Monday, May 9, 2011

Release the Chickens!

Our #1 and #2 daughters - the latter with our son-in-law - were home for the weekend, partly for the Mother's Day family get-together in one of the Twin Cities' northern suburbs. I made it down there for the first time in several years, which turned out quite well.

Back here in Sauk Centre, we did some more catching-up. My son-in-law told me that ticks make it hard to work with the tractor in the timber claim: a roughly 10-acre woodland north of their home.

I'd like to spin a story about those North Dakota ticks having developed a taste for motor oil. The truth is remarkable enough. Those blood-sucking pests are so thick in spots that he can see masses of them moving over the undergrowth.

He and #2 daughter have a plan for dealing with the ticks this summer. They intend to get a sort of porta-coop, a high-capacity water & feed unit, and about 30 chickens. Chickens eat ticks - which is why they've already got a small flock of free-range chickens in the yard.

I suppose I could call it 'green' pest control: but the fact is, that's the way folks in this part of the world have been keeping ticks in check for generations. Some of us, anyway.


I didn't realize, until after Easter, that this family has passed another milestone. For the first time in many, many years we didn't color Easter eggs this year.

I miss that activity: but change happens. And if parents do their job right, children grow up.


Brigid said...

I realized the Easter egg thing as soon as I found out we weren't having a get-together for Easter. I was disappointed, but I didn't say anything because I thought it might cause problems.

Brian H. Gill said...


First and foremost: don't worry about it. Really. We might bring this up at some point.

Maybe the family could color eggs in celebration of National Egg Day.

That's June 3. No kidding. (

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