Chickens in the Backyard

Episode: 9
Title: Chickens in the Backyard
Broadcast: 31st October 2015
Presenter: Steve Wood

Steve shows you how to keep the best chickens for your garden.

  • There are a broad variety of chickens to keep and one of it to choose from is the gorgeous Australorp. It is an Australian heritage breed and has the most beautiful friendly nature. Traditionally, the Australorp is black but colour variations are available.
  • Australorps will lay on average around 250 eggs per year but some of the commercial breeds such as Isa Browns or lovely Hi Line’s can produce over 320 eggs per year.  The Australorps can have a life span of up to 10 years. Expect less from the commercial breeds but in saying this they still make wonderful pets.
  • When we choose heritage breeds such as Well Summers, Plymoths, New Hamshires and Australorps, they are often breed by chicken enthusiasts. If you are purchasing them as chicks, sexing them can sometimes be difficult which is why it is vital that the breeder you choose has a rooster take back policy.
  • Chickens can be fed kitchen scraps and leftovers that are supplemented with wheat, sunflower seeds and a balanced poultry mix. They love greens and it’s the carotenoids in leafy foliage that makes homegrown eggs so golden and full of flavour.
  • Having a chicken coop with a few gadgets aren’t essential but it does make keeping chickens a little bit easier such as a feed bin costing less than $15 from a local discount store and a 90mm storm water elbow will ensure that the chickens can easily access without flicking their food around the place as they search for their favourite seeds and it is also out of the reach of pests and rodents.
  • An automatic door closer is set to shut the doors on sunset once the chickens have come inside to roost, keeping them protected from foxes that may roam the area at night.
  • A quirky watering system is also convenient and is refilled each time the reticulation comes on.
  • Keeping chickens or bantams is such a wonderful way to bring a little bit of the farm into our backyards, allowing kids the chance to connect with nature.
  • A happy chicken needs as little as 10 square metres per bird and an added bonus is the regular supply of one of the best manures available for your garden.