Beware of the Compost Bin .. Evil Lurks!

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,055
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
I would like to share what I think is a funny story ……

We have a compost bin … one of those ones that looks a bit like a square Dalek with four small access doors on the bottom of each side.

Anyways, every few months or so, when the bin is getting a bit full and I know I am not going to need the good earth for anything, I take off the small doors and drag out the soil and grubs for the girls to dig through … they love their bug dispenser
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For the past few years, when I do this, there have been beetle larvae, not much bigger than a large meal worm but much fatter .. chicken yum yum!

Along with these snack sized larvae have been larvae easily the size of a human finger but fatter and there is no way my little bantams are going to take on these whoppers, so they get popped back into the compost.

So, this afternoon, after probably 6 months or so since I last did, I take off the little doors and start scraping out the soil etc for the gals … unbeknown to me, the 3-4 year old whopper sized larvae have finally turned into rhinoceros beetles!

The gals come running over all excited and a rhino beetle raises on his back legs and hisses at them .. never seen chickens scatter so fast! Lol

So, trying to not to roll around laughing, I gather up all the now obvious rhino beetles and pop them back in the compost. The girls come back and start scratching through the dirt, filling up on bugs.

However, every time one of them goes behind the compost bin she runs back, buk buking up a storm .. ooops, I missed one of the beetles lol. Got him and popped him back in the bin also.

A few minutes later, I am sitting there, watching them have a wonderful time with some bickering over bugs thrown in for good measure and Crystal starts ‘appealing’ so I turn around to tell off whoever is picking on her and she is all alone??? Next thing she runs past me, still upset, stops and looks down at her leg .. guess who has a rhinoceros beetle hanging off her leg? So funny! Poor Crystal! She reached down, grabbed him with her beak and tossed him across the yard. I saved him and put him back in the compost.

Surely that is all of them? Nope! Lol Next thing KiKi is buk buking up a storm also .. I got there just in time to see her leap a good 3 foot, straight up when a rhino beetle hind legged and hissed at her … when I had composed myself and regained my strength from laughing, I saved that one also.

Mental note to self: Check that beetle larvae have not transformed into hissing chicken predator prior to letting the gals dig in the compost dirt
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Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,055
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Hey Sourland, I am pleased someone else got a chuckle out of it.

I do feel a little guilty for laughing at them and while I am sure they had nightmares over it last night, they are fine this morning.

No chickens or beetles were harmed during the telling of the tale
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sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
121,198
357,108
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New Jersey
I have an active imagination and was able to visualize what you put down in words. I am a generally upbeat person, but today I needed a little uplift, and you have helped. Thanks again.
 

N F C

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 12, 2013
94,960
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Wyoming
@Teila great story, gave me a laugh. Thanks for the warning about compost evils, lol. Those poor chickens
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@sourland for you
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Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,055
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
I would think a hammer or a small rock would be enough to smash them enough that your chickens could then pick out the parts for treats.

Tut bigmrg74 yes, I am sure it would be but then I need someone to swing it ... not a chance I could intentionally kill them
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I just popped them back in the compost, apparently even though it takes them 2-4 years to develop from grubs the actual beetle only lives for 3-4 months; seems a lots of effort for such a short life
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