Garden and Nature in Words

Chicken Hunting Party

Earwig insectThis is an Earwig.

They seem to have this habit of getting into anything in the garden made from wood, where they set-up little colonies. Then they become large colonies.

At night they move en masse to the closest growing thing and start chewing it to the stump.

Bastards!!

But you see, there is a not so secret weapon to help control earwigs and give some of the other insects a chance to eat your hard grown food. Chickens 🙂

Chicken Insect Destroyers

I happened to be cleaning the long standing quail hutch, something like 3 years of good use from it. While I was digging out quail manure, dozens of earwigs were scampering around and that seemed like too many those little birds to handle. The quail were taken to another hutch and this old wooden thing was laid on it’s side – then the chickens arrived in no time to catch more of those escaping earwigs.

These four girls spent about half an hour catching every earwig in the vicinity of the hutch. Must have been hundreds of them all told. I broke up the hutch on a concrete floor and a few dozen more earwigs came out from the rotting wooden frame. Yet again the chickens came to the rescue, busily chasing them down and seeming to enjoy the treat.

The plants around the quail cage started to recover immediately. A lovely little wormwood plant had doubled in size since becoming free from a hundred little earwig mouths. It seems so obvious now but it was always hard to find the culprits. Earwigs are great at hiding but armed with a chicken or three, anything is possible.

Something else I’ve noticed, is that since the quail cage experience, the chickens will quickly rush to anything that I happen to push over. Say the large pot of feverfew – they gathered around the bare soil for grubs and quickly scratched a few inches down in their search for those little protein rich goodies. Isn’t that a great habit for a chicken to have 😉

Are you having trouble with earwigs, and if you how do you control them?

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