30 July 2013
Flock 35 Arrive
Do chickens fly? Yes, in aeroplanes!
I had never given much thought to how a new laying flock starts at the farm before arriving at Mulloon Creek. I knew Queen Bees travelled the country by mail. Well, day old chicks take to the skies by plane before they've even learned to flap their wings.
We greeted Flock 35 at Canberra airport before loading them onto the truck for the drive to the farm. 2,600 chicks make quite a racket - much cheeping and scratching of little feet on cardboard.
The farms current flocks are all Bond Browns, however, Graham decided to mix it up a bit this time and we have 50% Bond Browns and 50% Bond Blacks. Blacks have been raised on the farm previously, and we thought it was time to give them another go and see how they compare in the open range environment. They're also known for laying a smaller egg, something we've been in short supply of once the Browns really hit their straps on the laying front.
It's an exciting day introducing a new flock to the farm, and carefully unloading all those warm, little wriggling bodies by hand is a sheer delight. As you release them onto the floor they either sit quietly taking in their new environment, or shoot off like bullets running to food and water. Just like our hens in the paddocks they all have different personalities, some hang with the crowd while others venture to the furthest reaches of their environment and love a good explore.
We've nicknamed Flock 35 "Salt & Pepper" - as there's a good sprinkling of colour through the flock.