Chickens on the pay roll

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lazy gardener, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    I let the girls out of their run for some supervised foraging today. After they wandered around for a bit, I directed them to a spot on the side lawn where there were 2 large ant nests. (each one about 18" diameter) I opened up each nest with a garden fork, then stood back and watched while the 5 girls went to town on the resulting ant mayhem. Good timing, as the nests were loaded with eggs, larvae, and pupae, as well as a number of winged queens getting ready to take flight. IMO, chickens produce more value in pest control and fertility than they do in eggs... though I thoroughly enjoy an egg almost every morning.
     
  2. txnative

    txnative Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2013
    Kempner, Texas
    Good stuff!!!! I'm hoping mine wipe out the ticks around here:)
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    26,006
    22,198
    836
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    I've not had hardly any problem with ticks (or fleas) this year compared to last year. My girls are confined in a 1600 s.f. electrified run, and only got out to free range yesterday for less than 2 hours, so I can't give them all the credit for tick eradication. However, I've heard turkeys in the woods, often enough this spring that I thought there might have been a hen setting a clutch of eggs. I still frequently hear turkeys, and assume that they are to thank for the decreased tick population. I can only imagine how bad they are in the more southern zones. We are 4b - 5a, with temps occasionally down to -20F. If you really want tick control, get some guinea hens. I love what my chickens are capable of doing with the insect population, and gather a cup full of Japanese beetles for them several times/day. Their yard is within 10' of my garden. Very handy for tossing weeds and bugs over the fence to them. Wish I could free range, but too many predator issues.
     

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