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How a Flock of Chickens May Be the Best Bet in the Battle Against Ticks (Videos)

Sunday, May 13, 2018 3:37
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by N.Morgan 

When summer comes around, many people spend more of their time outdoors enjoying  Nature, but ticks can ruin the summer fun.

So what is the most effective and natural tick control in your yard?

Tick control is important.

Tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease and Powassan virus and the fact the tick population is growing and spreading annually in the United States (particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest), many people want to learn more about getting rid of ticks.

One way to control ticks is to let your chicken flock patrol your yard in search of pests and ticks. Anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests your chickens are more than effective at tick and pest control.

Anecdotal Evidence That Chickens Are Good at Controlling Ticks:

  • “After we began raising chickens, Suzanne reported that she was finding far fewer ticks on Sophie the pig,” from Home to Roost: A Backyard Farmer Chases Chickens Through the Ages by Bob Sheasley

  • “We’ve been happy to discover that since having our hens on our little homestead, we’ve enjoyed far fewer flies, mosquitoes, slugs, ticks, spiders, and maple bugs than in previous years.” Charley Cooke

  • “Since day 4 of having just our first chicken, we have never seen another tick in the backyard.” Alicia Barnes

  • Check out this list of reader reports from Mother Earth News on fewer ticks after getting chickens

Scientific Studies on Tick Control with Chickens:

A study conducted in 1991 showed that chickens who scavenged for 30 minutes to an hour among tick-infested cattle in Kenya had eaten significant numbers of ticks.

Each chicken had 3-331 ticks in its gizzard, with an average of 81 per chicken.

Although the appetite of each individual chicken may vary, overall, chickens are a good natural predator of ticks on cattle.

It remains to be seen whether chickens can be used for tick control on deer and mice (or moose!) since there are so few studies.

Which are more effective, Chickens or Guineas for tick control?

Guinea hens also have a good reputation for eating ticks, but their main drawbacks are noise and a tendency to wander further. If you are considering getting guineas, watch a video to see what they sound like before you may a final decision. Guineas are known for being very loud. 

So You Think You Want Guineas

Chickens may be just as effective as guinea hens in controlling unwanted pests like ticks.

An added benefit is that chickens are very effective at finding and eating grubs and worms, snakes, moles, and mice.

What else can you do to control ticks?

What more can you do to avoid a tick bite in addition to letting your chicken or guinea flock free range in the yard?

Here are some tick management tips:

  • For best results, pick a chicken breed known for good foraging ability. Birds that have good forage skills are more likely to find and eat ticks.

  • Keep grass clipped short on the areas where you spend time

  • Reduce or avoid leaf litter, which ticks love to hide in (clean up yard debris). Clean up, keeping in mind that ticks love high humidity and lurk just above the soil surface or in brushy or taller grass areas, as well as in leaf litter and ground covers.

  • Use a tick spray: specifically a repellent with DEET when you need to go into tick-infested areas; for example, areas with tall grasses, brushy or weedy areas (or avoid this type of area altogether).

  • Have a tick puller or fine-point tweezers handy for tick removal in the event you find an attached tick. Consider a tick kit for each vehicle and the house so you can remove ticks immediately.

  • Consider buying or making tick tubes (these contain the insecticide Permethrin)

  • Know the difference between tick species like the deer tick and other ticks such as the lone star tick, the dog tick, and the brown tick. Not all tick species carry disease (for example, the American dog tick is typically harmless in the Northeast, but carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever further west). You can learn to identify the stages of the tick life cycle, from newly hatched larvae to immature ticks (nymph) to adult stages. Adult ticks are easier to identify and see.

  • Get medical attention if you find a tick attached longer than 24 hours, or if you have a headache, a fever, or joint pain after a tick bite.

  • When you do remove a tick, flush it down the toilet. Why not the trash bin? Ticks can crawl out of trash.

  • Use tick-control products on pets that go outdoors. Check pets regularly to prevent a tick infestation in your house. Ticks feed on pets to get a blood meal, and your veterinarian will be able to suggest an effective tick treatment.

References:

http://www.wideopenpets.com/tick-control-with-chickens-how-effective-is-your-fowl-flock-patrol/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=partner&utm_term=clife&utm_campaign=clife

http://www.wideopenpets.com/new-tick-borne-disease-on-the-rise-can-pets-get-the-powassan-virus/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1858289

More Stories Contributed By N. Morgan

 

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Total 14 comments
  • CUB4DK

    I Feel like… ” the Tic in the Rug, amongst the Hens and the Roosters ” :lol: :lol:

    Cheers, Uncle Hexy :lol:

    • CUB4DK

      I do Apologize about some of my tasteless Jokes… I suffer from occasional Testicular Neuropathy’s and find that the
      Wanking and Boredom to be intolerable…

      Again My Apologies, Dr. Sexy Rexy :lol:

      • CUB4DK

        Now i have a Story that goes along with the comment Above!

        The Year was 1966…It was my first Day of School, and the Most Traumatic day in my LIFE!!
        My Mother ” Bless Her Heart”, dresses Me up in a pair of Slacks and a Sport Coat making Me
        look like Dapper Dan! Add on a Large Red Lunch Box…You know this isn’t going to go well in PUBLIC SCHOOL!

        Now that Morning, things were actually going well, playing around on the School Yard because I
        knew a few friends. When the Morning Bell Rang…that’s where things went downhill!!
        We all lined up and then all of a sudden…most of the OLDER GIRLS started chanting…
        “SEXY REXY” … “SEXY REXY”!!!

        This is called a Prime Example of Bullying in Public School and i was forever Traumatized!!!
        You can say that Uncle Hexy was an Unhappy Camper that day :lol:
        Yours Truly, Dr. Sexy Rexy

        • CUB4DK

          What happened to the Gang…PINKY,BillyP,the REAL DEAL, Canderson,Raisenbran,Equallizer and
          Rockledge,truck driver,Kings and My2Pesos …Have You CHICKENS gone to Roost?? :lol: :lol:
          I feel so alone… on this thread :grin:

          • Pink Slime

            BIN not posting right away.

          • Sean

            You Forgot Me Cube?

            I Must Not Be Your Friend.

            Are You Sure You’re A Dentist And Not An Undertaker.

            Ticks Are In The Chemtrails.

            Along With Many Other Things.

            WANTED TO ADD TO MY COMMENT FROM BEFORE ABOUT A FEW WEEKS AGO WHEN 6 OR 7 DIED IN A WEEK.

            5 HAVE DIED – THIS WEEK SO FAR – 4 IN THEIR SLEEP AND ANOTHER JUST THROWING SEEDS FOR RICE – THEY SAY HE TURNED ODD COLORS BEFORE HE DIED.

            Lets Hope No One Has Nightmares When They Sleep. :roll:

  • DangerWillRoberson

    i dont care for ticks i say kill them all! i do say i like chicken in all of its formes, fried, smoked grilled also i had chickens once or twice and i got ticks on a property, maybe i will filter CL and find a few hens if i can score a price i like? :!:

  • Pink Slime

    Hello Angle#3,

    Charlie here. Good idea on the chickens. From what I hear about tick & Lyme disease (not to be confused with Bull & Hillaryous) let them loose on your yard and they will MOW down those worms, ticks and bugs and reward you with the most correctly colored and tastiest eggs, not too mention chicken meat. :arrow: :neutral:

    I have a tip for ya. If you throw day-old doughnuts in 4 corners of your yard and let the chickens loose in the center they will completely mow them of ticks, bugs, and worms as they work themselves to the doughnuts. :lol: :lol:

    Signed,

    Charlie (who wonders who has day-old doughnuts?) :lol: :lol: <- :cool:

  • The Real Deal

    Just a note. I don’t think it’s called a flock of Chickens. I think it’s called a brood or peep. :wink:

    • N. Morgan

      I looked into it Real Deal and here’s what I found: A female chicken is called a ‘hen’. A male chicken is called a ‘rooster’. Young chickens are called ‘chicks’ or ‘poults’. A group of chickens is called a ‘flock’. Roosters can usually be differentiated from hens by their striking plumage, marked by long flowing tails and bright pointed feathers on their necks.

  • CUB4DK

    Sean..We are all Friends Here, and you are Rright! …my Llist should have been Much Longer…my Apologies.

    My Condolences goes out to the 5 families …very Bizarre

    Since Chickens and Tics was the Theme …I thought It was a good time to Reveal a Profound Moment in My Life!

    You Know…those Moments of Enlightenment that can change Ones Path.

    Sean…Do you have a Story to tell… about any Profound Moments in Your Life?

    I would Love to Hear it :grin:

  • Man

    and then you get Devastated by Bird flu

  • Man

    Get chickens, get Bird flu anyone?

  • CUB4DK

    Latest Message from MAMA!….JESUS CHRIST…HE WASSA SSHHEEWWW..he was a JEW!!! :lol: :lol:

    And You can take that to the BANKSTERS!! :grin:

    Cheers, Uncle Hexy :grin:

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