gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Violet the Slug Slayer

on August 27, 2012

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Hens are not vegetarians. They love scratching through the grass and roots for all sorts of bugs. I have witnessed a chase through the coop for a winged beastie. Every few days my girls get a snack of dried meal worms. But Miss Violet Beaudelaire has never been known to eat them. I have discovered that Violet loves Slug Sushi. In fact it’s probably more like Sashimi, fresher than fresh. She goes to the same spot in the garden up against the wall, grabs a big juicy slug, legs it up the garden away from the others, has two dainty pecks, then throws her head back and swallows. Gone. Goodbye slug.

Slug is such a horrible word. In French slug is ‘limace’. Much prettier name for something fairly gross. And as someone who has stood on a slug in bare feet will tell you,there ain’t much more gross than that.
Slugs and snails have been prolific this season with all the rain, and they have been feasting on my poor bean and pea plants. Pellets seem to have no effect, they are not deterred by copper tape around the pots. Putting down salt would not only kill the slugs but would kill the plants too. Apparently slugs like beer and can die a happy, if somewhat inebriated, death in jars of beer placed near the veg. This does not take into account the dog, who will try anything once. The last thing I need right now is an overweight dog with a drink problem.
Slugs can also be deterred by broken egg shells and human hair. No shortage of either of these around here. But somehow letting Violet loose in the garden and witnessing her pleasure seems more attractive (except for the slugs)
In Britain there is a new species of slug -“the Spanish Stealth Slug” which is breeding with our native slugs and their offspring is powerful, vigorous, prolific at breeding and virtually indestructible. Ugh.
I wonder if Violet knows about Banana Slugs. As their name suggests they are yellow and can be up to 25 cm long. Banana slugs have been used as food by Yurok Indians of the North Coast and by German.immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A yearly festival and contest is held at Russian River (California) including slug races and a contest for recipes – though, even when fed corn meal to purge them or soaked in vinegar to remove slime, the slugs’ flavor is not always well regarded, and the most successful entries are often those in which the flavor is unnoticeable.
Maybe Violet should consider entering next year.

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Sushi or slugs. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

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One response to “Violet the Slug Slayer

  1. Helen says:

    Oh how I laughed at your latest blog!! Is the wee man Lucas a pedigree? Just wondered as he has very unusual markings? Gorgeous though & making me a bit broody!
    Talking of which we had a broody hen who thought she was hatching a chick & sat on an egg for 3 days refusing to move!!! I blame John (the rooster) on the farm where she spent her (our) summer holidays!!
    Dave locked the coop and then they laid eggs in all sorts of random places………!!

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