We moved the boundary electric fences, shifted their houses, collected the eggs, fixed their waterers, fed them and spent a while watching them enjoying their fresh ground.
Watching the chooks fly out of their houses onto a new patch of farm is such a joy, so exciting, I took heaps of photos and will share them with you one day soon.
But the story I want to tell you today is about a rooster. A big, white, intimidating, beautiful rooster.
To be honest, I am always intimidated and wary of our roosters. I have more than a few scars up and down my legs to explain why.
But biodiversity is incredibly important to us here at Daylesford Organics and we don't believe that it's right to keep 200 females with no males.
Also we feel that it is our responsibility to provide a good life for our hens, a life that is as close to their natural life as we can facilitate while protecting them from predators and the elements.
So we must keep a few roosters. And I must always, always be on the look out for their attacks.
But let's get back to last Friday...
We'd just finished all the jobs and were getting ready to head back up to the shed, when I decided to snap a few shots of the chooks on the bright green grass before we left.
The chooks were calmly exploring and feeding, the dogs and alpacas looked happy in their new surroundings and even the roosters seemed preoccupied and content.
So I let my guard down and got lost in the beautiful moment.
Until that big, white rooster came at me, all puffed up and ready to attack.
I jumped up and screamed and kicked my leg in his general direction a few times. Generally this is enough to put a rooster off his attack, but not this time. This rooster was insistent and came at me over and over again, standing as tall as he could, with his feathers on end, trying to get me with his sharp spurs.
Each time I'd kick at him he'd jump back and then forward at me again. And again. And again.
I couldn't see any way out and was terrified, of him and of the thought that another rooster might attack me from behind while I wasn't watching.
I needed a new plan and looked around desperately for help. A stick! Slowly I bent down to get one at my feet and he tried to jump at my arm, but I was quicker and struck at him with the stick. I think I meant to hit his body and scare him away but somehow the stick connected with his head and the rooster fell down and didn't get up. He just lay there, still.
I waited a few seconds and when he didn't move I screamed and I lost it. I thought I'd killed or injured him. I could not stop crying. Bren reached me, my face wet with tears, thinking I had been attacked.
But I was distraught. That poor creature lying there dead or in terrible pain and there I stood, huge, with a stick, the attacker. I cried and cried and cried.
Eventually Bren went and got the rooster back up on his feet. He stood there in the same spot for a while visibly shaken but OK and then after a while he walked slowly away.
I couldn't shake that terrible feeling for the rest of the day. It felt ghastly.
And ever since then I've been trying to reconcile the feelings I have for an animal that I don't particularly like, with the awful, awful feelings of hurting another creature, a creature that is so much smaller than me and who is reliant on me.
It feels big. I feel more wary than ever while collecting the eggs these past few days. And I feel more in awe of Mother Nature, and life cycles, and food chains, and our role as animal keepers and protectors than ever before.
Phew, I feel a bit better now that's out.
Thanks so much for reading.
I hope you have a gorgeous new week.