Having recently become intimately acquainted with Big Charlie, the beastly grass hopper in my earlier post, I have decided that a bug eradication program needs to be introduced at High-Water. Of course, nasty pesticide chemicals are off the menu here and that leaves either an organic type of spray like neem oil or a mechanical method. Having done a little research, I think the solution may be Guinea Fowl.
If you aren’t familiar with Guinea Fowl, these odd looking little grey feathered birds have many valuable qualities for a garden. It appears they also have 2 downsides. Firstly they are noisey and secondly they can be bullies to just about any other animal, from chickens to dogs. The noise shouldn’t be an issue here since there are so many birds already. If I can live with the desperate cry of the local curlews throughout the night, these Guinea Fowl should be a breeze.
On the positive side they are voracious bug hunters and will quickly wipe out the grasshopper problem. They also hunt ticks and work as an alarm system by squaking at anything out of the ordinary (or possibly just anything at all).
Unlike chickens, they don’t tear up the garden since their focus is purely on getting bugs and they will even chase off snakes. They are sounding pretty ideal so far. They do lay eggs but not as frequently or as big as chickens. That doesn’t concern me since they will be performing a valuable maintenance task of curbing the bug population.
I’ll scope out a little area this weekend to build a shelter and hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll have some chicks. I’ll be sure to update more as this new project develops.