Chicken House Update and other Stuff

After working some of the morning and most of the afternoon on the chicken house, I have nearly finished the nesting box and night house. It has been a slow day, as I was working with off-cuts and working without a plan. Basically, I was making it up as I went along with the materials I have at hand, and the hardwood I utilised had to have all the screw holes pre-drilled, or the wood would have split. Nothing like a bit of reuse and recycling to help a project along. Tomorrow, I finish off the nesting box and put the hinged roof on, so that we can collect the eggs, and muck it out when necessary.

Megan and Amy dug the last two holes for the remaining posts to complete the chicken run. I have enough money put aside now to get the chicken wire and nails that I require to finish the run part of the project. Amy went to Bunnings and bought me a 20Kg bag of quick-set concrete to set the posts in the ground. So far, it looks pretty good, however, I didn’t take any photos today. Kim will take some tomorrow when it is nearer completion.

One sad thing happened today. I had to pull out all of my broccoli, as it became infested with aphids. It didn’t seem to matter what I did to deter these beasties, they just kept coming back in droves. No matter how much garlic & chilli spray or derris dust was applied, a week or two later they were back. I just had to give up in the end, and compost the lot. The Aerobin should be hot enough to kill them all off. The aphids did not attack any other plants, so Adam dug the bed up for me and I took the sugar cane mulch off the top and dumped it where the chicken run is going to be. It will be the chooks first bedding. I am sure they will have a ball picking through it all. I will let the bed rest for a week and then plant some lettuce seedlings that I have been growing. They should take off very quickly as the soil is still very fertile.

For dinner, I whipped up a wonderful Chicken and Vegetable stew, which I cooked in the pressure cooker. It only took 15 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook. The flavours were amazing and the meat just fell apart. Everyone said it was fantastic, and we have had about five meals prepared in this way now. So simple and quick, and full of nutrition. What a great birthday present! Every time I cook with the pressure cooker, I think of my Mum, and all of the wonderful meals she used to cook in her pressure cooker when I was a child. She used to cook most of the winter lamb and beef stews in it (we rarely had chicken), and they were always very tasty. Come to think of it, my mum also used to make lots of preserved fruit from the very large fruit orchard we used to have on the dairy farm. Maybe that is where I inherited the urge to preserve everything I could lay my hands on this year. Thanks Mum, I love you and you brought me up well!

Whilst the dinner was cooking, I watched the little valve go round and round, and sampled a pint or two of the Coopers Canadian Blonde beer I brewed a while back. It is a lovely drop, and very malty. It has been in the bottle for about two months, so it has very small compact bubbles, and a nice light head. It went down very well. Kim thought it was nice, even though she made her beer into a shandy. It must be the English in her!


  1. Jon says

    Hey Gavin

    You’ve probably discovered this by now, but if you avoid using pesticides, including derris dust, and plant some Alyssums or similar attractant, then lady beatles will come along and take care of your aphids for you. If you must then you can use oil sprays to suffocate the aphids and you can also just wash them off while the flowering plants are catching up.

    Great blog, by the way!

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