As the growing season approaches again, you may be looking for ways to increase your success in the field, searching for solutions to those challenges you faced last year.
If insects such as grasshoppers are a recurring problem in your fields, you may want to give this remedy a try: chickens.
A flock of hungry hens is a proven cure for a field full of grasshoppers. They are diligent workers, and they do not require the use of pesticides. They will even give you fresh eggs as a byproduct. How much better does it get than that?
Will they eat your crops? Not if they’re well established, but still not fully ripened. Young sprouts are a bit of a temptation, as are heads of grain. But during most of the growing stage, a chicken can be a valuable ally.
A Few Tips
Make sure that your flock doesn’t get bored. If they run out of grasshoppers in the field and pellets in the feeder, they will probably start sampling the crops. To prevent this, use portable electric netting to rotate the flock. As the chickens finish up the job in one part of the field, move them to a different part of the field. Frequent rotations will keep the hens well fed and entertained.
One final word of advice: Remember the saying, “monkey see, monkey do.” When it comes to chickens and feed, that saying applies all too well. If they see you open a soybean pod and feed them from it, for instance, they will start opening pods themselves. If you don’t want the chickens to take on the task of harvesting, don’t show them how to do it.
While they may not be able to solve an insect problem in a large field, a flock of chickens is a proven solution in a smaller field. Try it out!