How it all began …

During our three years in England, we lived in a converted Yorkshire farm building on a working dairy farm. A mama hen and her eight chicks used to visit us from the farm across the road. We liked them. We used to buy packets of sunflower seeds to feed to them. They would sit on Jo’s feet while she was trying to hang out the washing.

Then, when were on holiday in Shropshire, we came across The Wernlas Collection: a conservation centre that specialises in Rare Breeds of poultry.

We spent about three hours wandering around in the drizzle, and saw more breeds than we had any idea existed. La Fleche, Brahmas, Transylvanian Naked Necks, Sicilian Buttercups, Legbars … oh boy.

Thank heaven for digital cameras.

So when we came back home to NZ and moved back into our old place, with it’s proto-orchard and large lawn, we thought “why not get some chickens?” So we began reading up on Matters Galline (Domestic). We decided we wanted to build a Chicken Tractor, to make best use of the space available. And so began the construction of the word’s most over-engineered chook house. (Construction photos can be viewed here.) We had a deadline – the Rare Breeds Auction at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve on March 11th, 2007. Surely we would find the chickens of our dreams there!

The 11th of March 2008 will mark one full year as Chicken Owners. (Although, given that Delilah was our first chicken, the question of who owns whom is yet to be settled.) We’re well and truly hooked. And like all addicts, want to hook others into our madness.

When completed, this website will have photos, stories, egg tallies, weights and general waffle about Our Girls.

Find out:

  • Did Bessie manage to raise her bubs? And how long before she laid again?
  • Is Ella doomed to be The Fluff Monster forever?
  • Will Venus regain her position as Top Layer before winter?
  • How will the integration of the two flocks go?
  • Which of the Peeps will lay first?

and most importantly,


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