I’ve been doing some research on keeping chickens in our backyard. We are allowed six fowls according to the Brisbane City Council:
Household premises with a total area of more than 800 square metres can keep up to 20 fowl, including ducks, geese and peacocks without a permit.
If your residential premises has a total area less than 800 square metres you can keep up to six fowl.
Poultry sheds must be set back at least one metre from a dividing fence.
I’m pretty sure we will just keep chickens as Big M says ducks and geese are really messy. I was expecting to see something in the law about not allowing roosters.
I’m tossing up between Australorps which Jackie French raves about – they are good layers and make good eating. They are docile, great mothers and are good if you have children. Better yet, they are an Australian breed so they are adjusted to our climate. Silkies will leave your vegetable beds alone and make excellent pets for kids. They are placid and tolerate being handled. We eventually decided on three Australorps, so that we’ll have enough eggs for ourselves and some extra to sell or give away.
chook house, which includes weatherproof shelter and a perch
The Battery Hen Adoption Project was started to give battery hens a second chance at life. We look for long term loving homes where the hens can live a happy life after being in a battery cage. They very quickly adjust to life outside a cage and start acting like ‘normal’ chickens within a day.
The hens will continue to lay for many years which in turn provides the adoptive family healthier free range eggs that have been produced without causing suffering to others. If you feed your hens kitchen scraps you are also reducing land fill. Matured chicken manure is a great fertilizer for the garden. Chickens make wonderful companion animals, as they are very social and intelligent creatures.
The hens are bought from a battery farm just prior to when they would have been slaughtered. The hens are around eighteen months old. We buy as many hens as we have homes for. We ask for a donation which goes towards the cost of purchasing the hens from the farm, transport cost, vet bills, feed and bedding as well as ongoing admin costs such as telephone and printing.
Homes for Hens is based in Brisbane, Queensland and can sometimes help with transport to other areas, including the country.
If you are interested in adopting a chicken, email email@example.com.You will be added to the list of adopters and be contacted in a few weeks before we confirm you are still able to take hens.
Here’s my basic healing stock recipe (aka bone broth). I’ve keep the list of ingredients simple so that if you are on an elimination diet you can add or subtract as needed. It’s best to prepare this recipe when you are going to be home all day. The longer you simmer the bones the more nutritious your end result will be.
Meat stock aids digestion and has been know for centuries as a healing folk remedy for the digestive tract. Also homemade meat stock is extremely nourishing; it is full of minerals, vitamins, amino-acids and various other nutrients in a very bio-available form.
- Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride
It is also best to use organic bones as they will have more nutrients. The best bones to use are soup, shank, ribs, marrow, oxtail or knuckle bones. If you are using organic carrots you can leave them unpeeled as most of the nutrients are in the skin, otherwise peel them.
If you are going to be making a few batches of stock in the coming weeks and want to save time later, you can cut up all of the vegetables (carrots, celery and parsley) and put them in zip lock bags to freeze for when you have some more bones ready.
chicken carcass; or bones (with marrow preferred)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 celery stalks, including the leaves
Celtic sea salt
Add the bones to the pot and cover with water. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help get maximum nutrients out of the bones.
Cut up the celery stalks, carrot and parsley finely and then add them to the pot. Add a teaspoon a sea salt.
Simmer with lid on for at least 4 hours, but preferably 8 hours or more.
Skim off any scum from the top using a spoon. Top up with water as required.
When finished, allow the stock to cool and then pour stock through a strainer and transfer to storage. You can also use cheese cloth or chux wipes to strain the stock. Pick off any meat to eat later. Discard the bones.
If you want to remove the fat when you are finished cool the stock down and then place in the refrigerator overnight. The fat will rise to the top and you will be able to remove the solidified layer with a spoon. When often strain the mixture a second time in the morning. If your stock has jellied it is rich in gelatin.
The stock will keep for at least a week in the fridge or can be frozen in zip-lock bags.
Other optional ingredients to add:
2 tbsps thyme
4 cloves of garlic (if not fructose intolerant)
1-2 onions or leeks (if not fructose intolerant)
cabbage (if not raffinose intolerant)
Coq au vin is a classic dish from the Burgandy region of France. It is a typically a red-wine stew made from young chickens with onions, mushrooms and bacon. In France they will use their local wine.
This popular dish may be called coq au Chambertin, coq au riesling, or coq au whatever wine you use for its cooking. It is made with either white or red wine, but the red is more characteristic.
- Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking
If time permits marinate the chicken in the wine overnight to give it greater depth of flavour.
Julia Child recommends serving with only parsley potatoes and perhaps buttered green peas.
Richard Olney sums up ‘Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic’ as a classic, Provencal method for preparing roast chicken. The garlic cooks down to being a mild flavour, sweet but nutty and not over-powering as you might expect.
Try to use garlic cloves from your home country.
The dish can be served with rice, buttered noodles or fresh bread.
Providing a dedicated home for the animals in your garden will contribute to their health and well-being. Encouraging native wildlife to nest or visit will ensure they return to your garden to play an active role in keeping down pest numbers. Did you know that micro-bats love eating mosquitoes and can catch up to 500 insects per hour?
Here are some alternative and funky animal homes to consider: