After a storm passed through last night – thunder, lightning, and pouring rain – everything was wet this morning. What’s significant about those conditions? The earthworms come to the surface.
Flipping over pavers, old logs and pieces of wood, and other items that were sitting on the ground before the storm revealed lots of healthy, plump worms. The adult hens were following us around, and they pounced on the morsels. Chickens are pretty adept at pulling the worms out of the ground or other crevices in one piece, but the ducks are really experts at it.
We grabbed a good-sized handful for Coraline, who has been sitting faithfully on the eggs in her nest. She let us hand-feed her – her calm demeanor is a personality trait we appreciate. The worms (along with brief visits to the food bowl in her enclosure) will help sustain her during her long wait for the eggs to hatch.
Earthworms are amazing creatures, themselves, and a quality protein source for omnivores like ducks and chickens. By taking care of the soil in which the worms live, we can help ensure a plentiful food source for our free-ranging flock, and contribute to a healthy ecosystem.