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.