The problem is the solution

We don’t have a grasshopper problem.

We have a chook protein solution!

Well, ok, it is a slight problem. Valanga irregularis is Australia’s largest grasshopper at a documented average of 75mm long (but has been known to go up to 90mm). For those who don’t speak metric, that’s about 3 – 3½ inches long. I know I’ve seen them bigger than that, though… They’re endemic to tropical and sub-tropical Australia, and we have them in the back yard. The little devils are hard to catch though, because they’re fast. Also, being so large they’re very destructive. They have a place in the ecosystem, but I wish there were fewer of them, now that the back yard is going to become more productive.

Anyway, the previous owners of the house had left behind a few very dilapidated garden tools and pieces of equipment. Amongst them was a rather tragic home made ‘butterfly’ type-net. The handle and frame were cleverly made from plastic-coated heavy-duty wire, but the home-made net part was totally rotten and full of holes. No self-respecting grasshopper would be held for long by something as inadequate as this.

We wanted a decent net to catch the grasshoppers. They’re a pest and they’re protein. The Girls would be gaining both nutrition and enjoyment from clearing them up for us, whilst at the same time doing sterling pest-reduction service. (They’re already playing merry hell with the green ant population – go, Girls!). So I dug out my roll of leftover mosquito netting, cut off a chunk, serged it into a sort of bag and stitched it around the frame. Item: one grasshopper catcher.

I look forward to feeding the resulting catch to the Girls. It’s almost as entertaining as bacon rinds…