Post by: Marty Hatfield,
on Sep 14, 2009 12:01:27
Do you have crickets or cockroaches in your area? I wanted to share something I discovered by accident this summer. I put a piece of plywood down in the chicken coop one muddy day this spring when I wanted to throw them some scraps and have it stay relatively clean. A couple of weeks later I managed to get back out there to move it and when I lifted it up there were a ton of crickets and cockroaches.
Needless to say the chickens were quite happy. I have moved lumber piles before and had the chickens enjoy the feast, but I never put it together until recently. I really did not know what the bugs were eating. So I went out one night with a flashlight to see hundreds of crickets feeding on the chicken poop. I had no idea they ate that stuff. Barrrfff :–)~
So I laid down strips of plywood with limited success. Then I realized it must have been helped along because it had recently rained when I did it the first time. So I sprinkled the area with water every couple of days as I changed the chickens water, and within a week there were more. Now that I have been doing this for a few months I can turn the boards every three or four days and reveal hundreds of cockroaches and crickets (Sometimes I wait a week to let them really build up).
The chickens continue to poop on top of the plywood all day so when I turn it over the critters have a fresh supply of food again and they multiply like nothing I have ever seen.
Maybe it’s the heat of the desert? Maybe it’s something in our chickens food that the bugs like after it’s gone through the bird? I don’t really know. All I know is that the eggs seem to taste better and the shells feel thicker and brighter. The birds also look much better. One particular rooster that is a real bug hog is so shiny and perfect he almost doesn’t look real. I mean he looks like a poster or something. It really is amazing to see first hand how diet improves health.
I thought that because they had free run and some access to the garden and lots of scraps that they were as healthy as can be. I can see now that there was room for improvement. The desert just does not normally produce enough bugs that they eat I guess.
I am not sure if there is a downside, I have not discovered it yet. Another upside is that it seems to concentrate the bugs to the coop. I find far less…I mean seriously – I would guess a 75 to 80 percent reduction in what I find in the house. I cannot think of the last time I found or saw a cockroach in the house. I think the chicken poop attracts them all to the coop! Whaddyall think?
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