Chickens as pets

Chickens pecking in the grass

We used to have chickens as pets, until the kids had too many commitments at school and sport and they had to be given away. This wasn’t in the country; it was in residential Sydney. They ran around in the backyard and sometimes they would holiday in our folks’ garden out in way-out-suburban Sydney. Middle-class chickens, these were.

They were called Cluck and Chickarita. Not terribly imaginative, I know, but their names were quite descriptive. Cluck was dependable and a regular egg-layer. Chickarita was a drama queen and her eggs were erratic.

You wouldn’t think that chickens are affectionate creatures, but the children would run out into the garden and hug them every morning. Then, they hoarded their eggs like gold, not wanting to eat them. We would come up to three weeks worth of eggs and have to give them away surreptitiously at an omelette party.

They’re not far these days, at an uncle’s house, and we visit occasionally. As it’s coming up to Easter, we wanted to remember them as they made our lives richer for a period of time.

~ Spotted Cow

Strutting chickensChickens on the clothes lineEggsLeaping over an unsuspecting chicken

View from the Tree Tops

The Tree Tops Adventure Park on the Central Coast – just under 2 hours north of Sydney – is a fun way to look at nature from 30 feet off the ground.  This is definitely not for vertigo-sufferers. Crawling through netting, soaring on the flying fox, and winding your way through courses made from different ropes and logs on a high-rope course up in the trees.  The course is very safe – the instructors show you the ropes, get you familiar with the caribiner system and might even climb up to save you if you are unsure, scared or have fallen and cannot get back up. This obviously didn’t happen to us !

Up in the trees, you will experience many different challenges. For example, have you tried getting a secure foothold on a swaying log before you lift your other foot off the other swaying log?  For younger climbers, there is a children’s course which is much lower and excludes the flying fox.  We went there as a family and helped each other when possible (if we weren’t struggling ourselves!)  Getting harnessed up is fun too – as long as you don’t get a wedgie!!!

~ Moo Cow

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Night in an Igloo

On our trip to northern Finland, I slept in quite an unusual place.  I slept in an igloo for one night! Although I didn’t build it – I watched the adults shovel and pat the snow into place –  I found the igloo experience very enjoyable.

Initially, I was quite reluctant considering it was -35 degrees Celsius outside. But the guide at Basecamp Oulanka explained that it would keep the heat in. She was right.  It turned out to be a snug zero degrees. I slept in the igloo with a few other kids who were at Basecamp, plus an adult.  It was cosy!  We slept in very warm sleeping bags and as the night progressed it felt warmer due to our warm bodies.  In fact, I discovered that igloo water was dripping on my feet by morning. If you ever get the chance, definitely try sleeping in an igloo for a night.

~ Chocolate Milk Cow

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Milking Sheep at the Grandvewe Cheesery

After a long, winding, and very confusing road, we finally arrived at the farm on the Grandvewe Cheesery in Middleton, Tasmania. The family went in to the restaurant to sample the sheep cheese.  After that we had a yummy dessert of sheep ice-cream – it was EWEnique!  And the adults slurped up some cheesy alcoholic beverages.

After filling our stomachs, we went outside to the shed and to empty the sheep’s udders of milk.  We used giant milking machines that stuck to their udders and had a milking competition to see who could get the most milk – Chocolate Milk Cow won (his sheep had the biggest udder with almost a litre of milk!)

http://grandvewe.com.au/

~ Moo Cow

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The Dish at Parkes

Another part of our “Wicked Camper” holiday was adventuring out to see ‘The Dish” at the Parkes Observatory in the middle of a sheep farm in Parkes, Outback New South Wales.  And another great part too, I might add. The satellite dish measures 64m and is definitely a sight to behold.  The radio telescope was made famous in 2000 by the Australian comedy movie ‘The Dish” about its key role in relaying live television of man’s first steps on the moon in 1969 – which had a scene involving playing cricket on the dish!

The view of the dish is unobstructed from the picnic grounds and visitor centre.  Overall, my favourite part of the Parkes Observatory was definitely the displays, exhibits and activities which could be done in the museum. Inside was a scale which you stood on and it would tell you how much you weighed on the sun, the moon and each of the planets. This related to my favourite activity in which, you could pick up a milk carton which weighed how much it would be if on another planet.

~ Chocolate Milk Cow

TheDish

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Ute Art in Ootha

On our legendary “Wicked Camper” adventure, we came across some funky Utes in a huge paddock in Ootha in outback New South Wales. The utes (slang for utility trucks) had been designed and altered to suit a certain theme. Some of these were lifted into the air, others were sitting on their tail or nose, while some just sat plainly on the ground.

My favourite Ute design was the Kangaroo. In this one, the Ute had been placed on its tail end and had been painted to suit a kangaroo’s body. On it, 2 arms, 2 legs and a head had been attached in appropriate places, as well as the roof being pulled forward to add a joey in. Other good ones include the Bundaberg Rum bottle, the Fuel Station and the Outhouse.

~ Chocolate Milk Cow

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Wicked Camper

The family rented a ‘Wicked Camper’ van for the holidays to discover different places in New South Wales.  The Camper was cool. It had chairs that you could bring out to relax on, and a closet for all your stuff hidden under the beds!

Being in the Camper is great fun for all the family, it has funny quotes and amazing pictures decorating the outside of it, and can give you some great memories in your outback adventures. There are little messages hidden all around the van for you to find out about other peoples experiences. The Camper van is a ‘wicked’ experience for everyone!

http://www.wickedcampers.com.au/

~ Moo Cow

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