9.10.2008

Greens, Grains and Mmm! Mmm! Grubs!

It's safe to say our chickens have a well-balanced diet. We've a full eight acres for them to explore during the day, on which the vast majority of the land grows - besides rocks - loads of wild grasses and weeds for them to eat.

We also provide them a mix of 50/50 organic grains and commercial feed that they share with the geese. Although I'd prefer to give them all organic, it's expensive stuff, so until we can grow our own to supplement, the mix will remain.

And then there are the bugs and grubs. Mmmm, tasty grubs! Every now and then, I'll lift up one of the concrete stepping squares at the base of the large poultry feeder to reveal dozens of squirmy little treats. The chickens go nuts, quickly pecking and downing each grub until there are no more to be had. Dyson would be jealous of the hoovering power these chickens have. (The geese, vegetarians that they are, sniff imperiously and look the other away.)

The chickens don't need my help, however, in finding their own grubs. Yesterday afternoon, one of the Cubalayas was scratching at the base of the compost pile. I watched her pick out what I thought was an escaped moldy plum. Walked over to take it away (moldy food is bad for humans and chickens alike), and saw that this was no plum. No, what Cinnamon found was the Mother of All Grubs. Seriously, the grub she found was longer and fatter than my thumb. Pasty white, squirmy, and almost as big as Cinnamon's head.

She carried it around for a bit, dropping it here and there, pecking at it like she wasn't sure exactly how to eat this thing. Eventually she took it out behind some bushes, where I hope she swiftly dispatched the grub's life. I, uh, didn't care to witness much more.

Mmmm-mmmm! Talk about good eats!

[No, not really. Okay, yes, if you're a chicken. Pic: the mighty grub-hunter herself, Cinnamon.]

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