Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I had visions of chickens pecking around in the yard, keeping down the population of grubs, bugs and other threats to my struggling plants. Sam and the girls were good at that once and there seemed to be a definite drop in pests. But they've gotten lazy in their old age. They dig in the yard now and then, pulling up a sweet morsel here and there, but when two years of drought turned much of the back yard into a hard clay surface akin to concrete, pecking seemed to be more work than they wanted to do. Last year they discovered that the compost bin was an excellent source of worms and such. And they didn't need to work hard to get them-- the compost was nice and fluffy and offered up treats with minimal effort on their part. We've had quite a bit of rain so far this year and the ground is actually soft enough to dig without needing a jack-hammer, but Sam and the girls are spoiled. When they come out of the run in the afternoon, they head straight for the compost bins. Meanwhile, the grubs, slugs and other nefarious critters are thriving in the garden, secure in the knowledge that they have nothing to fear from a flock of lazy chickens with an aversion to hard work.