ShadyGardens Blog

February 10, 2009

Guineas in the Garden

Filed under: garden, gardening, guinea, guineafowl, guineas, Lyme, tick bite, ticks — shadygardens @ 7:08 pm

My 8 year old little boy has been removing his own ticks for about 3 years now. When tick bites are so common that a 5 year old begins removing ticks on his own, it’s time to do something! But what? We tried everything. Really. But what works?

Our garden is much too large to make pesticide application affordable, but we did try that, before the chickens joined our family. We just can’t remember to apply insect repellent every time we go outside, and that also gets expensive when you spend all day outdoors as we do.

A few years ago when our little girl received an Easter gift of 2 baby chicks, we thought that might help. And really, it has…some. But after my husband was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, we realized the seriousness of the situation. It terrifies me to know that one of my children could encounter that dreaded disease that leads to a life of joint problems.

Last fall an adored friend of ours gave us a gift for which we are very grateful. He hatched out for me 4 Guineas! (He hatched them in an incubator.) I’ve been told ticks are a favorite treat for guineas, and they will eat hundreds of them. We’re so excited, and we’ll let you know in the summer if we see a decrease in the number of ticks latched on to our tender areas!

I must tell you that I don’t know much about Guineas, but I have found a wonderful site that is a wealth of information on Guineas, including some very entertaining photos and captions. It’s worth your time to take a look at Guineafowl.com. I don’t know the author personally, but on her site you can learn all about guineas, because after all, she wrote the book on Gardening With Guineas! (Yes, really–you can order it from her website!)

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