Today Mandy and I went to New Leaf Nurseries to buy three new chickens for the garden. To make the long journey up there worthwhile, we stopped at various places along the way... First stop on our road trip was pulling into a farmer's market, where you can buy fresh produce straight from the farm from a little stall in their garage. They had the biggest cauliflower Mandy or I had ever seen!
I picked up some sweet potatoes and Mandy grabbed some potatoes and we were off again. The next diversion along the way was to pick up some horse poo for Mandy's garden (which she is preparing for The Open Garden Scheme coming up on the 29th and 30th November) on the way in Duffy's Forest. It's such a lovely area with lots of bushland and horses.
New Leaf Nursery is such a fun place to visit. While we were there, there was a children's play group on, and they were giving out free popcorn to all the kids, who were feeding it to the resident pig, rather than to themselves. I have to apologise I didn't take any photos at New Leaf Nursery as I was simply too immersed in the experience, so you will just have to rely on my attempt to describe it, or do yourself a favour and find an excuse to go.
We perused the chickens and settled on two American breeds; a single Plymouth Rock, a breed known for their longevity, and two Rhode Island Red crosses, bred for excellent egg production. They had Isa Browns, a popular bird, particularly in batteries, due to their enormous egg production, but as Mandy said, if we got Isa Browns, then soon all there would be Isa Browns and these rarer breeds would die out.
They put each chicken in it's own box and helped us to the car with a bunch of other things we picked up on the way... including more food and shell grit for the girls!
Once we got the birds home to the garden, we opened up their boxes and left them to come out and very soon they were out and starting to explore their new world... which is a lot bigger and less overcrowded than their old one, but also is home to a brooding gang of chickens who are not so happy about the lack of consultation in this whole getting new chickens into THEIR enclosure situation.