Chickens are Pest Control on the Homestead

I’ve come to realize that chickens are probably the most important part of our farm.  I’ve mentioned previously that they amend the soil, keep plants in a state of growth and keep the flies down.  Something I’ve taken for granted until today is that chickens are our pest control on the homestead.  I’m talking about fleas and ticks.  Ticks especially.  No pics in this post.  You can google ticks if you want to look at them.

I recently visited a farm where I learned a lot about raising livestock.  These people are experts with pigs.  I hope I can make my operation as successful.  One thing that I saw that I don’t want to duplicate is ticks.  *shudder*

Ticks carry disease, to humans and animals.  Pigs can get several kinds of fever from them.

Maybe I’m a sissy about them, due to some not fun childhood experiences.  I can’t stand ticks.  As adults, the tick females suck blood from mammals.  The fill up like balloons and then drop off the animal.  Then they lay their eggs.  The eggs hatch and the baby ticks find an animal to “donate” more blood.  They grow, become adult ticks and the cycle begins again.

The key is to break the ticks’ life cycle.  Something that helps is to move your animals regularly.  Move them to new pasture or new paddocks in the pasture.  This way the eggs and baby ticks are left behind.  Follow this up with your chickens, who eat the ticks and you have a winning solution.

Free ranging chickens can stop incursions from pests that migrate to your land as well.

I really recommend having somewhat grown chickens managing your land before you buy livestock like goats, sheep, pigs or cows.

OK, I’m feeling itchy now.  *shudder*  Going to shower.

–JS