3 wintertime ideas

Live mealworms are back! That’s good news for chicken keepers. (We call them crack for chickens.)

Our neighbor Sandy Rindy stopped in this week with lots of good things for chickens. We’re especially happy that Sandy has live, organic mealworms again. We didn’t sell mealworms over the summer because it’s too hard to keep the worms in their larval stage in the hot weather. The return of cold weather means live mealworms are back at CLUCK.

Sandy raises (if that’s the right word) these worms on a mash made from organic chicken feed and packages them in containers of about 50. Yes, we know you can get dried mealworms at a lot of feed stores, but despite what it might say on the bag about where the worms were packaged, we always wonder whether they might have been produced one of those countries where they’re not so careful what goes into food products. With Sandy’s live worms, we know our chickens are getting organic, locally raised treats that contain no additives the might end up in the eggs we eat.

large_millet.jpgSandy also brought us some bunches of proso millet grass. We’re going to try hanging them in the run as a way of keeping our chickens entertained and out of trouble over the winter. We’ll find out if they like pecking on it just for fun. We have a few bunches for sale in the store in case you want to experiment too.

We’re also going to put dried herbs in our nesting boxes this winter to see if it keeps things fresher. Our friend Barb has made up a mix with dried dandelion leaves, nettles, catnip and alfalfa, and we plan to add lemon balm, mint and hops we dried from our garden. We’ll try a little lavender, too.

Who knows, if the chickens peck at the herbs, they might even start laying oeufs Provençal, if they ever start laying again.