Saturday, September 4, 2010

Buggy about bugs

When we first moved to our home in the country ticks, fleas, grub worms, grasshoppers, scorpions, and other miscellaneous bugs too many to list were a problem, but not anymore. The guineas, chickens and waterfowl, bless their little hearts, have literally eradicated them from our fields. Chickens are best at eliminating bugs that dwell in the soil. They love to dig and scratch their way through the soil and mulch looking for tasty bug bits. After I dig up the soil in one of the raised beds in the veggie garden and till amendments like compost or manure into the soil, I then turn the chicken girlie girls loose to work their magic. They will spend hours on that one bed, just kicking around mulch and loosening up the soil themselves. The only downside is that they will eat earthworms if they find them. A solution I’ve found is to turn them loose on tilled soil only in the January to March timeframe when the earthworms are apparently deeper in the soil, and thus safe from the chickens.  For the birds these tasty bugs are a big treat, and an excellent source of protein. So I say, go get em’ girls and they do just that.

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