New chooks roost at Rouse

 

Joining Davros the rooster (proud successor to Carlos and Stavros) and our shiny black Australorps (which look particularly fetching in the afternoon sunlight) are three light Sussex and four finely striped Plymouth Rock chickens.

They’re still quite young, aged around 14 weeks, so are spending their time in the coop until they’re a bit bigger and can be safely let out to roam.

Farm manager Lawrence Kersten with Davros the rooster. Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

Our Isa Brown chickens – who delighted in getting under the feet of our garden volunteers - have upped stakes and are now living across Sydney at Vaucluse House.

Rouse Hill House has a long history of chickens, both for eggs and meat, and for show. The first breeds here probably included leghorns for their eggs, later joined by Rhode Island Reds for their meat.

Edwin Stephen Rouse (1849 – 1931) had an interest in show birds, possibly inherited from his father. This was a gentlemanly pursuit, with societies dedicated to promoting and showcasing prize birds. 

A substantial brick building to the south-east of the bath house, running parallel to the service wings, was either purpose built or adapted for use as a fowl house in the second half of the 19th century. Evidence of enclosed runs extend far down the slope, and indicates how seriously the raising of chickens and game was taken.

Like our resident horses Larry and Spirit, these animals are a developing part of the Rouse Hill House & Farm experience today; a constant reminder of the site’s rural heritage, an insight to the lives of the Rouse and Terry families, and a delight for children.

Keep an eye out for Earn Your Tucker and other programs where kids get to see the horses, feed the cows and grind corn for the ever-hungry chickens.

Chicken close up. Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

About the Author

Sydney Living Museums Image
Dr Scott Hill
Curator
Elizabeth Farm, Meroogal, Rouse Hill House & Farm
As a teenager, Scott Hill was captivated by pictures of ruins, trying to imagine how people had lived in these dramatic and crumbling spaces.

Group of people with table full of string making materials for Aboriginal education program.

Education

Thousands of students learn to warurabanga (make string)Wednesday 14 August 2019

On Thursday 8 August, almost 3,000 teachers and students across NSW took part in a live virtual excursion, direct from Museum of Sydney, the site of first Government House - a unique place from which to explore Australian history from multiple perspectives.

Whimsical wallpaper of space travel from the 1950s

 

1950s sci-fi wallpaper Wednesday 24 July 2019

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Library Display

New Library DisplaysTuesday 23 July 2019

Whet your appetite for the Songs of Home exhibition at the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, where our new displays explore how, even before CDs and Spotify, Sydney homes were filled with music.

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Internships

Internship: Sydney Open ProjectMonday 22 July 2019