Eating slugs

It’s rather wet here… well, it is the west coast of Wales, so what do you expect?

There are some plusses – no hose pipe bans (not that I use a hose pipe unless it’s connected to a water-butt or IBC) and we have lovely lichens and mosses, but we do also suffer from slugs. I try to make the most of what occurs naturally in the garden – I keep the brambles under control so that I can harvest the blackberries, I use nettles in the compost, I collect as much water as possible and use it, where possible, when drinking-quality water is not necessary – but slugs are a different matter.

A few years ago Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall experimented with cooking slugs in various ways – slug fritters, slug satay, stuffed slug, slug in tomato sauce – and his conclusion was  “I can heartily recommend those dishes, with just one small adjustment – leave out the slugs” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/5556313/Eat-slugs-in-tomato-sauce-says-television-chef-Hugh-Fearnley-Whittingstall.html).

But I can announce that I have the answer: eat them indirectly.

Two years ago we bought three hens. They came from a small local supplier and had been taught by the other hens what is good to eat. It turns out that what is good is slug! In the early days there was an abundance of slug in our garden, so much so that there would be much gulping and head bobbing to get them all down, but now slugs are a much rarer commodity and scuffles may break out when one is spotted. I have seen mad dashes across the garden by one hen who has found a juicy mollusc, with the other two in hot pursuit in the hope of getting a share. I was originally told that hens do not eat slugs, that ducks were the girls for this job, but our two Speckledies and one Calder Ranger are doing a great job.

Our girls are strictly for egg production – we don’t have space for table birds and the neighbours would certainly object to a cockerel in residence – so we eat all our slugs in the form of chicken eggs! A good result all round.

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  1. Why not eat insects? | The Snail of Happiness

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