Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Slugs - At least they are edible
After they get done with my lettuce that is. When considering eating slugs, let them take over your lettuce patch first. Cleans them out great and a nice purge is needed first. I had to go and research this first because I am at my wits end with these guys!!
These critters are so frustrating I could scream! We don't have regular slugs here in Washington States temperate rain forest (Twilight Land for those who don't know about the rain forests out here) Anyway, the slugs we have can get up to 10" long. No kidding. Most are around 5-8" long, but whose counting when you have hundreds of thousands of the bastards.
I have been trying my darnedest to stay natural and organic with this one. Eggshells...need much more grinding up. Large pieces they cruise right over (they are quite large themselves, after all). So I used my blender. That doesn't work real well. It all stays down in the well and it's a fussing match to get it all out. So I will use my food processor next. I do have a reasonable sized flock of chickens and get close to a dozen eggs a day. So will revisit that...with the food processor.
Speaking of chickens, I read in Mother Earth News that a few folks use their chickens and ducks for slug control patrol. My chickens won't even go near the big beasts. The little jelly bean sized slugs they will occasionally eat, but then they are reminded of the glue goo stuck on beak so will not try that again soon. The big ones?? No way. I know this from experience. I was so pleased with myself a couple of years ago. FREE protein for the birds and slug problem down to a dull roar! How perfect a solution.
Right. I gathered a full and heaping dinner sized plate full from my front herb garden area one evening (I'm not kidding) I got these creeps in just about 15 minutes or so. I sang and danced my way out to the chickens with their delicious gourmet meal. They all ran over to check it out...and then turned around and left. Seriously. I then took one off the plate and put it in front of a girl. She dignified that act with a decidedly nasty look and turned around and left. Slowly and with indifference. Ok, so then I chopped one of these huge slugs in front of more chickens. They checked it out, decided it wasn't worth the gluey beak and just left it there. To be wasted. I was stunned. They are spoiled and much prefer the delicacy of worms I guess.
Ducks might do the trick because I know they adore slugs...but how to protect the little plants until they are large enough to withstand being stomped by the big birds? I'm in a quandary.
Until I get ducks (maybe never) I guess I can go back out and gather them up and fry them up for my dogs. It's worth the experiment right? And they ARE full of protein...most dogs don't put their noses up to that quite like the chickens did.
I'm sure my husband will NOT go for us trying it out any time soon. He's really an open minded kind of guy. With limits that is, and believe me, he makes them up as we go. I made the suggestion and it sort of fell flatter than a fleet of lead balloons. :-)