I asked her what she got for her birthday. The above photo gives you a clue. Yes, she bought herself a couple of silky bantam chooks for a present. The cute fluffy ones that look like they have no eyes.
I'm still waiting on a photo of the new arrivals. When it turns up, I'll post it on here to replace the Google version. Apparently my niece (15 years old and wanting a future career in the vet field somewhere) is keen to breed them. If she's successful, she'll sell the little ones back to the guy that they bought the big ones from.
Chickens are not a new hobby for their family. They live on a large block of land so they have an enormous chicken house and lots of chooks running around. At every family function, we have a bag to collect leftover food scraps for them. Not very elegant, I know, but it reduces the waste. There's always a debate about whether left over chicken meat scraps can go in there (I think the answer to that is no....and my position is that it doesn't seem right for them to be eating up their fellow birds anyway).
I wish we lived closer to them so we could share in the abundant egg supply when they are all on the lay.
I'll keep you posted on how the breeding goes. Not sure how easy it all is, but it will be an interesting conversation to have with my niece next time I see them.