Impact of Free Range Birdsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I would like to know how people view the impact of chickens and guineas on "good" bugs for the garden ecosystem.
I tend to think that they may throw off the balance of good and bad bugs that organic methods rely on to keep things growing smoothly.
I have only had my chickens for 1 year. They were free-range last fall thru this spring. From this experience, a conclusion is inpossible to reach.
-- Mike O (email@example.com), July 01, 2000
--I would like to know how people view the impact of chickens and guineas on "good" bugs for the garden ecosystem.--
I have chickens for one reason ~ they were my answer to the fire ants! Their eggs are a bonus. People I know in Lime Disease areas wouldn't be without the guineas as they now have no ticks. I'm told you can't keep guineas if you're a bee keeper, 'cause the birds stand right at the opening and snatch the bees as they come out! I think if someone was bit by fire ants, they wouldn't even think about the ecosystem!
-- Rogo, South Central Texas (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 01, 2000.
Where our chickens free range everything is not totally eaten or stripped by grasshoppers--a short distance of where our chickens stop rangeing the grasshoppers have eaten everything! Our garden isn't eaten by grasshoppers--but our neighbors who have no chickens the bugs have taken over! Can't wait until my keets are big enough to eat the ticks! Our ducks & geese surely help with the bugs in our yard also! Their eggs are a bonus for us! Could not even imagine my yard without those singing bantam hens & my crowing Elmer. Sonda in Ks.
-- Sonda (email@example.com), July 01, 2000.
i miss my guineas so much this year i ordered to late and cant find any. we had no ticks around last year now they are every where. i think the good bug vs. bad bug would be a problem if the rangeing space was very small. i noticed when the bad ones come they come in large amount at one time,the good ones are around all the time. i guess hatching times or something like that plays apart. in the fall every year we have ladybugs every where to the point the kids hate going outside because they land all over you, ikeep my chickens locked up for those days.but they range all the other time.
-- renee oneill (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 01, 2000.
-- i miss my guineas so much this year i ordered to late and cant find any. --
Perhaps these private guinea breeders can help you, Renee:
-- ~Rogo, South Central Texas (email@example.com), July 01, 2000.
Mike, I've been an organic gardener for a lot of years. I've free-ranged chickens for years also. I'd say there was a strong net benefit from the chickens. If you're losing good bugs, there are a lot of reasons other than chickens for that. Lack of food bugs, lack of shelter/breeding areas, poisoned off by others with insecticides, that sort of thing. My biggest problem with the chickens was that they enjoyed my tomatoes as much as I did. They usually beat me to the first ripening ones low on the plants. Gerbil
-- Gerbil (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 03, 2000.
HI, WE HAVE HAD FREE RANGING CHICKENS AND DUCKS FOR YEARS. WE HAVEN'T HAD ONE SLUG SINCE WE LET THEM OUT. THERE EGGS ARE GREAT. WE SELL THEM TO THE PUBLIC. WHEN PEOPLE ASK IF THERE FREE RANGING WE REPLY 'YOU BET THEY ARE'. SOME OF OUR CUSTOMERS ENJOY THEM ROAM THE FIELDS. THEY RETURN AND ROOST IN THE COOP AT NIGHT. OUR VEGETABLES ARE ORGANICALLY GROWN. WE SHARE SOME OF THE GARDEN WITH THE CHICKENS. THERE VERY FRIENDLY WHEN THERE NOT CONFINED. PRISCILLA
-- MRS PRISCILLA WILLIAMS (GP83196@AOL.COM), July 05, 2000.