Not everything about this happy hippy lifestyle that I like to think I live, is a walk in the park. It’s not all smiles and kumbaya’s. Our plants get eaten, our chickens don’t lay and sometimes, rarely, the bread doesn’t rise.
Our most recent bad experience was the worst yet. It had me dry retching in the chook pen. Even now, to type, I have to take a deep breath to get those horrible memories of that day out of my head.
The smell was all consuming, I could taste it, I could feel it in the back of my throat. The chook poo tea was a disaster.
We got this bright idea after buying horse poo liquid fertilizer from a girl up the road, where we buy the manure to dig into our garden beds. She had it for sale for $2.50, presented in nice plastic bottles on her roadside stall. There was no bad smell surrounding her poo tea.
So we cleaned out the chicken coop, put all the poo into a big bucket and filled it up with water. We left it for weeks, stirring only occasionally, avoiding the inevitable.
The inevitable being, straining, collecting and using the foul smelling potion.
It wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined… IT WAS WORSE!
Armed with gardening gloves, a hose and each other, J and I got to it. Pouring the rank liquid and it’s sunken solids through some shade cloth to retain the liquid gold was and a smelly, hair raising nightmare. After filling up the two containers that we had saved from the horse poo tea, we were stumped as to what to do next with the rotten water.
The only solution was to use it on everything that we had just planted. We used (wasted) two buckets of this liquid fertiliser watering again and again what we had just planted (it had better do the trick).
When I was just about ready to wash the stink from everything, I felt some drops land on my face. I HAD POO WATER ON MY FACE! To which J happily responded, “Now I can call you poo-face”.
I quickly finished rinsing everything, all the while wishing that it would rain, so that the stink could be washed from our garden, and then went to wash myself off.
It was an experiment we will not be trying again. Instead we have covered the chook pen, about 10cm deep with pea-straw. This way, the chickens will work for us, not only giving us eggs but also making our compost.