I love to garden. Squash (yellow and zucchini), arugula, okra, and radishes grow great out here (near Dallas, TX)! But the green beans, tomatoes, broccoli, califlower, peaches, etc. are a food buffet for grasshoppers. The population of grasshoppers seems to go on forever, especially in the hot summer months. It's like a plague from the days of Moses! They eat til it's gone (or in the case of the peaches - until there's no leaves, no peaches, and no bark!) I decided it was time to get some chickens again - even if it was a big flock of roosters - just to eat grasshoppers to their heart's delight! A generous person from our local Freecycle chapter (very cool movement about rehoming items instead of burying them in the landfill) gave me 10 amber sex link roosters. They are so pretty with gold neck feathers, white bodies, and brown splotches on the wings. I kept them in a large fenced-in area right next to the garden. They ate grasshoppers and loved it! Then, the grasshoppers got smart and stayed just out of reach of the roosters (including in the garden). Here begins my dilemma. I let the roosters into the garden. They discovered that greens are easier to catch and equally tasty. Decided to let them free-range our 16 acres. Maybe the grasshoppers wouldn't come near our property....eventually grasshoppers figured out they better stay in the tops of the Johnson grass and in the sun where it was too hot for chickens (100+ degrees in the summer sun). Next, comes the classic question "Why did the chicken cross the road?" - To eat grasshoppers that were still hiding in the shade. Lost two of my precious roos to cars on the county road. Put them back in the fenced-in pen...sigh... Dad wanted eggs, so we bought 10 gold sex links pullets at Atwoods. 8 roosters for 10 hens were too many. 5 roos were passed on to a neighbor. Hens were brought up in the fenced-in area and have never free-ranged. It's winter now, and so far, only two of the roosters fly over the fence, but stay close. The dominant rooster and the hens are living happily within the fence. I pick bucketfuls of grass for them to chow down on. Everyone comes back into the coop each night to roost. By the time summer rolls back around, I'm sure the hens will love to eat the grasshoppers until they get wise enough not to come near the fence. I could really use suggestions for how to satisfy the chickens and keep my garden pest free at the same time!