Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Slug Bonanza

I have been feeling as though I finally have my slug infestation under control. I have been finding fewer and fewer slugs, when I am out doing my morning chores. Those I do find are smallish. In fact I haven't seen any of the big ones since I poisoned the compost barrel. But they're still here. Seems the big ones like to hide and sneak out in the dead of night. I happened to be out in the backyard last night, at around 11:30pm. We have a bright porch light, and as I stood there, admiring my yard, I noticed 2 dark blobs on the lawn behind the chicken tractor. Closer inspection revealed them to be 2 monster sized slugs. It seems they were after either spilled chicken feed, or chicken poo. How ironic that my intent was for them to soon become chicken poo. I found a large plastic container with a sturdy lid. I didn't want them escaping back into the darkness. I located one of my small flashlights and began making a search of the yard. What I found was horrifying. Huge slugs everywhere. There was one making a beeline for my precious (yet still straggly looking) basil. Another was heading for the chard. And there were multitudes in the lawn. I gleefully stuffed them all into my container. Here, for your viewing enjoyment, is proof that you should never walk barefoot, in my lawn, at night.

This morning I couldn't wait to show my bounty to the girls. I tossed 5 of them into the run and watched their reaction. Joanie grabbed a big one and headed off to a corner to hog it all to herself. The other 2 picked their respective slugs but they were soon spending more time trying to wipe slime from their beaks than they were eating. Meanwhile Joanie was comically running in circles, a giant slug dangling from her beak, teasing the other 2 hens. Who wanted nothing to do with her slug. They were still wiping off slime. I ended up having to remove 3 live slugs from the run since the girls were now ignoring them as they made their bid for freedom. not on my watch, slugs! Back into the container you go. I'll have to dispatch you another way. I am a bit disappointed the girls didn't better appreciate my gift. The slugs are smaller than mice and I've seen a chicken down a whole mouse in one gulp. Granted, it wasn't a slimy mouse. Maybe that was the difference. In the future I will feed the girls only the smaller slugs and do the big ones in by giving them a salted water swimming pool. I have added Slug Wrangler to my list of jobs and will be making nightly patrols of the backyard.

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