So we are on the cusp of ticking off the seventh month out here on the land, and we don’t have a single farm animal! What on earth are we thinking! This unsatisfactory predicament must be remedied immediately!
So I grabbed the laptop, flipped open the lid, opened Firefox and brought up Gumtree. As soon as it loaded (which took a while as our 3g internet was shaped to 64kbps – oh the joy) I typed into the search box: “chickens” and “Mudgee” as the search area. I didn’t even know what kind of chickens we wanted, all I knew was that homesteading without chickens ain’t homesteading at all.
First result that came up was for Australorp chicks. OK, I’ve heard of Australorps, but darned if I know if they’re a layer or a meat bird! Google, help me out, please. And, to my pleasant surprise, I read that Australorps are a dual-purpose breed, that is they are great layers (once held the world record) and are also heavy birds, that is, good for meat. Fantastic!
It just so happened that our twentieth wedding anniversary was coming up the next week and we were planning a trip into Mudgee (a little over an hour away) for a lunch somewhere nice. The kids had been allocated to two sets of friends and we were just going to have our 16 month old to dote over in between doting over each other (that was the plan anyhow). So I call the guy and tell him we’ll take ten and we’ll pick them up next week, while we’re in town. No problem.
Long story short, we ended up spending much of our 20th between vets (dog decided to eat a bee or something and his face was all swollen), supermarkets (we were pretty much out of supplies), produce stores (needed chicken starter feed) and picking up the chicks. In a way all that was kind of suitable, considering how we have spent the last twenty years of marriage! I will admit to being a pretty miserable grump though.
But, despite all that, we did manage a wonderful Thai dinner before heading home with our new brood.
Oh, and I couldn’t help it, I bought as many as I could with the cash I had on me, so we ended up with 13, rather than 10. No idea what the sexes are so we’re hoping for a 50/50 split (or more on the female side of the ledger, if that can be managed).
So, two noteworthy milestones right there. Twenty years of marriage to my beautiful, loving wife and the first flock of chickens for NineRocks!
Life is just wonderful!