Natural pest control

Well guys. I’m trying to find time to post, I really am. Maybe I’m taking summer break! Yes, that’s it. I’m not slacking off…

Not much at least.

Anyway, I’m here right now, aren’t I? And there’s something cool to talk about. It’s chickens! Honestly, I’ve lost track of how many we have right now. Since starting out last year with our 6 Auracanas, we’ve added at least 30 more chickens to the flock. 8 of them are being kept in a separate cage and are being fed a special feed to help them fatten up, we’re Mark is going to butcher them in a month or so (see what I did there??). Lucky is also still in her own little cage, poor baby. She’s perked up just fine and is growing feathers back on her head, but I’m not comfortable putting her in with the hens until she is full grown and able to hold her own.

Another fun development is that now that it’s Summer we’re letting the chickens free-range! Which brings me to,

Natural Pest Control

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We only let them out of their pen when either The Hubs or I are home. They bop all over the yard and have a great time!

Step 1, have a very buggy yard.

Ours is very, very buggy. When we chopped down a tree in our backyard last summer, it exploded with wood cockroaches. EWW, EWW, EWW, okay, I’m good. Also, we see many varieties of beetles, spiders, flying bugs, and sundry crawlies.

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Our 1-acre property is bordered on two sides by fences, a third side by a partial fence, and the fourth is open to the field, brush pile, and lake.

Step 2, open the buffet!

We only let them out when one or both of us are home to keep an eye on them. When it gets dark they put themselves up in their coop, and there hasn’t been a reduction in egg production so I know they’re making it in to lay!

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Our little bantam rooster thinks he’s all that!

Step 3, keep them supervised.

Since our home is at the very end of a shared driveway, these hens don’t wander close to roads or multiple neighbors. We have one neighbor close enough to possibly be bothered by the wandering chickens, but we spoke with her and she said our chickens are welcome to her bugs!

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They like to nest under my camellia bush, but always put themselves back up in the coop at night!

Step 4, reap the rewards!

These chickens crawl everywhere. They climb over and under our back deck, scratch in the tall grass by the fences, dig around the blackberry bushes – they’ll even start pecking around in our garage if we leave the door open long enough. I was out planting irises last week and the only bugs I saw were worms in the dirt! Wait, are worms bugs? I don’t remember, biology was a long time ago. Anyway, my point is that our once teeming-with-bugs yard is now practically bug-free. Also, this bug control is PESTICIDE FREE. The only thing being added into the ground is poo. A little chicken poo is a fair trade in my book for not having to pour chemicals all over my lawn.

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Can you spot the neighbor’s dog?? His face is peeking through one of the missing fence boards =P

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Wonder what kind of bugs I’ll find over here…

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The smaller pen to the right is the original one from last Spring when we started the chicken hobby.

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We added the larger run a couple months later, when we doubled our flock size.

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This is the coolest thing ever! Last fall we realized that our converted doghouse-into-a-chicken-coop was definitely not weatherproof enough to withstand a midwestern winter. After some brainstorming, I came up with the idea of moving the chicken coop into garage. The Hubs cut a hole in the metal siding, framed a doorway and built a door and ramp. Isn’t it clever?

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This is how the coop is set up in the garage. Not only are the chickens protected from rain and wind during our harsh winter (remember the Christmas snow storm?) but we are also protected from inclement weather when we go out to gather eggs! So far we haven’t had an issue with smell, The Hubs makes sure to clean out the coop every couple of weeks before it gets really rank.

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Gathering eggs is the easiest thing ever now.

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It’s simple for the chickens to get in and out, and the sharp metal edges are covered by a wooden door frame so no injuries!

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We scored these pens on Craigslist for $80 total! The larger one is for our meatbirds and the smaller pyramid one is Lucky’s.

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Our meatbirds are white brahma chickens, the meatbird of the 1900s, we also have three bantam hens in with them. Technically the bantams are old enough to go out with the large flock, but they’re just so small! We’re keeping them penned for a little while longer.

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Lucky still doesn’t understand why she’s in a pen by herself and tries to get into the bigger pen! Poor baby, I guess she’s forgotten all about being viciously attacked by them a month ago.

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The Hubs covers these pens up with a huge blue tarp every evening, and leaves it on if rain is expected.

Anyway, I absolutely do not spend way too much time watching these hilarious chickens run around the yard. Not at all!

xo,

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3 thoughts on “Natural pest control

  1. One of the greatest advantages of natural pest control methods is that they help to prevent the reproduction and growth of pest in the home and garden. Growth of pests is rapid which creates trouble for you and your property. They also create health complications. Natural method for pest control helps to prevent not only visible pest but are also helpful in finishing the eggs or larvae. Natural pest control methods are environment friendly and free from other harmful effects.

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