New chooks roost at Rouse
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.
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.