Guinea fowl eat huge numbers of ticks. When my daughter first bought her small farm, ticks would cover my legs when I walked in the pastures. The chickens were not making a dent in the tick population. Two weeks after acquiring 4 guinea fowl, the ticks were gone. The ticks have not returned.
I hate you deltawave ;-) As hot as south GA was/is I didn't appreciate life without ticks!
The paddocks have heavy woods on the back side (short side), but are very open with virtually no grass or weeds. Red clay is what I have a lot of - ground cover, not so much.
I've been thinking about getting a few guinea hens. I've been around them before and don't care for them. That might not be as painful if the neighbor's dogs thin the flock. I'd get attached to chickens & turkeys for sure.
I wrote this a few months ago as a lark - i just like to write and this was on my mind!
My Dark Side
I step to the edge of the barn door and peer at the frozen world. The paddocks and fields are sheathed in shimmering white – icy diamonds glimmering in the noon day sun. The deep snow and brisk wind remind me that we are mid winter with more frigid temperatures to come. My horses stand in their deeply bedded stalls; warm blankets on, fresh hay, heated water buckets casting small wisps of steam. The wind begins to blow again. It’s cold tendrils snaking around my neck, seeking small gaps in my jacket collar to chill my spine; I stamp my feet and shift from leg to leg, hands deep in my pockets. My eyes are drawn to the edge of the field, to the dark pine woods, branches swaying as the frigid wind begins to blow. “Die!” I shout. “Die, die, die! I know you are out there! I know you lie in wait for us! You shield yourself with the fallen leaves! You cling to the grasses and wait for us to pass! You bring disease and destruction to the unsuspecting and innocent! Now your repulsive body will freeze one molecule at a time! Your nerveless head and legs will cease to move one millimeter at a time! You will fall into the earth and be absorbed for eternity! Yes, you! I mean you, you foul Lyme disease carrying ectoparasite! You member of the Animalia Kingdom! You card carrying Phylum Arthropoda Class Arachnida in the Order lxodida! You nameless tick, you! You will die…… and I rejoice!” Then I say to myself – geezzzz…..get a grip! Go clean some stalls!
I'm very appreciative of this thread. I know it's going to be a BAD tick season here because we have had virtually no winter.
My poor gelding gets huge welts and hives from ticks. I found that Buggzo did a great job of keeping him mostly tick free...and if he did have a tick, it would not be as "attached" as some of the other horses.
We moved barns this winter, so I'm curious to see what the tick population is like at the new place. I haven't started him on anything yet, because I would like to see...and I'm hoping that since all the pastures are treeless, that the ticks won't be much of an issue.
Unashamed Member of the Dressage Arab Clique
CRAYOLA POSSE= Thistle
We have had ticks all through winter here in SC. I am worried about how bad it will be once it warms up even more. Interestingly enough, my chestnut mare gets ticks like crazy, and my roan (nearly grey) gelding barely has any. They are in the same pasture and eat the same food. I find this very strange, I guess they are attracted to the chestnut mares too!
We moved to a new farm last year and were faced with the most terrible tick problem. The horses pastures ARE mowed down, the hay fields are not, and the horses do have some woods. Guinea's, while awesome, are an excellent snack for the tons of coyotes and raccoons, foxes, etc. etc. surrounding us.
Smart Bug Off worked WONDERS! I literally picked HUNDREDS of ticks off the horses on any given day and after adding the Bug Off to their diet it would be 2-3 (which I was rejoicing over compared to the before - YUCK!!). It's cold and supposed to snow here but I have everyone on the Bug Off already as I know it's just a matter of time....I also spray myself with deet prior to walking out the door when the weather warms up.
We flyspray, used equi spot, etc. but the Smart Bug off seemed to have the biggest results.