Why you shouldn’t waste dairy products on your hens
Dairy products are often recommended as a supplement in the poultry diet, and are said to add ‘good’ bacteria to the gut.
Some of the amino acids (proteins) found in dairy products (eg, methionine, lysine) are beneficial, but chickens have no tolerance to lactose as their bodies don’t produce the correct digestive enzymes to process it, so it’s mostly just an expensive way to cause diarrhoea.
There are not enough ‘good’ bacteria in store-bought yoghurt to make any difference to a bird’s gut, and these products also often contain lactose, corn syrup and artificial colours, all things a bird does not need. However, a good quality
Chickens are lactoseintolerant so milk products
are wasted on them them to drink. The milk sugar was thought to turn to acid in the stomach, and the result was meant to flush out the intestine causing diarrhoea and very wet litter. This in turn was thought to be detrimental to the coccidian parasites living in the gut wall.
such as pine needles or sawdust will ensure that.
•Keep successional plantings of greenery going including mesclun mixes, loose-leaved lettuces and something like Iceberg for that clear, clean crunch to go in summer salads.
•Main crop carrots can be planted and it’s not too late to get some parsnips in for next winter. Neither of these root crops like fresh nitrogenous fertiliser so they need to go into deeply dug soil that has been well fed for the prior crop. Additional well-matured compost is always welcome, along with a good mulch of mineral and trace element
giving sea grass.
•Tomato plants need careful tending as they establish: add plenty of potassiumrich fertiliser, nip off the laterals, tie up or stake, water, and keep an eye out for pests.
This is the month of Flower Power, when it all goes wild. The profusion of growth is fantastic and we can revel in the colours and growth of flowering plants coming to fruition.
It’s definitely the month of the rose. Whenever I’m on the east coast at this time of year, the quality of the roses in public places (and, if you’re like me, looking over fences into other people’s gardens) is wonderful. There is a strength and lushness that I don’t often see in my rain-soaked Golden Bay garden.
All the care lavished, or not, on roses, shows up this month. These sometimes fussy plants do like plenty of space around them for good air movement, fertile soil, good pruning at least every second year, and they do not like being cluttered at their bases with other plants. Queens ens don’t like to have their skirts tuggeded at.
One unnamed climbing rose hereere is a complete thug (pictured above) and nd I have begun to control it by keeping it clearlear of the ground so it stops spreading that hat way. This is allowing a lower storey of plants including daffodils, dahlias, Japanese ese anenomes, salvia, lemon verbena and hydrangeas.
I can’t cut it out, such is the beautyauty of the once-yearly mass of blooms, but I do liberate some of the lily of the valley shrub and the pale pink camellia which stagger under the weight of rose canes.
I have climbing roses and one little patio rose these days. I did try bush roses but despite having looked after awardwinning roses when I lived north of Gisborne, and rejuvenating old ones in a Scottish walled garden, I just don’t think they are worth the effort here.
On the other hand, the alstroemerias are perfectly happy. They have been called a weed and yes, once established, they can be difficult to remove.
But that’s not on my agenda. I like how they are slowly moving through the
Fresh corn on the cob, salt and pepper, butter, tamari. Golden, yummy and summery.
It’s time to plant the corn. The seeds go out in rows which make up blocks so the wind-blown pollen of the flowers can easily fertilise the cobs.
Corn is a hungry crop so we make sure the ground is well-fed and kept wellwatered during dry spells, then it’s a dose of patience before we feast. What we can’t eat fresh gets cut from the cob and put in the freezer to use in fritters, soups, casseroles, stir fries and pies. We find ourselves eating the frozen corn over spring when there is a lull in the carrot supply – you’ve got to keep up the intake of colourful veges.
At picking time it’s a regular task to keep harvesting so the plants flower for as long as possible. Young scarlet runners are easily picked by nipping off the stem end, so kitchen prep is only nicking off the ends and slicing as you wish before cooking.