Bloomin' Chooks and Stinky Fertiliser

This week we will be pondering on how best to squeeze some more life out of the budget...or at least inject some more life into it. We have a gruelling regime for our income which is very pleasing however am very conscious that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Some time back, we agreed to put aside a little money each week to do some fun stuff and take some short weekend trips away on a more regular basis.  This was to ensure we did not both turn into boring gits! It has worked well and we have managed to take off for the weekend quite a few times over the last 12 months, replenishing our sanity and equilibrium whilst still being frugal.  It is fun to pull over into a rest stop by the road, whip out the gas stove and brew up a coffee and some porridge for breakfast (all for just pennies).

First flowers on the tomatoes

Cauliflowers progressing well

Kent pumpkin seedlings grew some more this week

Citrus blossoms everywhere

The first flowers are starting to appear on the tomatoes and the lemon tree this week. Although we are still in the clutches of winter there are definite indicators of spring.  We have also been wondering why the hens have been going through twice as much food as normal.  This morning I sat in the garden chair and watched the hens for about an hour with my coffee - a reconnaissance mission really. Hmmmm, I now know why we are going through so much hen feed....every bloomin' bird in the neighbourhood is feeding off the hen's food.  I counted no less than 30 birds visiting the hens this morning and helping themselves to their food. Now, I am happy to share, but this situation is just nuts! I might have to invest in a different type of feeder....anyway, my thinking cap is on.

The beautiful paperbark tree
on our boundary fence

The enclosed verandah
where we have all our feasts

It has rained solidly all week, so the hens are pretty desperate to be let out onto the lawn - but this will need to be a supervised affair otherwise my vegetables will be decimated. Seriously, why do the hens ignore the entire lawn full of juicy bugs and seeds and run straight to my cauliflowers? Oh, you should see me....I open the hen's gate and then it is a mad race between seven agile hens and one rolly-polly bloke to the vegetable patch! (puff puff).  They always beat me by half a squawk and manage to each take a mouthful of cauliflower leaf by the time I appear around the corner like a wheezing asthmatic hippopotamus using my last desperate gasp to squeeze out a feeble "Shoo!".  I shall stand armed with my coffee as the girls run and flap from one delight to the other - but just not my vegetables. I do love my hens - just not their naughty ways.

The little 'darlings'.

I let the chooks loose on this
compost pile to give it a final
dig over. It is now ready to turn
into wonderful potting mix.

My weed fertiliser is still brewing in the bucket in the shed.  I checked it again this morning and nearly heaved at the smell.  How can something that smells so utterly vile work so wonderfully well in the garden. I brew it in the shed so the neighbours do not think that the smell is a rotting corps in a shallow grave in my backyard - I do not want to awake one morning with police crime-scene tape around my house. Goodness me.

Weeds and water three weeks ago - it has been brewing quietly.

The smell from hell!
What a wonderful FREE fertiliser.

Have a super weekend folks - stay nice.



  1. I do so enjoy your posts Mr HM & am so pleased to have "found you again". I must admit I just laughed so much at your delightful description of your "letting the hens out saga". I should love to be your neighbour peeking over the fence ... you must provide them with such entertainment :-) I am envious of your vege garden as mine is sitting dormant due to our extreme cold this winter, apart from some broccolli that are struggling. Have a super weekend ... give those hens a pat from me on their merry way to the vege patch !! Julie

    1. Thanks Julie - I'm glad it gave you a laugh.

  2. I just love your chicken adventures. They can be the devil in a garden, but who knows, maybe they see some bugs??

    It's also interesting for me to see someone's garden just starting as mine is now at it's end. Best part about blogging!
    I get to see gardens all year, even when I'm buried in snow.

    1. My garden is tiny compared to your wonderful spread of growth.

  3. Mr.HM, I brewed some nettle fertiliser recently but have a lid on it. I took some out and added water and put it on my plants and what a stench. My husband nearly gagged from the smell and I am glad our neighbours aren't very close to our garden. I am also having the same issue with our chooks when they are let out although we have put a crude wire fence around some of the brassicas to keep them out.

    1. ....I wonder what is so enticing about brassicas?

  4. I am laughing at the thought of crime scene tape around your house. Thanks for the chuckle!

  5. My sis in law's hen's have free range of 5 acres, but she has a fence completely around the garden. She also has a fence around her flowers. The hens will also eat flower petals until the plant dies. I suppose you'll need to keep the hen's food inside their house.

  6. Birds are quick to hone in on any source of food. Crows ate the last of the lemons off our tree. Lemons. Who'd a thunk it! This has got me worried cause crows are smart and have way more time to plan attacks than I have to come up with strategies to outsmart them.

  7. I got a chuckle from the chicken story. It reminds me of our recent saga of having to chase away the brush turkey's. We didn't mind them coming to steal food when they were little. Now they're starting to tear up the place though, so they've officially worn out their welcome.

    Thankfully, I have my wee 3 year old to chase after them (which he thinks is a blast) then my husband ends up chasing them, followed by me. So we're cheating, because we're a tag team. They get the message eventually. Although chickens are particularly stubborn to train in the same way. ;)

    You could always leave the feeder out for an hour in the morning and in the afternoon. Bring it inside, otherwise. Your hens will become territorial during that small window they know they get to feed. So nary a bird will get to venture near.

    But it depends how much access to greens and bugs they get during the day too. I know there are some chicken feeders you can buy, which are activated by the chickens stepping on a lever. It lifts the lid so they can feed. I've never used one though, so can't vouch for them. Here's a link:

    Don't pass out at the price. You can find others, slightly cheaper too.


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