The Darebin Backyard Harvest Festival is on every November. It’s a series of open gardens and workshops all about sustainable urban gardening. The events are all free for Darebin residents. I went to a permaculture workshop a few weeks ago, and a backyard chickens one yesterday, with Justin of ChookChat, who lives just a few blocks away from us. It was an excellent event – informative and entertaining. I am now even more determined to get chickens! My dad found an old broken coop on the curbside, and is restoring it for me. Recycled! Sustainable! Chicking!
The battery rescue chickens are ISA Browns – a breed developed to lay a lot in their first two years, and not much after that. Heritage breeds lay less eggs per week, but will lay for many more years. So I think I might get a mix – two rescue girls and one or two heritage. Hopefully they will all get along – I hear that introducing new birds to a flock can be quite stressful!
One of the biggest dangers for urban chickens is foxes. The fox population in Melbourne is huge – much bigger than in the country. Wherever you are in Melbourne, you are never more than 600m from a fox. Some estimates say there are up to 10 foxes per square kilometre. We will have to do some serious fox-proofing. And hopefully Dame Maggie will help protect the flock. Not chase them. I’ve been taking her to Ceres a lot to get her used to being around chickens. She loves watching them.