Tuesday, February 3, 2009

migrant workers

Slugs eat vegetables. Chickens eat slugs. I have a small Japanese immigrant workforce at the farm taking care of the problem. They work for next to nothing and rarely complain. It's pretty great. Here is two kids from the gang patrolling the rows of Romaine and Buttercrisp. It’s a team effort.

This photo and post was from June 2007. It was back in Idaho that I discovered the hidden pest-control powers of a small band of chickens. Sometimes you got to let your flock get your back.

16 Comments:

Blogger Carrie said...

Thanks for a great photo!

I'm getting my girls late March/early April. They're totally illegal here but the house next to me is vacant and the other side is frat guys who haven't sobered up since Spring Break, so I think I'm ok.

I can't wait!!!!

February 3, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

very cool carrie. you'll be fine, just make sure you keep things roosterless. most hens are quieter than cats and dogs.

better to ask for forgiveness than permission!

what kinds of birds are you getting? Silkies?

February 3, 2009 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Shaun said...

I think we have the go ahead to get our pest control team as well!!!

When were you putting in your order Jenna?

February 3, 2009 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

i think friday? i already have 12 spots, need to fill it with 13 more! i am only keeping a few and a co-worker is taking 6. so i need to tack on 12 more to the order at least.

February 3, 2009 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Shaun said...

I dont know if we can take 12 but we may be able to fill 3-5 of those spots. Chels is going to look into the local laws in the next couple of days.

February 3, 2009 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger latinitasoyme said...

what kind of birds are these? i've never seen them before...

February 3, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

japanese black silkie bantams, is what they be

February 3, 2009 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

We're getting 2 buff Orpington's (no roosters!) They're supposed to be good for the beginner chicken mama's and lay well. My friend built a coop so that helped out a lot!

Thanks for writing directly to me ~ I think I blushed a little ;)

February 3, 2009 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

oh goodness. don't blush. i'm a girl in a cabin in the woods, not oprah. but thanks.

orpringtons are huge! they are as large as my brahmas! you'll have fun, but i think you should keep an eye on craigslist for a third. if you lose one you'll have one sad and lonely chicken, and lonely birds rarely lay.

February 4, 2009 at 5:53 AM  
Blogger Antje said...

Hi Jenna,

I finally got your book in the mail yesterday and just read the part about the slugs. I am not a native speaker so I had to ask my husband what they are. :-)

I really, really enjoy reading your blog and I mentioned it on mine- in case you wonder: it's in German.

http://antchie.blogspot.com/2009/01/mein-momentaner-lieblingsblog-in.html

I will go ahead and start ordering chicken and seed catalogs. :-)

February 4, 2009 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

We found a local hatchery (Meyer Hatchery) less than an hour from us and are gearing up for chickens, probably late spring. We were going to wait until next year, but my wife and I keep reading your posts about how fun and easy they are, and that we shouldn't put it off. So we're not! I have to convert half the shed to a coop. We're trying to decide on breeds and just how many to get (5-20). I'm thinking Australorps or Black Stars with a few Buckeyes and a Polish crested misfit. We'll see what kinds my wife wants and get our order in. We won't have to get up to 25 birds and we won't have to pay shipping because they allow local pick-up!

February 4, 2009 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger pleintexas said...

I have 25 chicks ordered from McMurray Hatchery and I cannot wait! My box of peeps will arrive in 2 weeks. It will be fun to get back into selling my eggs again. I have 50 quail coming in May as well. It is hard to leave home in the morning and go to work...

February 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Elie said...

how did they not gobble up all your lettuce? last spring my chickens got into my garden and virtually destroyed the place before I caught them!

February 4, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Shaun said...

Jenna,

Whats the estimated time from order to us picking them up?

Trying to figure out logistics...

February 5, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

ellie - i was watching them, i kept an eye on them so they stuck to bugs and not produce.

shaun, not sure yet. i'll let you know when i know.

February 5, 2009 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

No chicks for us. Chelsea's father is being a big pain about it so its just not worth it right now. Someday though...

February 6, 2009 at 7:59 PM  

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