On Thursday 25th February the Harinui Syndicate went for a visit to Mrs de Koning’s house. We went to spend time with her chickens, learning about caring for them. We took both school vans and some parents took their children in cars.
We sat on the deck and put our bags in the shade to keep cool. We wore our sun hats to keep us fromm getting sunburned. Mrs de Koning went to open up her chicken run and let out the hens. Mrs Green had brought some stale bread for th4e chickens. They like to eat bread and other kitchen scraps like vegetables, fruit, rice and potatoes.
Mrs de Koning talked about how she cared for her birds. They need lots of clean, fresh water – .specially during the hot days of summer. Mrs de Koning has 9 chickens all together and they drink a lot. She also showed us the wood shavings she lines the nesting box with. Sometimes she uses straw instead. Also she showed us the chicken pellet mix. It has all the goodness in it that chickens need to be healthy and regularly lay eggs.
We liked to see the chickens wlk up the grass path and come onto the grass in front of the deck. They wanted to eat the bread we were sharing with them. They came when Mrs de Koning called. The knew her voice.
Next Mr and Mrs de Koning brought two chickens out for us to pat. The feathers were soft and fluffy. We used soft and gentle hand so the chickens did not get scared. It was fun. The chicken looked at us and turned it’s head from side to side to see what we were doing.
Later Mrs de Koning got some of her eggs out of the fridge. She keeps them there so they stay fresh for longer. To find out if an egg is fresh you can put it onto a container of water. If it is fresh it sinks and if it is stale or rotten it floats because of the gases building up in it.
It was fun to follow the chickens and look for the feathers that they dropped. They are light and fluffy. They can float in the air if you drop them and move away of you blow on them!
Next Mrs de Koning cracked some of the eggs in front of us. We saw the breaks in the shell. We saw the white gloop out and then the yolk. He helped to whisk the white and yolks together with a fork. Add a little milk and you have the makings of scrambled eggs.
Mrs Bucheler showed us the different colours of eggs that the chickens lay. The shells are different colours but the eggs are the same inside. They look the same and taste the same when out of their shells. Then – oh dear one dropped and cracked! We ;ooked at it carefully.
We split into three groups, each with a teacher. One group went to the chicken run and looked around the chicken coop. That is another name for the hen house. We opened the flap over the nesting box and looked in to see if there were any eggs.
One group made scrambled eggs in the kitchen and then ate them on the deck. They turned from runny and pale to set and darker. They tasted delicious,
We went outside to share the eggs. Each of us had a spoonful. Most people really liked them. No one had to try them – just if they wanted to.
Then we all walked down the path towards the back paddock. Mrs de Koning took down her rugs and blankets for us to sit on. We carried our bags down and got out our lunch boxes and drink bottles, It was pretty and relaxing sitting on the mowed grass in the middle of the paddock with our friends and eating our lunches. We were hungry after a busy time. We sat and looked at the sky and the bush, talking and sharing ideas about what we had done and seen.