Lone Star Tick Control?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MjsChickens, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. MjsChickens

    MjsChickens Out Of The Brooder

    33
    15
    39
    May 23, 2017
    United States
    My Coop
    I am planning on getting chicks very soon, probably in a couple of days. I have recently moved to a house on a very large chunk of forested land, with a grassy front yard, and lone star ticks are EVERYWHERE :barnieIt turns out this is one of the worst years for tick issues, and locals say it is the most they have seen here for a while. I am wondering that once my chicks are full grown, and if I let them free range, if they will have some impact on the tick population. If it matters, my chickens will only be free ranging during the day due to the large predator population in my area. I am also concerned that my future flock will have a tick problem, and I don't want to end up in a risk versus reward situation. Thanks for any replies in advance!
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,534
    1,048
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I have never found a tick on my birds, though it's hard to check, except once one on my turkey's neck but the other turkey just pulled it off and ate it lol. I don't know if it's hard for them to get through the feathers or if it's their thorough preening, or something else, but they don't seem to be an issue.

    I am not one to use pesticides. There is one at Lowe's called ecosmart yard spray and it's not toxic and I believe doesn't hurt amphibians, which is important to me, and I used it with good results when we first moved to our property because like you it was a bad year for ticks, nothing I was putting on the dogs was helping, and I didn't have tick eaters roaming the yard yet.
     
  3. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,534
    1,048
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Oh I'll mention we have two acres surrounded by farm fields and patches of forest. Six guineas and six roosters free range all day. In the evenings and weekends the rest of the flock - about 40 girls and chicks and baby guineas and the better behaved boys- free range. They do a really good job with ticks, mosquitos, flies, tent caterpillars, and so on.

    If you are very uptight about your landscaping or garden make sure you fence it in though lol
     
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    8,599
    974
    361
    Jul 28, 2008
    MA
    We live in a heavily tick infested area, every year. Lots of woods, wetlands, and several species of ticks. During peak season I would find 30-40 a day on my dog, and a few times 150-200. I worry most about deer ticks. A bunch were sent off for testing and 2/3 carry Lyme, 1/2 had other illnesses as well. A large number of people in this town have had Lyme at least once and many have had it multiple times. Now there is Powassan to worry about.

    That being said I have never found one on a chicken. They may help keep the population down some but I think guineas would do a better job at eating them. Keep the grass and brush low near your house to keep from picking them up yourself.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    7,564
    2,056
    416
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    WOW! Keesmom, that's a lot of ticks! :sick I'm glad that (so far!) there aren't so many here. Guineas and chickens will eat them though, wonderful. Mary
     
  6. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,534
    1,048
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Ah yes, I forgot to mention about keeping everything mowed down.

    One of my dogs did get Ehrlichiosis from the ticks, but luckily that is curable. There are differing views on the Lyme vaccine but I went ahead and got it for them just in case.
     
  7. MjsChickens

    MjsChickens Out Of The Brooder

    33
    15
    39
    May 23, 2017
    United States
    My Coop
    First, thank you all for replying! I am seriously considering guineas. I have lots of land, don't care about the yard, etc. My concern is... DO THEY GET ALONG WITH CHICKENS?! I would be getting them as babies, but I have heard many horror stories... I would also be getting them unsexed from Cackle Hatchery. They would probably be raised together with chickens, and I was wondering if they could share a coop, or need separate housing...
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    7,564
    2,056
    416
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Friends had them along with chickens and peafowl, and they got along. However, they are very loud 'watchbirds' and did roost in the trees. They are good tick eaters! Mary
     
    MjsChickens likes this.
  9. Sara Ranch

    Sara Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    546
    443
    118
    Jun 7, 2017
    I add garlic and oregano to the chickens and the duck feed and shavings. My ducks go out every day and never seem to get a tick or a flea.

    With the dogs and cats, I add garlic to their feed. They don't get ticks or fleas.

    For myself, I use essential oils on me and I don't get ticks. The two times I didn't put the essential oils on - I found ticks on me.

    Chickens and ducks will eat ticks. Guineas LOVE ticks. Guineas to tend to wander off if they are not kept in a five sided structure. (meaning 4 sides and a top) I have only known one person to have a guinea that didn't run off and agreed to sleep in the chicken coup every night. That was probably because her sisters and brothers all left, never to be seen or heard from again. The chickens kept disappearing forever too. Me thinks the guinea was too scared to wander off.
     
  10. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,534
    1,048
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    My guineas come back every night no problem. I've never had any wander off never to be seen again. They don't always stay in my property, but they do stay close enough to see. Sometimes they mingle with the chickens but mainly they do their own thing. Sometimes they get along fine with the chickens but a lot of times they harass them for amusement and most of my younger birds are scared of them.

    I tried the garlic thing with the dogs and unfortunately it did nothing.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by