Using Pastured Chickens for the Control of Colorado Potato Beetle

Final Report for FNE95-092

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1995: $821.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1996
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Joseph Klein
Littlewood Farm
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Project Information

Summary:

Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE95-092.

We found that the pullets caused a very significant reduction in the number of adult CBP, reducing them by 75-85%. Reduction of the larvae was less dramatic, about 40%. This was still very helpful in keeping the foliage on the potatoes. I think this was because the movement of the adults attracted the attention of the pullets more. In the control rows, where bT was sprayed but the pullets did not graze, the adults and larvae populations built up to the point that I sprayed rotenone to prevent defoliation. The rows where the chickens were looked better overall, except the selection where they were allowed to remain for 14 days later in the season. There was damage to the potato vines in this section. The pullets really needed to be moved every 7 days. Another potential problem was the fact that the pullets were small enough to walk through the fence for the first two weeks of the experiment. If the potatoes had been planted next to the crop they could have been damaged; it would have been a problem.

Cooperators

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  • John Hagerty

Research

Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.