We’ve had our share of ticks on the farm, one incident with Lyme disease with one of the pups, and owned Guinea fowl to help patrol the population. (In fact, read this to learn more about ticks in New England.)
Our lovely neighbor across the street has a decadent property, complete with architecturally inspired gazebo for evening parties. Our jolly neighbor John’s Guinea flock used to go over and sing for the guests. John got the call on that, and the kibosh, and had to try to catch and retrain the feathered rock stars. After imprinting upon them to stay in his yard/coop, the birds decided a better gig was over at our place. And what a bonanza discovery it was! Complete with peafowl & chicken friends, all-day buffet, plenty of trees for roosting…
We’ve enjoyed the jocular poultry for all of the reasons you would: They’re beautiful, intriguing, intent and definitely make a dent in the tick population.
We’ve rid ourselves of the game birds for all of the reasons you would as well: They’re wild in habit, obnoxiously & persistently loud in the way they communicate, and they consume the hens’ grain without so much as a calling card egg for payment.
It’s a high price to pay for the noise pollution, so we off-ed our own flock a few years ago.
It was not our intention to “adopt” John’s flock, but John hasn’t fed his fowl supplemental grain or treats except for if they should return to his gorgeous coop in the evenings.
They seemed not to care how gorgeous the coop is. They loved it here. My poultry thought they were kin. We have reaped the benefits of their tick-grazing. We should’ve named them all “VISA” because they were everywhere you’d want to be. But our family wearied of their obnoxious cackling.
Neat back-story: Last evening my husband was working in the shed out in the pasture and heard a whirring and zooming sound, looked up and saw two LED lights blinking at him from above. It was going on 9p.m., rather dim out, but he waved at the hovering drone. As it turned out, John & his daughters were “spying” on their birds to see where they were going at night in order to track them. They yelled from their back yard, “Hi Jim!” after they viewed him waving from their handheld controls. They joined up in the driveway and chatted about the runaways, Jim colorfully sharing(I’m sure) his version of how much he enjoyed their birdsong.
Right now, as I type this, the musical vocalizations I am hearing from outside are the tweet-tweet-tweedling of my free-ranged turkey flock, the songbirds in the hedgerows, and an occasional crow from one of our roos.
This morning, unaware, I tricked the Magnificent-7 into my coop while sequestering my own flock to another location.
Score 7 points for Farmer Tam!
I texted John at about 9a.m. with “I’ve trapped your Guinea Fowl. Come on by and get them. Will you need my crate for their journey?”
John found the flock a new home in Bennington.
So that’s that. We’re done with Guinea Fowl for the meantime.
I just asked John for patience should my turkeys show up in his front yard. Which they are prone to do.
Just another day that I’m thankful for good spies, I mean, neighbors.