Friday, September 18, 2009

Hilltop goes on

Our Araucanas have been living in Hilltop for several months now, but the run was only attached for about half that time. Which is a good thing now the warmer weather is coming on. The run gets some shade from the native tree in-front - to the left of the picture.

You may notice that half the run is covered with corrugated iron, and half concrete rebar. That is because I'm attempting to grow a choko over the top, to provide a cooling effect in summer.

My poor little choko is struggling at the moment, only because I recently transplanted it here. I already lost one choko seedling in the move, so this little guy has to make it. I'll mulch and water today, as I've been a little slack. The picture below, shows the side I'm attempting to grow it over and hopefully have it cover the roof as well. I've made a little garden bed with some old bricks. I'll add some herbs in there when my seedlings are big enough too.

I've also carried the garden bed around the back of the run. This is where the other choko plant was meant to grow, but it turned up it's nose and died. But I have some bean seedlings in the greenhouse, and when they're bigger, I'll grow them up the back.

Our newest addition to Hilltop has been our 300 litre water tank - originally purchased to supply water to the builders (of our house) on site. It wasn't big enough unfortunately, so we had to buy a bigger water carrier, but I knew this one would come in handy eventually. I still have to erect the guttering to the roof and run downpipes to the tank, but I'm happy just to have it in place at the moment.

In the meantime, if it rains and our main water tank to the house overflows, we'll run a garden hose up to this tank and fill it. I like to have water for the plants and this tank will be very useful in that regard. The veggie patch is located under Hilltop, so I can gravity feed any water directly downwards too. One final picture to show however:

This is the finished coop construction. Notice the brick pallets leaning against the front? They're temporarily providing some shade to the corrugated iron until we erect a trellis to grow a passionfruit plant over. It won't be directly against the structure however, it will be closer to the hillside.

I have to say I'm becoming a little more realistic with our construction projects. This particular one took us longer to make than the original permanent coop, but it was also a little more complicated. Overall, it was worth taking our time in the end. Once the plants grow, it will be complete!


  1. Nice finishing touches. I like the look of the pallets. :)

    I have been really surprised at how cool the white colourbond tin we used for our chook house is. I was planning on insulating the western side, but I do not feel that there is a need. It simply does not get warm.

    We just installed some guttering today, so I will have to look for a suitable water storage container. I was thinking about using an old council refuse bin which I picked up at our local transfer station. Just missing the wheels, so it will work perfectly fine for collecting water.

  2. The wheelie bin sounds like a good idea. It's handy having extra water containers around, for those drier times.

    By the way, I've been thinking of names for your coop but nothing has struck me yet. I try to use location in my names, as that's how my husband and I distinguish between them.

    I often say, I'll be up at Hilltop if you need me - or he'll say he plans to dig near Middle Ridge, which we decided was our first coops name. We chose that name because it was the most central coop to our back door, and it was built on a retaining wall ridge.

    Looking at your photo, I saw the bananas and immediately thought, "Bananarama". Not anything to do with eggs I know, LOL.

    Thanks for stopping by. :) Oh yes, and I like the pond too.

  3. Wow the chook house if fantastic, lov the water tank, fingers Xed for the vines to take off.
    just scrolled down & saw your chicky success, congrats, dont ya just lov all those baby peepers.

  4. Thanks Nicole. :) I'm catching up with my replies, so sorry I've left it so long.

    The choko hasn't karked it yet, so it's a good sign!


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