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

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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.

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Employment

21/ACP070 Associate Producer, Public ProgramsThursday 3 June 2021

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Learning

Learning subsidyTuesday 1 June 2021

From 1 July 2021, we are pleased to offer support to selected students to attend our learning programs.

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Events

Cornersmith Cooking School takes up residency at The MintFriday 7 May 2021

Cornersmith Cooking School is bringing its pop-up cooking classes to The Mint.

Elizabeth Bay House

Foundation

Annual Appeal 2021Friday 23 April 2021

To help us continue our important work, we invite you to support Sydney Living Museums through the Annual Appeal 2021.

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Membership

Exclusive Member EventsWednesday 21 April 2021

We’re delighted to offer members a selection of special events at Elizabeth Bay House.Members will have exclusive access to view