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Friday, November 16, 2012

Chickens Hard At Work (Blog 112)

Ever year around this time, I put the "garden to bed," digging up the weeds and removing the dead vegetable vines and plants so that no disease or bugs will carry over to the next season.  However, Elaine and I have now raised chickens for 18 months, and we have found there is no need to do anything except remove the dead vines.

That's because our chickens are quite willing to do all the "ground" work for us.  Every day when I come home from school (on days I don't go hunting) the chickens spot me and raise a great hue and cry.  I know what they want - to be let out of their run and into either the garden or the yard.

Of the two destinations, our flock of four clearly prefers the garden.  They will even line up to enter the fenced in garden.  Once inside, Ruby, Little Spotty, Tallulah, and Dot immediately begin sifting through the debris, eating just about every insect they encounter and inspecting every little clod of earth.

Any kind of bug - almost - is fair game.  Interestingly, only Ruby seems to like earthworms, as I have seen her target those specifically, whereas the other three prefer beetles and grasshoppers.  All relish stinkbugs, no one seems to care for ants or sow bellies.  Indeed, it has been very disappointing to Elaine and me that our birds won't eat ants, as we have had carpenter ant problems for years.

But all in all, we will give our quartet an A-minus on their overall bug eating skills.

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