Wednesday, July 6, 2011

slugs, snails & two black widows

Gage and I went on a slug and snail hunt a few days ago.  This is an activity that we do often.  The snails in our yard are constantly munching on our garden and the slugs love our strawberries.  So we hunt.  Sometimes we hunt at night when they become active, but we have found greater success in hunting during the day.  Finding their day time hiding spots and doing some massive killing.

I don't like to kill things, particularly snails because they are so darn cute!  But when your garden is decimated year after year, losing so many plants and partially ripe squash that it is hardly worth gardening, you decide that killing is necessary and come to terms with it.  So hunting we went.

Now with our chickens our hunts have taken on an entirely different spin.  We hunt to feed our chickens, give them protein for our eggs.

We found so many snails and slugs and hand fed them to the girls, they were in heaven.   When we moved onto the wine barrels, we had to come up with a new technique.  When we tipped over the wine barrels there were so many slugs and snails I did not feel like picking off all of those slimy bodies and hand feeding them.  So we gathered up Yoko, our best scavenger and brought her over to the wine barrel and let her do the picking.

Yoko went crazy and ate all of the slugs, snails, earwigs and pill bugs - picking each barrel clean of pests.  When we picked up the second barrel there were two black widows hiding out with the slimy slugs.  Lickity-split Yoko ate the spiders and everything else.  One of the black widows was a very large female with an egg sac.

Our little chickens eat our daily scraps, provide nutrient rich manure for our compost/garden, eliminate the slugs and snails in our garden with a vengeance and remove dangerous pests from our yard.  Just for that they are worth their food costs.  Low and behold they provide wonderful, nourishing eggs for my family as well.    I love my chickens!

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