Keep your Chickens Safe, Mucky Pups & Support for Father’s Day

Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Green Scene’ for the Western Mail. 17th June 2017

Keep your Chickens Safe

One of the problems with being so busy at this time of year is that most nights I want to go to bed before my chickens do. And recently, waiting for the girls to go to bed, and then having to trek to the top of the garden, in the wind and the rain, has barely been compensated for by a fresh egg for breakfast!

So I have made an investment. Never mind stocks and shares or Bulls and Bears, this is probably my best ever investment. I am now the delighted, (and rested) owner of a Chicken Guard automatic coop door opener. It is a genius idea. Simply fix the ChickenGuard© (a small waterproof unit with all the gubbings in) to the front of your coop, connect to the pop-hole door, set the timer or use the Light Sensor to open and close and go to bed whenever you want!

Some of my other chicken loving friends find the other end of the day difficult, and resent being denied a lie in by their feathered friends. They have been eggs-tremely grateful to be introduced to ChickenGuard, which also opens the pop-hole door at the time set or by a time sensor. It’s so ‘clucking clever’ and totally life changing.

It all runs smoothly on just 4 x AA batteries and there is even a battery indicator to let you know how much life is left in them. Or you can buy a unit that runs from the mains.

The guys at the company are fabulous to deal with and cheerfully answer any questions and/or advise as necessary. They have spent time talking to customers and perfecting their product and it shows. Delivery is just 2 days, and over 37,000 users worldwide now trust ChickenGuard© to protect ‘their girls’.

I can’t recommend it highly enough and I am definitely now the ‘henvy’ of all my chicken keeping friends.

One recommendation, after fitting the unit last weekend, is to treat yourself to the aluminium door and runners too – it makes the job a lot easier! I ended up using the door of an old coal bunker but only after a frustrating search for something suitable!

Oh and the only downside is … I didn’t have a ChickenGuard automatic door opener years ago!

Find out more at or call Martin on 01223 855636

For Mucky Pups

Yogi, my dog, was intrigued to hear that next Friday (23rd), is Bring Your Dog to Work Day. She thought all dogs went to work every day – like she does!

Bring Your Dog To Work Day is an annual event created and organised by the team at HOWND. This year the event will raise money for two wonderful animal charities: All Dogs Matter and Animals Asia. Over the past four years it’s grown into a hugely popular day in the working calendar, with thousands of people, businesses and celebrities taking part and you can find out more – including how to post a picture of your pooch in the Hall of Fame – at

HOWND are renowned for creating ethical and innovative cruelty-free grooming products. They use the finest botanical oils, their products are vegan, pH-balanced and free from alcohol, soap and parabens. And the formulas are kind to the skin and coat, leaving dogs smelling great, looking wonderful and feeling happy. I use their ‘Yup, You Stink’ range for Yogi who is a professional roller, and particularly partial to fox poo (see photo)! It is brilliant at getting rid of the smell as well as the muck. They now do a new product, Miracle White & Bright Colour Enhancing Conditioning Shampoo Treatment. I think I might try that and see if I can keep her more white than green! More details and products at

Support for Father’s Day

It’s so frustrating to see lofty herbaceous plants flattened by heavy rain at this time of year. I hate seeing despondent Delphiniums, miserable Michaelmas daisies and horizontal Heleniums and it’s always worse if they are laying across paths, almost like they are throwing themselves at your mercy as a result of the bloomin’ awful weather. Don’t be tempted to cut them back though, try to lift and support where you can. It is usually a two person job, if one lifts the other can usually manage to get some kind of support system under them to be able to enjoy the rest of the blooms. If you haven’t got plant supports, you can improvise with old garden tools that you’re not using. I have a selection of old border forks and spades that are acting as temporary supports, and have also used twiggy prunings from an over-enthusiastic Viburnum opulus

Of course, prevention is better than cure, and that is why taller plants should be supported as they mature. Heavy rain in June has been a theme for the last few years now so if you haven’t got plant supports, it might be an idea to stock up. They might not be the most exciting idea for a Father’s Day present (tomorrow), although you can get some beautifully crafted supports, but they would be useful and appreciated by frustrated gardeners and flattened plants alike.

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