Brian Larkin Pullets 12 wks Old

Six Layer Pullets just finding their feet in the new chookhouse
Here are the new chickens - three white pullets 12 weeks old and three older birds 20wks.  The buff bird at the front looks a little scraggily as she is moulting.  They had just been released into the chicken pen and were finding their feet.

12 week pullets from Brian Larkin, Tahmoor, NSW, Australia.
As you can see they began to scratch and peck immediately and sorted through the kitchen scraps we had out for them.

image of Black Australorp from Brian Larkin, Tahmoor.
There is a black bird - apparently a cross with an Australrop - I have had these types previously and they make great layers.  Also, note the beetle green sheen on the black feathers - it is very striking in the morning light.

image of a hybrid chicken from Brian Larkin
This bird was described as Grey by Brian Larkin - it has an almost tortoise-shell pattern and it will probably work well for camouflage from predators etc when it is free ranging.  
It is always exciting introducing new Birds into the flock.  Met with Brian Larkin this morning and recruited another half dozen of his birds into my flock.  Let's hope they have long and prosperous lives helping work the rainforest and are happy and productive on the egg front too!

Asked to take some images of the birds in the transport truck but was declined, as he feared they might be repercussions as people see the transport as inhumane for some reason.  I could not see why or how the conditions were not acceptable - it is tricky work moving a couple hundred chickens across the state. 

Anyway, lovely bloke and hope I don't have to buy any more for a while and the dog stays away from the girls and lets us all live in peace.

Brian Larkin Recommends

It is always advisable:

1) To run your flock of young pullets away from older birds at least until fully mature to help avoid picking up other established diseases that your older birds might have been exposed to and most likely have developed an immunity to.

2) Treat all new birds you add to your flock with a coccidiostat via the drinking water approx 10 days after bringing them home and make sure the new birds are fed on an appropriate ready mix feed, that also contains a coccidiostat until they are at least five to six months old.

Transplanting Cyathea cooperi

 Now the Cyathea cooperi has been in place in its' new position for about ten weeks, you can see that it has recovered from the shock of the move and is growing new fronds.  The three old fronds have slowly withered and the nutrients have moved back into the plant. 

I have not watered it by hand since I moved it, except for a long soaking on the day of the move.  Relying on rainfall and the milder climate over winter, it has re-shot a brace of three fronds and although they are thinner and won't be nearly as big as the previous fronds just yet, it is well on its' way to getting established.

 Just included a shot here of a friendly daughter to add some perspective - you can see how the trunk stands about 500mm emergent above the soil line, and remember there is at least that much in the potting mix around the base.

Here's hoping it keeps going on strong and is robust enough to survive the heat and wind of summer.

 This is a Cyathea planted at the same time as the transplanted one, and demonstrates clearly that tree ferns thrive once established and not disturbed. It is not my usual practice to lift and move plants around the garden for exactly this reason.

Here are some landscape shots of the garden as a whole - it is coming along nicely even though I have left it without any extra watering since February.  I like to let the soil dry out over winter.  I did go this morning and water for a good hour though, as without water everything grows very slowly.  And the winds of August dry things out even more.

And finally, introducing some of the newest members of the flock - some silver lace wyandottes bought from a lovely lady at the Maitland Wyandotte Show 2013.  At three and a half months, they might be a little vulnerable to the rest of the flock but I am offering them protection for a couple of weeks.  Just love that colour!