Henworld - Early Days
Henworld - possibly the silliest Moosey garden project ever - is almost ready for its official opening. Though it occupies a small area, Henworld is a huge concept. It's a playground designed for the Moosey poultry.
'Hens don't play' muttered my friend, the one who saves her kitchen scraps for me in her freezer. She calls it 'chook cook'. She is my egg quality controller, too - more grit! More greens! I fear she might be right about the playful poultry aspect as well.
Henworld, the silliest of gardens, started life in the silliest of ways. I was gifted a trailer load of used bricks. What to do with them? That garden design warning buzzed in my brain - always use materials natural to your landscape. I use lots of free, smoothed river stones, in path edging and surfaces.
One should always make the most of random gardening situations. So obviously I decided to create something bricky near the Hen House. But a herb garden, three minutes of serious trekking from the house kitchen? Might not inspire the cook on a rainy day.
Then the idea popped up in a random conversation after swimming. I would build a playground for my hens, immediately outside their run. Perfect!
Chooks (and Cats) Supervise the Digging
And so Henworld was created - easy as laying an egg! First I dug a circle, and then I laid the bricks in the shape of a curving letter 'H' to form little paths. I was sure my hens would enjoy pottering along them.
Towers, Perches, and Statues
Four brick towers were connected with natural wooden perches - gum tree branches. To provide chook ambience, and company, some outdoor lifesize hen statues were artistically placed.
My poultry loved it while I was digging. They loved it while I was scratching around in the soil. They scratched around too, finding grass grubs and chortling with delight. Later I cleaned out their henhouse straw and scattered it between the paths. Great excitement! I also collected up handfuls of unsuspecting slaters (woodlice) and cruelly threw them around. Instant success!
It's early days, but I suspect that Henworld as it stands isn't quite the attraction I thought it would be. It needs help - a mechanical woman-scarecrow scratcher is one idea I've had. Edible features are also planned, though it's too late this year to plant any chook-vegetables like silver beet.
Hens Don't Play!
There aren't many Henworlds in the world - well, in the Google-search world, that is! The Moosey Henworld is unique. I wonder why? My friend is right - hens don't really 'play' - yet!