John’s Blog 2 the Great Backyard Chicken Disconnect beautiful chickens and maybe a beautiful garden or both
We have this dream of a lovely backyard neat and tidy landscaped and beautiful and some gorgeous chickens wandering around chasing a bug and picking a weed, making calming sounds. And yet it doesn’t always work. This blog is about realizing the dream. And restoring chickens to their place as your most useful companion animal.

Chickens are part of my dreaming.
I am an older bloke with a bush yearning and an urban address. And a love of chickens.
Like so many of us, if you go back to the early 20th century, my forebears left the farm to come to the city. That family in turn had decades before left Devon England and recycled their original farm name to their first Australian farm “Hatchlands”. So I had school holidays on a poultry farm and kept a few chooks when we could. I love chooks and they love me.
I grew up with a family machinery business, got a good education, and spent years in a rich and rewarding mix of church work, academia and landscape gardening.

Chicken problems and chicken solutions
Many happy gardeners, about a year after the herb garden and vegie patch is established, begin to dream of chickens.
Those who acted on the dream sometime have a heart rending story of ruined gardens and fox attacks, and return the chooks to a shed life, cooped up in a lost corner of the garden.
And ruined gardens
As the owners of gardens told of their problems and mistakes I found that the problems repeated themselves again and again, and equally that many had simple solutions. And all were capable of fixing.
So when we were on an airline flight in Southern China, Janine pointed out an article on renting chickens in Midwest USA, and Garden Chicks was born in my head. Eventually Garden Chicks turned out to be more about systems and solutions than renting.

Frankly chickens need saving
If there are 20 billion chickens in the world, most would rather be in your backyard. Chickens, like all domesticated animals, saw some good in being with humans. So let us repent of the 1950’s atrocities of cruel industrial animal-caged farming and give them a better life. They are truly delightful and engaging pets, and very useful and provide gourmet eggs.

Garden Chicken User Group Vacancies great offer – free loan coop
We are looking for a few more people in our user groups, so if you live in South Australia and would like some chickens get in touch.
You need to be a caring person who is kind to chickens and who can contribute to our group with reports on equipment and trials. And who will comment on blogs. If you like reading and book editing, that is not essential, but it would be excellent.
Contact johnh@gardenchicks.com.au

Photo Competition send in any chicken photos
Best photo each month competition gets a $20 voucher at Goble and Sons Marleston SA, and posted in the blog.
And this or any other photo used in the book “Keep a Chicken and Save the World” also gets a voucher.