Posted by: ainslieb | April 16, 2009

chickens, new starts and pullets

For the unwise amongst us – me included – a chook ready to start laying is called a pullet – it is about 21 weeks old and ready to start popping them out so to speak! We can buy eggs and incubate them for the whole process – but then they really are pets – or you can buy day-old – same issue as previous – or you can buy a pullet. Then there are about 20 breeds to choose from depending on size of egg, size of bird, number of eggs they lay a week and in a lifetime! It just goes on and on.

And then of course as I am too keen for my own good, I want them immediately – well at least within a month of moving in. But it is heading into winter. And here begins my sustainable growing education. I have been known to be pushy – to get what I want, when I want it. Turns out – I have to wait for the right season…. how infuriating! This is going to a lesson I am going to have to learn over and over during the coming months as I have to learn to let nature take it’s course and wait. You would think I have had to do that with having babies – but they were both premature so I got my way then too!

I have sent off a few queries but all the sites have nothing for sale and I suspect the small quantity of chooks I want will be insignificant for them. This happened with our Aquaponics experiment. Colin and I invested a fair amount in an aquaponics unit which included a 1000L tank to grow fish that would in turn fertilise vegetables. We were told it would take 8 weeks to take hold and we would be growing the most fantastic vegies. Ha! nearly 5 months down the track we are getting some good growth – but really minimal for the money and we have 30 Silver Perch that are about a finger long. They eat alot and they hide in the dark so we can’t even see them. When we went to purchase them we had to drive to the hills and the fish farmer was faily cynical about the amount of fish we wanted – he normally only sold in ‘000 lots, and then in our capability. He gave us a tub of tadpoles as we thought that would be good for the kids to watch and I love frogs. They went in the new pond with the Goldfish and they no longer exist -either they hopped away or were eaten! We have ut our Aquaponics learning down to poor positioning in a terrible house with bad wind and direct sunlight with no shade. The new place will be different – my green thumb is ready to grow!

A small note on the lovely response from people who took the time to read my first post – you are all so kind and I look forward to you joining me on this journey. Please become followers or subscribe to catch the updates. And just to add a tips section – Katie, who I haven’t spoken to since school, but have linked up on Facebook – made this great suggestion I thought I should add:

“Something else simple is encourage school and daycare to have litter free lunches. ie sandwich in appropriate box – no glad wrap, yogurt from 1 litre container in small container etc. There is no need for pre-packaged crap at school/daycare or home. Poppers are killing the planet. Drink water or put whatever else in a flask like the old days.” Katie Spouse Perera

Please send or add comments with your own suggestions to help make our kids greener – every little tip is new information to someone out there, and we have to believe that every little thing we all do can make a difference.




  1. Unfortunately goldfish do eat tadpoles.
    One of the problems with your fish growing, possibly, is that they will only grow to fill the available space. ie in a small space you can only grow a few fish. Maybe get rid of the goldfish and put some of the fingerlings in there.
    I’ll be interested to hear how the aquaponics goes as feller wants one. I’m not convinced they are worth it, but haven’t seen one first hand.

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