on sorting out inside the house in order to accommodate the family. … CONTINUE READING

A tour of the dams

Finally, a free, relatively cool, afternoon to go for a paddock walk… forget the shovel (although I probably should have taken it), we were looking at dams!!!

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Now, I have to say I don’t know a lot about dams other than I can see when they are muddy, eroded, empty, full and so forth… So, it was great to have someone who knew a little more about it to tag along.

We started by just looking at one dam, with the dog in tow (although he was supposed to be ahead warning us of snakes), and … CONTINUE READING