The Bug Brigade!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ryan820, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. ryan820

    ryan820 Songster

    Dec 30, 2010
    Today I introduced my small flock of five to the garden. It's our first garden at our current property and having this unusual power over plants (I blame growing up on a farm), the entire garden is teeming to the brim with plants and their respective fruits or vegetables. But the problem is, it's August now and typical Colorado, we get no more rain (boooo). So the land has dried up with the exception of my gleaming green jewel of a garden. This can mean only one thing-- BUGS! More specifically, the entire population of grasshoppers on my 3.5 acres has laid siege to my 20x20 plot. Well, even with the risk of having chickens pooping in my garden, I felt it was time to let the flock have a go at the insects (and I know... I shouldn't let them in the garden because of the poop but there are only five of I'll take the risk).

    Wow... I had no idea the insanity that would ensue. My chickens spent the entire day pillaging the grasshoppers for about 30 minutes at a time. They would then, all at once, race across the yard to get a drink for a few minutes and then race back to continue the feast. They run as fast as they can, wings out as if they were the arms of a runner pumping them along. Very comical.

    I'm not sure I even have any grasshoppers left on my property, which is saying something! The only thing is... (imagine now, if you will, five chickens rubbing their full bellies in a coop)... I'm a little fearful of the riot I'll have on my hands tomorrow when they find the bugs have all been eaten!

  2. adele

    adele In the Brooder

    Dec 6, 2010
    wow, thats obviously effective bug control! but don't they destroy your lovely greens? I'm too scared to plant out my garden at the moment as they have access to it and know they will eat anything I put in there.
  3. Hopper

    Hopper In the Brooder

    Aug 5, 2011
    We recently started letting our 3 RIR out and after about week 2 they discovered my shade garden under a big red maple! Hilarious as they were popping up out of the hosta then disappearing and you would see the mulch fly out then another head up! I watched them for about an hour. I have since decided that I will move a few plants this fall and just put more hosts in for next year. If that's what they like they can have it! So far they haven't gotten into any other flower beds!
  4. ryan820

    ryan820 Songster

    Dec 30, 2010
    Quote:People have asked me about the chickens trampling the garden but it's simple... I hate bending over to pick my vegetables and so everything is staked! The vines, bushes and any plant that has a crawling tendency gets staked and is therefore up off the ground (and I find they grow much better this way, too) and so the chickens do minimal damage. They haven't tasted the plants so far as they've been eating so many bugs. They'll be kept out of the garden today as I don't want to develop a habit for them but in the end, I got a lot of bugs removed and the garden looks perfectly fine!
  5. LoreenH

    LoreenH Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:They haven't eaten the hostas?! I had two disappear in several days before I could get them moved. I moved several others to a secure area; I will take down the fencing when it starts getting cold so the girls can eat them before frost hits. They can also clean out any bugs & slugs in that area. I'm hoping the two that they ate will come back so I can move them too.

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