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Australian Game Chickens


australian-game-chick

Isn’t she the prettiest little chick?  She’s an Australian Game, a tall long-legged breed, excellent mums, decent layers, decent meat birds, and very good at foraging for themselves.  They are not the least bit lazy, but spend most of the day scratching in any mulch or leaf litter or ground, finding insects and seeds and larvae.  They are also good at escaping from predators.

We have a little flock of them now, in electric net fencing that we move around the orchard and “Zone 3” area. I still have my other flock rotating around my garden beds, clearing and fertilizing for me but there’s a niche in zone 3 that needs a scratching omnivore to turn over leaf litter, keep ground cover plants down, balance up insect populations, and the Australian Games are proving a good breed for it.

The garden rooster is Mr Fluffy Feet.  He’s a bantam cross, very pretty, with feathered feet.  He has a motley mix of girls, some bantam cross, some ISA brown cross, one Australorp cross.  He must have some Silkie in him, because there are no Silkie hens and yet several of last year’s chicks look like Silkie crosses, and the white babies this year look like they migh turn out the same.  The “Out” rooster is Mr Tough Guy. He’s tall and very elegant and very protective of his girls.  He has a dozen Australian Game hens.  We put a dozen eggs from both pens under this mum, and she hatched ten of them.  Her sister has hatched another twelve out of fourteen eggs.  It will give us roosters for the pot and new hens for eggs, and some very pretty chickens for admiring.

chickens

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Jane November 29, 2016, 11:45 am

    Oh how lovely! I have never heard of that breed. Do you have a photo of an adult hen? I have some black Australorp crosses and a lovely natured rooster who I think must have some leghorn in him. He is called Roast as he was going to be eaten when he started to fight with his father Foggy, but they got along ok and eventually Foggy attacked the three Rottweilers next door, and that was the end of poor Foggy, so Roast had a reprieve. I have never killed a chook how do you kill your roosters?

  • Jane November 29, 2016, 11:55 am

    I found some photos on the internet. The chooks look like they should be in some dinosaur movie. They look very interesting I think I could get hooked on them if I had the chance.

  • Linda November 29, 2016, 2:18 pm

    Lewie does it. He just chops their head off. It’s very quick and not cruel, and though plucking and cleaning is a job, it is worth it for real free range chook.

  • Jane November 29, 2016, 4:20 pm

    Well I just wondered how he gets them to keep still as he chops. I remember helping to clean and pluck as a young child but never saw them killed. Anyway luckily I suppose I only had a chook go broody once, she hatched two chicks one hen, which an eagle took last summer, and one rooster, Roast who is still very much alive and takes good care of his girls.

  • Dean March 9, 2017, 2:57 pm

    Hi Linda,
    I don’t need to read your recipes because I’ve been busily devouring your book, word by word, since receiving it as a Christmas present from a very wise aunt. I’m about (the next 18 months or so) to embark on a career and tree change, moving from the remote Kimberley to western Victoria (near Ararat). I realise I’ll need on the ground experience and to talk to my neighbours a lot, but do you have any contacts of people operating a 7 mandala system in a cooler, drier temperate climate? I’m trying to incorporate great ideas and avoid pitfalls from the outset as I do my pencil and paper work in designing my garden.
    I’d appreciate any help with this.
    Thanks, Dean.

  • Steve Zapirain June 2, 2017, 1:22 pm

    Do you know of any breeders in australia thankyou.

  • Linda June 2, 2017, 1:30 pm

    Sorry Steve. I got mine from a local person in northern NSW who raises them in his backyard.

  • Sally May 13, 2018, 2:37 pm

    Hi Linda, I have just found you through your book, ex op shop find. Read the book cover to cover yesterday. Making a tree change to Healesville Vic. 3/4 acre, an avid gardener but still learning and love reading other people’s ideas.
    One question, how do I scale down your mandalas to garden just for one person. I am happy to share and have plenty to live on, but not an abundance that causes me to have wastage. Your ideas for this type of gardening is amazing. I’ve had chooks before, so will def. use them to turn the garden over, but will use a more secure house at night.
    I would appreciate your help with setting the garden out to scale for a smaller return.
    Yah, I start building next week. Love your post.

    Sally

  • Linda May 18, 2018, 7:28 am

    Hi Sally, a mandala will provide you with much more than you need for one person, but then, on the other hand, it doesn’t take a great deal of work and it will give you plenty of extra for trade or gifting. You’ll find a few people who are permaculturing using the book ideas in Victoria commented on this post: http://witcheskitchen.com.au/victorian-permaculturists/#comments. Really though, every site demands its own design. I think people make a mistake taking my mandala design holus bolus and transplanting it to their site and life. Best advice I have is to allow yourself some time to play with the ideas and how they might be useful to you, with pencils and paper and a contour map of your site, and several cups of tea.

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