The Chicken Diaries #7 (Special: The Chickens of Indonesia-Ayam-Part 3 of 3)

Part 1 of the Indonesian Chickens Special is here.

Dear Diary,

I know I know, I’m posting a LOT of roosters that the human took photos of.  I’m a red blooded (and feathered) ladychicken after all.

Until now I hadn’t realised how rooster starved I was!

Ok last one.

This time I really mean it.


I know I’m a plus sized hen as Isa Browns were bred especially for making eggs and so it’s strange for me to see chickens that are so sleek. Such beautiful feathering.

Even the plainest ones are nice.

 

Okay I couldn’t resist.  This is the Girlfriend of the chicken couple we saw in Part 1. I noticed they both have very upright tail feathers. Our human said they were both very dwarfish in stature.

Looks at the golden flecks through the black.

It’s no wonder her Boyfriend keeps her close.

He is fiercely protective of her.

While she is obviously the Yin of the pair.

The human wasn’t very happy with the next set of photos. He really doesn’t like seeing animals in small cages, especially winged ones that are prevented from soaring the sky. He used Google image search to find out that this is called a Black-naped Oriole. It was in the carpark of the Central Inn Senggigi.

That’s a red papaya in the background for them to peck at.

The human went for a massage at Puri Mas Spa which he said was easily the best of all the massages in the Senggigi area of Lombok (lucky him right?). Inside the grounds there were numerous cages holding many exotic birds and animals.

The human is trying to find out what it is but in the meantime I’ll just call it the supermodel bird. The photos were taken on his mobile instead of the DSLR and do not do the colours justice.

That’s it dear diary. I will definitely be stowing away the next time the human goes on holiday. I mean seriously, I could have just hung out with my cousin chickens and had a grand old time.

As I say goodnight dear diary I put to you this philosophical chicken pondering of the day: I wonder if chickens in different countries speak in different cluck language?

 

The Chicken Diaries #7 (Special: The Chickens of Indonesia-Ayam-Part 2 of 3)

Part 1 of the Indonesian Chickens Special is here.

So Dear Diary,
It seems it’s not just us ladychickens who think our human is weird. The Indonesians were wondering why the crazy tourist was running around taking lots of photos of chickens. They were pointing at him and laughing, probably thinking the fascination with chickens is because they don’t have any in Australia. On second thought I’m so glad we didn’t go on holiday with the human, it would have been so embarrassing being associated him him.

 

Look at the bronze highlights on this beautiful lady. She must be schooling her little chick with some important information. It’s hard to believe that tiny little bub will grow up to be as big as its mum.

 

Some youngsters up to no good having just jumped out of the gutter with great difficulty due to lack of strength.

 

They should have stayed and helped their little friend who didn’t think about how to get out, before jumping into the gutter of fun.

These little ones were just hanging out on an old school desk. Probably waiting for the teacher.

 

Such a good mamma hen caring for her little chicks. Motherhood looks like such hard work.

 

 

What is with these Indonesian manchickens and their beautiful feathers. If the damn human had taken us with him I could be sipping wormjuice cocktails by the beach and having a summer romance with the like of this lovely fellow.

Oh my, the way I’m carrying on you’d think I’d never seen a rooster before! Oh wait, I haven’t. Damn you egg-farm life! A curse on rooster free councils too!

Well lah-dee-dah. Look at  Haute Couture here. But OMG seriously how good is that plumage! I could never afford to shop at that store.

I’m feeling a bit insecure with my plain old red feathers. Look at that array of colour!

Seriously eat a worm already you skinny…….. Oh my goodness dear diary, I can’t believe I just said that. I promised myself I’d never be that kind of ladychicken and here I am catching myself getting all envious. I’m so sorry.

Time to move on after that embarrassing little outburst. Here’s some teenagers hanging together as teenagers are wont to do.

 

Looks like they’re wearing their gang member bands for easy identification in the hood. I’ve heard of such things. I’m a knowledgeable chicken.

 

Part 3 here. So many pretty chickens!

 

Diatomaceous Earth – Natural Chicken Insecticide Parasite Protection

What is Diatomaceous earth? It’s basically rock containing fossilised micro skeletal remains. It’s usually crushed into various grade of powder and used in different applications.

How does diatomaceous earth work as a natural insecticide? The simplified version is that it’s the equivalent of insects dragging their bodies across a field of super sharp razors that cut through their exoskeleton (armour). As to its efficacy, I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Seeing as I was new to chicken keeping I thought it best to outlay the cost to give the chooks a head start, especially given they were coming from an egg production farm with a condensed living environment and could be bringing mites and other bugs with them. The chickens already had a lot of feather loss and I had no idea how much of that was due to parasites.
Here’s an article to leave you a little more confused   :o)
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/05/diatomaceous-earth-de-benefitrisk.html
How to use it with chickens? You can add it to their feed as well as put it in their dust baths and nesting boxes. I use it mostly as an additive to their dedicated dust bath area. I just mix it into the top layer of sand and the chickens do the rest.

It’s a super fine particle so you will want to wear a dust mask when handling it. After all your don’t want mini razors in your lungs right? I never handle it on days that have even the slightest wind. Other than the respiratory factor it just goes everywhere with the slightest gust when you try to place it. If I don’t have a mask I definitely pull my T-shirt up over my nose ninja style. It’s not perfect but a better precaution than than not doing so. It’s been nearly a year and the chickens have no respiratory conditions that I know of. I stir the DE in with the sand and I think it binds to the sand grains reducing the amount that floats up in the air while still getting flicked under their wings.

You’ll find most diatomaceous products in Au come from Mt Sylvia.
I use their DE.Fines with my chickens (Yes it’s food grade, check out the link below to Mt Sylvia). I spoke to their rep and he said the Absorbacide is ~10 microns and the Fines are ~30 microns.
Seriously, at that level you know there’s going to be 10micron particles in amongst the ‘massive’ 30 micron ones.

When I got pricing I rang mostly produce stores thinking they’d have cheap bulk pricing but they all seemed to be ludicrously expensive too. Pricing ranged from $9/kg up to $60+/kg !
I highly recommend Farmcraft in Acacia Ridge. I get a lot of my rural supplies from them. My Barastoc Golden Yolk feed for $15 (lot  places are $20-$22) and my DE Fines cost $39.95/20kg bag  That’s ~$2/kg!
Just call ahead as you may need to order it in.
There’s a very good chance the smaller packaged expensive DE you get comes from Mt. Sylvia. You can read all about their products here.
http://www.mtsylviadiatomite.com.au/product

I chose fines because I figured there’d be absobicide sized grains in there as well as the 30 micron grains, which it does. It was my balance between insecticide capabilities and possible respiratory issues for the chooks (and myself). Plus it was the best bang for buck. I’m trying to minimise inputs to my permaculture system but I’m not going to be able to grab a shovel and start mining DE so I may as well keep these costs down by buying a large bag that’ll last for ages.