Chickens controlling june bug larvae?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by ElCerritoPlace, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. ElCerritoPlace

    ElCerritoPlace Chirping

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    I've read that chickens will control june bug larvae, the big white grubs in the soil. This is our second summer here and we put in a garden last year in a new spot. This summer when digging in the garden I could dig one shovel full and easily have a dozen grubs turned over. Now I didn't want to let the chickens in the garden during the growing season. They eat everything I want to eat, and destroy the rest. So if I put them in after the first frost and thru next spring up until planting, will they help control the grubs? Or do they need to overlap during the summer months?

    Any one have any experience using chickens to control these grubs?

    Thanks!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    They will cut way down on your garden pests with this practice. Be sure to let them into the garden as early as practical, and they will have a blast. This year, after one fall, winter and spring on 1/2 of the garden, I had NO squash bugs, far less potato beetles. Also NO oriental lily beetles in my flower beds. Not as many June bugs either. Fewer cut worms. And the list goes on! Gotta love it. Oh yeah... my corn has 2 big ears on almost every stalk... that without added fertilizer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  3. ElCerritoPlace

    ElCerritoPlace Chirping

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    I didn't know if it would work this way, since last year I let them in too. But the grubs were everywhere. but our soil is so sandy that I got some horse manure from the neighbors this spring, so maybe they didn't have enough time to dig thru it, because I had potato bugs and June bug grubs and cutworms(which I had our first year too). Too many factors to figure out what was causing the bug explosion in the garden. I'll do the same then and hopefully next yr is better, with no horse manure!

    Thanks!
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    Don't blame those bugs on the horse manure. Those bugs... just are... But the chickens should help. If you till your garden, you might want to till it lightly to turn up some of those pests, especially as the weather gets colder. I don't till my garden, just keep it heavily mulched.
     
  5. Fluffnpuff

    Fluffnpuff Songster

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    Chickens will absolutely go hog wild over the grubs. The problem is that many of them are deeper than what the average chicken can get to. I plow the garden in early april and the chickens immediately pick out all the grubs that were turned up. By the time i start planting in mid may, my flock has made a sizable dent in their population.
     
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  6. ElCerritoPlace

    ElCerritoPlace Chirping

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    I'll dig it up both this fall then and spring and see if that helps. Hopefully it's not such a late spring. Thanks!
     
  7. Aji Dulce

    Aji Dulce Songster 5 Years

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    Be still my heart!
    No squash bugs? They are the bane of my existence. Did I mention I hate them?
    And the June bugs decimated my fruit trees last year. Left all leaves skeletonized.
     
  8. Aji Dulce

    Aji Dulce Songster 5 Years

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    Won’t eat the adult June bugs?
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    They absolutely adore adult June beetles. And Japanese beetles, and the larvae of both. However, in my yard, my chooks won't touch a squash bug, or a potato bug.
     
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  10. Aji Dulce

    Aji Dulce Songster 5 Years

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    Two years ago I put down milky spore to combat the grubs. I did not see a great difference last year although they say it takes a couple or three years for the spores to proliferate and spread. Because our property is heavily forested I think even if I stopped the ones on my property, new hatchlings from all around could have been the ones flying in here. So with milky spore being an organic biological control can I get confirmation that it is non-toxic to chickens?
     

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