Chickens for Pest Control
Chickens can help to control a wide range of pests in your yard. Among a long list of bugs enjoyed by chickens, chickens readily feast on ticks, slugs, grasshoppers, pillbugs, spiders, termites, and flies.
Photo Credit: Natural Chicken Keeping
Are you concerned about the number of Lyme’s disease-carrying ticks in your backyard? Although a flock of chickens will probably never eliminate all ticks in an area, chickens have been known to reduce the number of ticks in a yard. Guinea Fowl are known to be even more effective than chickens at controlling ticks. Researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of Guinea Fowl at reducing the tick population with this study conducted in 1992.
A portable chicken coop on wheels can be used to reduce the pests in your garden organically. By moving the coop every few hours around the perimeter of your garden, you can reduce the number of pests that feast on your hard-earned vegetables. Another solution is to build a 5’ wide area using a chicken wire fence around the perimeter of the garden for your chickens to run in during the day. Your chickens should still be locked securely in the coop at night.
Below is a testimony from a farmer with a pill bug problem. Thanks to Mother Earth News for allowing us to use this story.
After numerous failed attempts to get rid of the pill bugs, George said…
In 2016 NPR published an article about farmers who enlisted chickens to fight against pests in an effort to stay away from chemical pesticides. In the article, Gary Wennig purchased a plot of farmland that was full of weeds and insects. Wanting to stay away from pesticides, he decided to experiment with organic pest control by planting “trap” crops that attracted the harmful insects around the perimeter of his field. He then used a chicken tractor with a few chickens inside to allow the chickens to feed on the pests in his “trap” crop patch. This arrangement has worked well for Gary on his small crop farm.
In the following video learn how an experienced gardener uses chickens to help control the pest population.