Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ol' fashioned fun...

Wanna have some laughs? Throw a handful of grub worms in the brooder with four baby chicks! I would have taken some pictures, but we were laughing too hard.

Seriously, I plan to give the chicks some grub worms and other pests as they are available to "train" them to seek out these little buggers. They seemed to really "hit the spot" as the chicks chased each other around playing keep away with the worms. I have one garden bed that is full of grubs, so this will be a good way to eliminate many of them while also influencing my chicks taste buds. I have absolutely no scientific evidence that this theory will work, but it seems like good common sense, doesn't it?

The tomato plants continue to sprout and I've got a nice germination rate on the first seeds I planted. The second bunch still has some time. No sign of the potatoes, onions, or beets in the back bed. /thrumms fingers on table/ It is so hard to wait patiently.


HermitJim said...

Training your chickens...who would have thunk it?

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Sounds like a sensible plan to me...

Hey! Another having seedling smilies!!


Gots to till the other half of the bed and get the tomatoes, melons, and whateverelses down... [looks askance, plotting...]

The Hills said...

Chickie fun! Our full grown hens still do the same thing when they find a particularly tasty treat ;-) I see they're already getting their wing feathers...before you know it, they'll be in that awkward "teenage" phase (half fluff, half feathers)!

Anonymous said...

Hey there Steph,
It's nice seeing you get excited about gardening. Rich tries to get me into it but is having no luck. We did have a large garden the first year we were married and it wasn't too bad, but my life is a little more hectic now.

I like reading your entries about chicks and how you are training them to eat bugs. You might want to try a few ducks as well. Ducks can be let out into the garden and yard free range and they will not destroy (dig up) the ground like chickens will because their feet are made so different they aren't able to harm the earth. I've also never heard of them disturbing ripened fruit or veggies either. Rich's parents tried Guienna fowl one year for bug control in the garden with terrible results. They were just as interested in eating garden produce as the squash bugs. AND, they were too wild to catch so the end results were not pleasant for the Guiennas.


P.S. Duck eggs are great.

One Acre Homestead said...


It is very true that chickens shouldn't be allowed to free range in established garden beds as they'll eat the plants and the vegetables. The best way to use chickens is to prepare a bed for planting. To do this, you create a pen around a garden bed with temporary fencing then let the chickens do their thing. They'll clean out the bugs, eat all the weeds, and break up the surface of the ground...all while they add a nice layer of fertilizer as well! I have read that chickens are quite useful in orchards to keep the ripened fruit that has fallen from the trees cleaned up. I don't anticipate this being a problem at our place since we wait with baited breath for each piece of fruit!

Ducks sound like an interesting option, but I'm afraid they'd be too loud in our neighborhood. We're just hoping no one starts a fuss about the chickens. Every house has a minimum of an acre, though, so we're hoping that we won't have any trouble.

(Glad you are still reading! I'm missing you and S this semester!)