April 16, 2016

Toads for breakfast

We have loads of toads in our yard.

They are kind of cute little things, hopping around by the pond.  When you walk by the pond in the evening, you hear a series of plops as they jump to safety in the water.  

Unfortunately, this time of year we start finding gobs of the toads in our pool cover, where they seem to come to mate.  They make this god-awful noise that sounds like something from a horror movie as they call to each other at night.

Then one morning we saw something interesting: a chicken being chased by her sisters across the yard.  We looked closer and saw she had a toad hanging out of her mouth and everyone else wanted a piece.  It was quite the scene!  They chased her around all over the place until she finally shared.  The birds had quite a breakfast that day.

Joel Salatin writes about how chickens are not naturally vegetarians and will seek out sources of protein if left to free range.  Well that's definitely true of our girls!

So one night last week, Josh fished several toads out of the pool cover and put them in a bucket.  The boys had fun holding them and watching them jump around.  Oliver even gave one a kiss.  That child loves kissing critters.

In the morning, I dumped the bucket by the coop.  This one toad hopped inside and a stand-off commenced.  The hens were starring at the toad and the toad was starring at the hens..

Let's just say, the hens ate well that morning too.

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