Chickens as pest control (or what to do when your new chickens don’t lay eggs)

We got our chicks back in April. Dreams of hyper-local, organic eggs danced in our heads. Unfortunately, we didn’t do the math or put together two very important concepts: one, chickens start laying eggs at five to six months old, two, chickens need twelve hours of light to lay eggs. Six months after April is October (four plus six) and daylight is a lot less in October. Result? Our chickens will be free-loaders in their first year.

That’s not allowed!

Without eggs, we still put the chickens to work. This is our first year on our city lots and the yard was overrun with carpenter ants, possibly termites, and other bugs. There were piles of wood against the garage, behind the garage, and the bottom of our hill that encouraged this bug growth.

Our chickens ate all the bugs! For our first run, we stacked all the wood to make one of the fence walls. The chickens ate any bug they saw. It was a glorious thing and gave us a lot of peace to know that the bug population was being decimated. All the bugs behind the garage are gone now.


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