Chickens, wireworms, and onions...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CorianderCreek, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. CorianderCreek

    CorianderCreek Hatching

    Jan 11, 2019
    Hopefully I have this in the right spot.

    We are starting to convert 100+ year old (literally) pasture/hay fields to crop, vegetables and herbs here in Western WA (wetter / warmer side of the Cascades). We have the luxury of doing it in stages, testing, etc... One of the recent issues is a suspected high wireworms population, which are drawn to moist grassy fields.

    One tidbit I stumbled on to is that chickens LOVE wireworms! We have 36 chickens, so a solution is starting to form on chicken tractoring the fields to let the chickens help to reduce the pests while also pre-fertilizing the ground. In general, I expect most vegetable crops would have to wait until after an area is chicken policed (pouliced? ...sorry, bad pun). Greens, grains, etc would obviously get shredded down chicken gullets in short order.

    But what about onions?

    The aren't healthy for chickens, but are chickens smart enough to know that and just avoid them when there is plenty of other types of pasture greens trying to come up and wire worms to find?

    I suspect that chicken scratching would be the real deal breaker, up turning the onions regardless of whether or not they get eaten.

    But figured I'd ask for some opinions on this line of thought.
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I agree, chickens cannot really seem to eat anything without scratching first, anything planted in loose soil would soon not be planted. I do not think that you could plant any crop and put chickens on it and get anything but torn up plants.

    Mrs K

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