Hi from Melbourne


In the Brooder
May 12, 2015
Hi there

I've been a lurker for about 18 months but never got around to joining. Well, thought I had actually but turns out not!

I have 3 Buff Orpington girls at approx 18 months (purchased at 10 weeks) and 2 Barred Plymouth Rock girls at 5 months (purchased as day olds for a broody). All were apparently vaccinated against Maereks. All are fed Organic Backyard Layer Mash by Country Heritage Feeds, have access to shell grit, are able to come and go from their house into their enclosure when they wish (it's 16m2 and the house is 6m2 floor and 1.8m high at the lowest end. They are allowed out of the pen most days to forage throughout the garden and at the weekends generally spend the whole day coming and going as they wish. They also eat the cat food and will challenge the cats to get it, as well as raiding the compost bin when the Australian Magpies aren't swooping them to get in there.

The Buff Orps were purchased alongside 3 Light Sussex girls who we lost before they commenced lay (severe respiratory failure, Maerecks and a heart attack after severe respiratory failure). I have realised that all of these chooks were severely inbred as the owner of the "farm" confessed he was having problems building up his breeding stock because he kept having to sell the chicks... pretty sure he should have been bringing in new genes to do it, but I didn't think of that when I bought. So, first experience of keeping chickens involved having to try and treat then kill two chickens we were already attached to, followed by another dying in my arms.

The Buff Orps have mostly been okay. One has always had a bit of a funny hip and constantly stretching out that leg straight behind when bumbling around the yard but otherwise fine. Just last week it became worse but will post about that separately.

The Barred Rocks are much more fiesty and challenging me constantly and pecking at my hands when gardening etc. Then their neck feathers go up. I've had to pretend peck them back with my finger to get them to back down and they're learning I'm the boss :)

One has yellow legs and one grey with the darker streak down the front, and both have the odd feather that is black with an almost blue streak rather than barred. Not sure if that's normal or not for an apparent pure breed, but they came from a different breeder and are healthy so otherwise I'm not concerned.

Erm... not sure what else to say. Will post pics when I can get access to the main pc. So for now, hello! :)

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
Welcome to Backyard chickens, so glad you joined the flock. BYC has a large Aussie community and also a thread "Australia, six states and one funny little island." Always room for more here.

There are many "Mareks' threads on here. I believe if a chicken survives it, it will be a carrier for life.


In the Brooder
May 12, 2015
Thanks :)

I spent a lot of time browsing the marek's threads and reading about everyone's experiences, along with scientific articles, published literature... I tend to get a bit obsessed. In any case, once it was absolutely clear that she had marek's and was deteriorating quickly I put her out of her misery.

I know however that marek's does persist in the environment and that chooks can still succumb once exposed to that environment, even after being vaccinated, so we're a bit obsessed with checking the health of our others. No signs of marek's so far, but I do have one lady with what appears to be either single hip dysplasia or a hip out of the socket (more likely as no pain).


Love is Silkie soft!
7 Years
Oct 13, 2014
Don't like your attitude, change your latitude

Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to joined the BYC family. :frow

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