Re: [gardeners] slug control extraordinaire!

George Shirley (
Mon, 15 Mar 1999 11:49:30 -0600

margaret lauterbach wrote:

>         I visited a friend last weekend in a small town near Boise.  She owns a
> greenhouse-herb business there.  She has a number of large domed cold
> frames, all of which were propped open.  She said she had been moving the
> flats under the domes, and found the weedcloth beneath covered with slugs.
> She has four "silky" chickens, who were looking under her arms, and they
> moved in and pigged out.  They hung close by, waiting for her to move
> another flat.  I think they also eat lacewings and lady beetles,
> unfortunately.  But she says they don't seem to know that seeds are edible.
>  They certainly do a good job in the yard, though.  I don't know whether
> she lets them in the greenhouse.  If she sees slug damage, I'm sure she
> would.  Margaret L

When we lived in the country years ago we gave our chickens free run of the garden
area. The small amount of produce they ate was more than made up for by the bugs,
snails, and slugs they consumed. Tried it with the ducks and they went straight for
the plants. Ducks and geese are browsers, ie eat grasses and weeds so you don't
want to let them in the garden until the garden truck is big enough to keep the
ducks and geese from eating it. Have a friend about a block over who keeps Japanese
Silkies and lets them into his garden. We live in a city with restrictions but no
one has ever complained about his 5 or 6 little chickens even though I can hear the
rooster crow every morning. I may borrow the little birds once in awhile for garden