Sometimes solutions create more problems…

Since we’ve been trying to grow food, one of our biggest problems was slugs.  I refused to buy slug bait and tried feeding them beer (to drown them), making barriers, picking them by hand and relocating them and finally getting guinea fowl.  None of these potential solutions worked.  The guineas wouldn’t eat slugs, picking was too time consuming and didn’t seem to make a dent, very few drowned in the beer and they scoffed at barriers.  Then we were told that ducks are the solution.  Muscovy ducks seemed to be the best variety for our purposes and a friend brought over some Muscovy eggs which our bantam hen, Margaret Scratcher incubated.

These duckies were the solution to the slug problem.  They fight over slugs when they find them and frequently have gooey beaks from all of the slug slime.  However, it turns out that duckies also like lettuce, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, squash leaves, spinach, pea sprouts, spelt and much, much more.  The solution was the fairly time-consuming effort of fencing garden beds that need to be protected from duckies.

Our garden beds, fairly free from slugs and protected from duckies.

Additionally when our heifer, Lani Moo became ill, we found out that it was because the duckies, although they have their own ducky pool, had begun to use the cow trough as a pond.  The solution to that was to give the duckies their own trough in a location that made the cow trough unattractive.  So far, so good.

Happy duckies in the relocated trough

The latest problem with the duckies is that they really enjoy spending lots of time on our patio.  In fact many times when I go outside I have to step over a pile of duckies.  The problem is that they aren’t potty trained and have been making the patio…slippery.  My neighbor came over the other day with a present that seems to be the solution to this problem.  Somehow the duckies don’t feel comfortable on the patio anymore.

Interestingly, the duckies have stopped coming on to the patio

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~ by Anuttama on August 3, 2010.

One Response to “Sometimes solutions create more problems…”

  1. Hari bol
    I can’t have animals in the village without some sticky legal complications. I hand pick slugs and Japanese beetles, my biggest problems. Asparagus beetles are a problem some years. I have a discovered a slightly gross anatomical feature of beetles: Their heads pop off fairly easily. No more mouth; no more biting Krishna’s plants.
    When jap beetles are really bad, I go around with a shallow pan of water and pop them in. Then after picking all I can find, I pour them in a jar and cover for a giant beetles party.
    I made a large slug prison. Two by six frame with screen bottom and plexiglass top. I wouldn’t mind if they lived in there. I give them food and water but they seem to die after a while. Turtles like them. I used to have one.

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