Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wicked bugs


Ever fascinated by the circle of life thing evident on the land, we decided to give these evil forest tent caterpillars (Malacosoma disstria Hubner) to the chickens as a treat. So we hand picked them from their webby nest and put them into a plastic tub. Then we put the tub in the chicken run. Bloody Beatrice, always the first at a meal, looked at them, oh so tempting in the tub, and stuck her beak in. She pulled it back quickly, shook her head and went in again. Same thing!

Obviously, these creatures emit a don't-eat-me stink that is really unappetizing, even to omnivorous Bloody Beatrice. So we drowned them in some soapy water.

5 comments:

Carol said...

I always think of tent caterpillars as something to find in summer. Aren't they kind of early this year?

I don't blame the chickens, I wouldn't eat them either!

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Should we chant death songs? We do when we "rip" them down here. LOL.

Monica

El said...

Carol, I am not sure; I do remember seeing them at the end of summer too. We had been keeping our eye on this "tent," though, and knew their time was nigh. And Monica, no songs, but admittedly we do get a certain chill when we send something to its death. Though using the chickens as our surrogates for vole-, mouse- and bug-killing is a rather more positive experience, as we will be eating the rewards in terms of some yummy eggs!

cookiecrumb said...

Nature. Damn, it's hard, isn't it? Funny, too.
Maybe you should be glad Bloody Beatrice turned up her beak at the caterpillars. The eggs will be yummier.

meresy_g said...

It is early for bag worms or tent caterpillars or whatever their name. You should see the sides of the highways around here this year. Many trees are already stripped and there are white webby bags everywhere. It will be a terrible year for them.