Getting chickens to eat Ticks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChickensAndDogs, May 5, 2009.

  1. ChickensAndDogs

    ChickensAndDogs New Egg

    May 5, 2009
    Hi! I am new to this forum. Mu husband & I are very active in the performance dog arena. Having dogs, and concidering the enviornment, I am thinking about getting chickens to help with tick control. We live in Northeastern IL, where the deer tick is common. I have read horror stories about dogs killing chickens, but honestly I'm not concerned with that. My dogs have been around chickens and ducks before and pay them no mind. Plus, we have ducks and geese on the pond and the dogs again pay them no attention. However, I do plan on keeping them seperate; i.e. when the dogs are loose, the chickens are in their run, and when the chickens are loose, the dogs are in the house. My question is..... In a 5 acre parcel, how many chickens are feasible? And what breeds would be recommended? I would enjoy getting fresh eggs for humans and dogs, but I wouldn't image we would eat the chickens. I can imagine eating a pet! Being that they would be 'perposeful pets', I would like 'pretty chickens'! Would anyone recommend Cochins, they are very pleasing to the eye! Also, what ratio between males & females is recommended, being that our primary concern is ticks and secondary eggs? Thanks in advance to everyone who can hopefully point us in the right direction. We are starting from scratch, we need to build the pens yet and everything! So, any information you can provide to a total newbie would be awesome. Thanks!
  2. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    You'd be better off with Guineas, but they are obnoxiously loud and not good for much beyond bug control.
  3. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    My old neighbors had 10 acres, half wooded half pasture, 2 horses, 3 goats 1 rabbit, 1 dog and about a hundred free range chickens

    and NO TICKS!!! [​IMG]

    Just going to my mom's wooded 10 acres = picking up a bazillion ticks, and they only have a few cats to attract them!! I keep joking about renting them some chickens [​IMG] I always have to make sure and have a relatively fresh application of Frontline on the dog before we visit.
  4. Carolina Chicken Man

    Carolina Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    With 5 acres, you could have a lot of chickens, how many, I couldn't tell you. I think as many as you could build a coop large enough for.

    I will tell you this. I have an acre that is wooded and semi wooded. You could not walk back there without getting ticks on you. I have 10 Buff Orpingtons that have free range to the whole area, and I have not had a problem with ticks since.

    In fact, last night I walked around the outside of the fence just to check for signs that predators may have tried to dig under. One walk around the outside of the fence, and picked 3 ticks off of me.

    As far as breeds, I don't know about Cochins. I like my B.O.'s, I think they are attractive. Do some research, some breeds are definitely better at free ranging, and I think the Orpingtons are recommended for this. I can say this, you can not hardly find a spot on the whole acre that has not been scratched.

    I think the average recommended ratio is 1 Roo to 10 hens.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  5. Bridget399

    Bridget399 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    South Western PA
    This is quite helpful. I am in PA and have already found a tick on my dog and one on my cat (in April!).
    My chickens are too young to go out yet. But the Advantage is on the animals.
    Hopefully I can save some money when the chickens go outside!
  6. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    I love this guide:

    Any bird that is a good forager should do. I think my EEs are very pretty, as are my silver laced wyandottes, and buff orpingtons. All of these are considered dual purpose breeds. If you want a self replacing population you will need a broody variety, but all don't need to be that variety. The general rule of thumb is 1 rooster to about 10 hens; but you don't need a rooster if all you want are eggs and tick control.

    Good luck, and build your coop bigger than you think you need. You'll get more.

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