Ha! Ha! Ha! Without doubt, only the locals will have a chuckle over the title of this post :-) But when we realised – well, it was just a sign that it was meant to be! (The Boxing Day Cricket Test is played at the MCG each Boxing Day with each team fielding 11 players.)
Julian and I were lying in bed, Boxing Day morning, exhausted from the appalling heat of Christmas Day – the temperature did not drop below 30 until after 2am! – and I’d managed to pull a muscle in my neck/shoulder (I think it was from letting a very sweet patient with broken ribs repeatedly pull on my hand to help him up into sitting position on Christmas Eve) – looking on Gumtree at the livestock available. It’s one of our favourite pasttimes :-)
And I said “Hey! There’s 8 Orpington pullets for sale at Cockatoo – with $5 roosters! They sound good. It’s so hard to buy good chooks – we really need to snap ’em up when we see them!”
Much to my amazement, Julian replied “Absolutely! Let’s send them a text and see if they’re still available.”
Oh my goodness! I was gleeful with excitement. No Boxing Day let down here – if we could go pick up a lovely flock of pullets and a few cockerels it would be just as fun as Christmas morning!
Julian sent the text and I kept looking – goats in Orbost, peacock eggs in NSW, no sheep anywhere, but gorgeous Alpacas here, there and everywhere. Within minutes, Mrs. Orpington replied. “Eight pullets available and as many roosters as you like! Come by around lunch!”
Oh yes please!
Well – it was so much more magical than we could possibly have imagined! The best Boxing Day EVER!
Mr and Mrs Orpington were the loveliest couple. They have a lovely permaculture establishment – chickens and turkeys roaming around the property. 2o odd guinea pigs tearing around the fabulous large hoop netted gardens – 3 metres high, with about a 9 by 20 metre perimetre – they were hysterically cute – used for cultivating the raised garden beds and keeping down the weeds. One hoop garden is for vegetables – the other larger one is full of fruit trees. And their lovely deck was covered in pots of vegies all ready for transplanting into the guinea pig tilled beds.
We stayed over 2 hours. They shared so much of their knowledge and experience – and we invited them up to Wombat Hill Farm.
We packed 7 pullets, 3 cockerels and 1 little unknown into a very large plastic dog kennel (I picked it up from hard rubbish – washed it out, dried it well and filled it with fresh straw) in the back of the car and brought them back to Bootville where they’ll spend just 2 weeks in the rabbit/guinea pig aviary before moving on up to the farm. Their initial job there will be to till the vegetable beds – Julian’s making them movable A-frames.
But before too long, he will hopefully have their permanent home ready. A nice little house on stilts with a deep litter grilled floor and ramp, in a fenced field about 30 x 40 metres, with plenty of shady Apple gums – just in front of the house garden. We’ve even planned where we will put some nice outdoor chairs so that we can sit in the shade and watch these lovely chickens grow and roam.
And Fu’s going to have to learn how to be as respectful and obedient around the livestock as Mr. and Mrs. Orpington’s lovely Sophie dog is. It’s going to be a steep learning curve, that one.