We had a fantastic presentation today at the Jamberoo Community Growers meeting, by the people from Organic Crop Protectants. A big part of the talk was on organic fruit fly control, using their “eco-naturalure” male fruit fly trap and attractant/insecticide products. It looks like a great system to keep these frustrating pests down.
You simply bait the male fruit fly trap and install it in your garden, then wait for them to show up. Once you start to see males being captured, you know the fruit fly are active. You then start weekly spraying of the attractant/insecticide product. This lures the females in and poisons them. It’s all organic, and there is no “withholding period” before you can eat sprayed fruit. It won’t hurt the beneficial insects or animals, either.
In other news, one of our Brahma chickens has been sitting on a small clutch of eggs (about 6 or 7) for three weeks now. When we went to feed the chickens this morning, we discovered a freshly-hatched little chick under her. Very cute! Another one was just starting to break through its shell tonight, and hopefully a few more will hatch over the next day or so.
This is great news for our plans to raise more chickens for meat. The Brahmas are very large chickens, especially when they puff out their feathers on the nest. I reckon we could fit 2 dozen eggs under one! They seem to have an excellent mothering instinct, too. I’ll be watching her carefully to see how well she looks after the chicks over the next few weeks.
A second Brahma has just gone clucky this weekend, so we’re saving up eggs to put under her as well.
Once both of these girls have had the experience of raising a small batch of chicks, we’ll ramp them up to a dozen or so next time. If that goes well, we’ll try even more the following time until we determine the optimum number they can look after.
I’m hoping the hens will be able to raise the chicks happily in the main chicken run, and that the other chooks won’t interfere with the babies. If there are any problems we’ll have to move them into a chicken tractor, but I’d rather avoid that so they can free range and learn to forage properly.
If our plan works out, it’ll be a lot easier than mucking around with incubators, brooder boxes and heat lamps!