Monthly Archives: November 2015

November 15, 2015

Chickens for Wellbeing

When someone talks to me about chickens two things happen. I have a warm fuzzy moment as I absolutely love chooks and then the next thought is oh, what is wrong now? Most people talk to me about chickens when there is something wrong with them and I am happy to try and help. As a child I seem to remember bantam roosters who attacked me but as a teenager and adult I have had the most amazing good natured roosters.

As a teenager I used to chat to a local farmer about chickens, who inspired me to start showing them and my love grew from there. My brother gave me some chickens, and I remember a white hen who  had a very bad ear infection and medication did not fix her completely. She could not eat by herself due to bad balance and coordination but could walk around and scratch. So I made a special spoon and fed her daily, straight down the throat. She lived a number of happy years after her illness. My father gave me some Minorca chickens, a rare Spanish breed, but the catch was they were in Tasmania. I imported them to the mainland and showed and bred these magnificent birds. I had a gorgeous Old English Game pair walk in off the street and showed them and they then reproduced. Then there was Nigel, a rooster who started as Nigella who I rescued from a rental property. She just kept growing and growing and started crowing, and became Nigel (pictured below). He grew to 10kg and lived a happy life for 2 years until he died quickly of a heart attack. He must have been a meat chicken who are meant to be culled at 5 weeks of age. He was a gentle giant. Are you seeing a pattern of chickens as gifts here?

Nigel

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November 5, 2015

Elderflower Cordial Homegrown and Homemade

The days are heating up and there is nothing nicer than enjoyinghome made cordial free of anything artificial. Why not grow an attractive tree and enjoy the flowers from it.

The Tree

tree

Elderflower trees can be purchased at nurseries and large hardware stores in the nursery section, usually where the herbs are stored. The tree does well in poor dry soils (yes you read correctly) and full sun.  Elderflower is fast growing and grows to approximately 3 metres high and wide and makes a good hedge also.

The Flowers

elderflower 003

Elderflowers can be used in

  • salads
  • baking (muffins etc)
  • cordial
  • champagne

Not only is the flower useful but insects like them too and I noticed the dwarf green tree frogs have realised this as well. The frogs sit on the end of branches near the flower to catch their prey.

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