Last year I suffered terribly with saw fly on my gooseberry's and current bushes. That winter the chickens had the run of the veg & fruit garden and would you believe it - not a leaf lost to it the little buggers this year.
I think this is organic pest control at it's best.
I'm going for the same approach this year. Now we've finished with the fruit garden I've erected a temporary fence to separate it off from the veg and I've released the chickens in there to eat any bugs for me, whilst adding their manure to the area and reducing the weeds as well.
It's a really simple pleasure in life to let animals out on to bigger pasture. The hens loved their new pen and I loved watching them explore. I remember being a child and my father and I taking great pleasure when the ewes and lambs were let out of the shed for the first time. We'd stand for ages, not talking, just watching them enjoy their new space.
These young hens have certainly earned their keep this year!