Chasing a ‘solution’

It works!  The grasshopper net has made its inaugural catch.

As luck would have it, I was the first successful net operator, and was able to capture the details. Here is the solution to the grasshopper problem: chook protein. I could go on about the balletic grace with which I leaped about in the shade house…. but I’d be lying. There was a lot of crashing about and salty language. But I got her, and she was a big’un, at nearly 3 inches long.

In some haste (because she has sharp claws on those long legs, and strong jaws) I marched over to the chook yard and shook out the net. Instantly, 5 pairs of beady eyes focussed on the stunned and briefly still insect. And then it was on! Blanche* was the quickest off the mark.

Blanche in (temporary) sole possession

First one, then another of the birds would grab it and run hectically around with the thing dangling from its beak. Another bird would catch up and steal it. And again. And again. I swear, I stood there for a solid 20 minutes watching. Thing is, the grasshopper was too large for any of them to deal with all in one go. The legs are just too long and spiky. I mean, chickens can and do hunt and eat mice, but insects tend to be smaller and more manageable. The poor girls just needed a quiet moment to dismember it, but no such luck. Eventually it disintegrated from being pulled from one beak to another…

Ruth making a break for it, with the rest in hot pursuit

So I’d rate the whole thing a roaring success. Because 1) I got rid of a pest; 2) The chooks got extra protein and honed their hunting instincts; and 3) Lots of entertainment!!

I must see what they can do with a worm. I have plenty of those!

 

*The Girls have been renamed. All the Egg’ names were very clever and all that, but not really user-friendly.  So we have: Elizabeth, because she’s Queen of the flock; Ruth, because she’s the darkest, with a white ‘lace’ collar and is named after RBG, my heroine; Blanche, because she’s the lightest and has white undies; Peachy, because she has peach undies; and Lacey, because she has laced feathers on her back – she’s also the smallest and naughtiest, so her nickname is Madam Houdini.

25 thoughts on “Chasing a ‘solution’

  1. Who needs to go out when u have your very own theatre at home…. Happy all are happy with the results and I totally love the chookies names. 🥰

  2. magpiesue says:

    I don’t know, the entertainment value might score the highest in my book. 😁

  3. Dayphoto says:

    That thing is huge!!! The girls will love getting more!

  4. Huge hopper! We don’t get them that big out here, thank goodness although I’ve seen them in town at my MiL’s. Those girls got lucky when they found their way to you.

  5. kathyreeves says:

    There really was a riot in the hen house!

  6. cedar51 says:

    That is so Magic – thanks for sharing …

  7. nanacathy2 says:

    I never knew chickens ate mice. I do have a bit of sympathy for the poor grasshopper too. Totally irrational I know, since I quite happily employed a rat catcher.

  8. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Watching chickens is fascinating and giving them something to squabble over adds to the fun!

  9. claire93 says:

    protein – yum!

  10. anne54 says:

    It is a shame that my small backyard doesn’t have room for chooks….so I will enjoy your flock. Today’s antics made me laugh!

  11. Leaping about to capture grasshoppers sounds like excellent dance-based exercise. I’m only sorry there was no video evidence.

  12. Congrats to the great white hunter! The girls probably did a happy dance to thank you when you weren’t looking. I can imagine how entertaining that was to watch. My guess is hunting grasshoppers is off the to-do list for a day or two? Even chickens all come with their own personalities. Fascinating!

    • katechiconi says:

      The Husband has obliged with a new load of grass clippings, so their attention is fully absorbed there. Cut grass is always full of bugs and they leap on it with loud cries of excitement. As for personalities: Elizabeth is bossy, Ruth is greedy, Blanche is adventurous, Peachy is the quietest and Lacey is sneaky, always trying to creep under/ round/ through any barrier.

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