What also is in full swing are Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica).
These bugs will "fall" when disturbed. So I grab a large mouthed container, throw in a bunch of ice and some water.. and let them drop in. The wild grape vines and wild roses all around the garden are essentially acting like a trap crop. They drop into the ice water and are too cold to fly away.
These beetles will skeletonize a long list of plants. It is like a biblical plague. Several trees are so covered that you barely can see the leaves. While you can use a lure trap, it will essentially attract the fiends in greater numbers than what the traps can catch... As in.. if you use traps, put them up at someone else's place far away!
Once I have my finely honed attack chickens ready (read.. brave enough to leave a 20 foot radius of their coop).. I dream of opening the door and yelling "RELEASE THE FOWL!" The beetles will tremble and go elsewhere. I did mention I was dreaming..
At 8 weeks old, I am bringing the beetles to them. I collect up what I can, pour it into an old flower pot and let them devour the semi-frozen fiends.
I should have had my husband ready with the camera. That red headed chicken is "Karen".. and a force to be reckoned with. She is brave (within sight of the coop), independent (as long as she sees you are around), a natural laid back little leader. The "Karen technique" essentially means we may never ever need to use the weed whacker ever again. She has taught the others the scratch and sit method that has cleared the grass and weeds around the 20 foot distance of the coop to the house.
This is the coop so far. Keep in mind most all of this is from wood my husband is scavenging from the ancient barn. The bottom was excavated a bit. It should be deep enough that they should be able to wander around under there. Wiring has been sunk into the ground and then rocks which are mud packed as well as concreted into place hopefully will deter any predators.
Floor boards are from the old barn, as are the posts. You have no idea the string of adjectives my husband was able to fluently string together. Everything is warped, twisted due to time and exposure. Not an attribute my perfectionist husband particularly cares for.
The coop will be 8' by 12' and have 4 windows that are also reclaimed. When you are working with reclaimed materials, it takes a lot more time. We are insane for doing this. Trying to build a coop this large for under $1,000 is interesting.
Here's what my incredibly amazing husband is rummaging to get much of the lumber..
So the cavernous old barn will get a new life as a little chicken cottage, with any luck. When the coop is done, then construction on making some compost bins to organize my piles, and cold frames.. ugh cold frames. Endless list.
Focus Danielson! I suck at completing projects by the way. I am great at starting a million of them, but notorious for flaking out and biting off more than I can chew. Kinda like the multiple stock pots of berries that I must freeze or jam..
I need a jammer! As in.. here.. you make the jam while I pick the berries. As having a big family is not in my cards to create, maybe I should create a commune. Which I totally would do.. you know.. if I actually owned the land. Maybe start some sort of rent-a-jam-granny business.
Time to run over some produce from the garden and get back to work. Take care and stay cool!