Friday, May 27, 2011

The Answer!

You all came up with some great guesses in response to the last post! It was fun to read all of the different comments. :)

Some of you were close, but weren't quite there . . .

we weren't berry picking (though that would have been fun!)

nor were we mushroom hunting

nor fetching water from the creek for ma (this one made me laugh, Becky! :)

nor gathering plant material or honey

and thankfully we weren't egg hunting due to wayward hens!

Those who guessed catching grasshoppers, snails, crawdads and frogs were awfully close . . .

We were hunting and catching something . . .

One here, one there, one just about everywhere . . . we combed through our woods, picking off cicadas right and left and dropping them into our buckets. The end result was . . .

Lots of noisy, creepy-crawly insects about ready to become dinner to . . .

The chicks!

The above photo gives a pretty good depiction of what was happening . . . blur! The chicks were racing around so fast gobbling down cicadas as fast as they could. It was hilarious! We gave them about three-quarters of what was in one of the buckets, and then the hens got all of the rest. They're not quite as entertaining as the chicks, but they certainly go crazy for them.

So there's the answer! And we'll be doing more of this in the coming days as not only is it cutting down on the cicada numbers (and thus, hopefully reducing the damage that will be done to our trees), but it's also helping to reduce the feed bill some. Add in it being fun to go 'hunting' for them, and it's a win win, either way! :)


  1. Oh Wow!

    You girls are brave! Did you touch them with your bare hands? :O

    Maybe I should come down there and help you with your bug catching so I could get rid of my fear of bugs LOL.

    In Christ,


  2. I didnt realise that they were harmful to trees, Sara. Here they just sit and 'sing' so we dont mind them, but I think they are a much smaller variety.

  3. When I read your post yesterday I couldn't guess what it was you were searching for at first. But when I thought about it later, I remembered your post about the cicadas and the fact that you had mentioned gathering them for your chickens in the past and I thought that maybe that was it! By then, however, it was too late for me to comment.

    Your chickens certainly look as if they enjoyed their food, anyway! It must have been exciting for them to see all those little insects.


  4. Oh, Sarah and Leah, you are so brave! I don't think I could make myself pick up a cicada if I wanted too. I don't like bugs, at all :(

    I'm glad that your chickens like them!

    Blessings, Sarah!
    Bethany Joy

  5. Thank you for your comment, Ashley-Joydana! And yes, we did touch the cicadas with our bare hands. :) Once you get used to it, they don’t really bother one at all . . . especially since they don’t bite and don’t really do anything other than just sit there. That sounds like it would be fun if you could come down and help us with the bug catching! Our chickens, I am sure, would also appreciate having another ‘cicada gatherer’. :)

    By the way, welcome to my blog!

  6. They can be, Elizabeth, and especially to young trees. Our yearly cicadas aren’t a problem at all as there aren’t a whole bunch of them so we don’t mind them . . . in fact, I rather like them! But this 13 year cicada hatches out in huge numbers (we have already caught well over a thousand), and they lay their eggs in the small branches of trees. The last time they came in 1998 so many branches died on our trees as they were completely covered with punctures from where the cicadas had laid their eggs. So if we can reduce the numbers of this type of cicada, that’s a good thing!

  7. You were right in your guess then, Anna! I was wondering if anyone would draw the connection between the post at the beginning of the week about cicadas and then the ‘guessing’ post. Yes, the chickens certainly did enjoy the food! Now whenever they see us coming towards their pen, they all start flying/running as quickly as they can to us just in case we might have more cicadas for them!

  8. It does take some getting used to to pick up the cicadas, Bethany! But as we grew up doing entomology in 4-H, we handled a lot of insects and they don’t really bother us anymore. At least, ones that don’t sting or bite! :) And as cicadas do neither, we don’t mind them. I don’t blame you, though, for not wanting to pick one up! They’re not the most pleasant looking creatures are they?!

  9. I agree! Very brave! It's a great idea though and I am sure your chickens were so happy! :) You have a lovely blog!

  10. My brother used to capture those when he was younger and place them in his pockets..Mama wouldn't find them until she did the laundry....needless to say she was not very fond of his collection. :)
    I know they don't bite..but I also know I could never gather the courage to grab one...:)
    So glad the chickens enjoyed them..I am sure they will have many more feasts like this in the coming weeks. The cicadas haven't emerged yet around's still rather quiet.

  11. Thank you for your sweet comment, Emily, and welcome to my blog! Yes, the chickens certainly have been rather happy lately. :) They're loving all of the extra treats!

  12. What a funny story about your brother, the cicadas, and the laundry, Ellen! Though, I am sure it wasn’t funny at the time. :) But it sure makes for fun memories and stories!

    The chickens are so enjoying the cicadas . . . we generally keep the hens in a large enclosure to keep them from wandering off of our property, but this morning, we’re letting them out of that so that they can eat up as many cicadas as they can find. We’re keeping a close eye on them, though, so they don’t wander off!

    Well, it sounds like before long the cicadas will be coming out where you live, and then you’ll begin to see and hear the same things we are here. They’re starting to get loud now!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)