Hens tack­ling gar­den pests

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QI have just got some hens in the gar­den and un­der­stand that they might help me clear up the gar­den pests such as snails and slugs. What do you think?

AChar­lotte Popescu says: Your hens will par­tic­u­larly like woodlice and ants along with their eggs. Ants of­ten ac­cu­mu­late un­der the drinker so if you move it ev­ery so of­ten your girls will get a feast. Woodlice can eas­ily be found un­der­neath con­tain­ers or large pieces of wood; if you move your con­tain­ers ev­ery so of­ten, your hens will re­ally en­joy clear­ing up the woodlice for you. Slugs and snails are not nec­es­sar­ily favourites; snails will get eaten and if I break up the shell, my hens will eat this as it pro­vides ex­tra cal­cium. Some of my hens are picky of slugs, oth­ers will eat them. Your chick­ens will de­vour ear­wigs, cater­pil­lars, bee­tles and leather­jack­ets, which are the lar­vae of the crane fly. Spi­ders and daddy long legs will also go down a treat. I of­ten see my girls chas­ing af­ter flies but rarely do they ac­tu­ally catch one; dead flies, though, get gob­bled up.

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