Monday, July 14, 2014

Fresh Salad

Some folks think that animals don't have feelings, or if they do they are simple ones like fear and pain.

I think those folks need to see just how happy a few square feet of fresh grass and weeds makes the peepers.  I don't even have to offer them dressing for their new salad, they will attack it with gusto.

The effects are immediate.

The peepers live up to their name, producing both louder and more frequent peeping as they run about excitedly.  The turkeys pounce on hoppers and bugs trying to get away (conjuring images of hunting velociraptors) while the chickens go exploring.  When a chicken does manage to nab a bug a high velocity chase ensues as those who "saw it first" attempt to make good on their own claim.  This usually most resembles a combination of tag and hide-and-seek.  The bug usually changes hands several times, anyone who stops long enough to eat the bug opens themselves up to be bothered and interrupted by pursuers.

Eventually someone will find half a second alone and the bug will disappear, adding its nutrition and energy to the cause while reducing my feed bills.  I am happy to see so many bugs volunteering their unique "services" in this fashion.

Mrs. Farmer and I move the paddock when needed which at first might not be for several weeks.  As the birds grow and get "more efficient" at processing feed and "fertility deposition" increases so too will the number of paddock shifts we will need to do.  In the second photo you can see a stripe of the previously occupied area.   A combination of compaction, consumption, and "contribution" by the peepers creates that result.  In a very short time the grass beneath will be growing up again, boosted by the extra nitrogen and hesitantly due to all the attention. Luckily such restoration does not take very long and we have lots of lawn which has been left long for future paddock shifts.

Bon App├ętit.


  1. It's amazing how quickly they will start to stomp down the grass. I just love seeing peepers enjoying sunshine, fresh air, and salad with a side of bugs!!!

    1. Today's rain might keep them under cover more and reduce impact some but these birds are brave and stupid they might just ignore the rain. I'll have to leave the heat lamp on all day.