Many an expert gardener has knowingly harnessed the power of the Guinea fowl to help rid their garden of all matter of bugs, pests, insects and even snakes! Chickens, like ISA Browns and Plymouth Rocks, have been used by gardeners to help kill small bugs, but Guinea fowl are truly in a league of their own. However, you don’t need to be an avid gardener to enjoy the benefits of a pest free garden. With the help of the Guinea fowl you’ll be able to take back your garden and enjoy the pleasures of having a picnic in your backyard, watching your kids play tiggy or simply laying out in the green grass watching the clouds, all without the slightest concern about bull ants, tics or any other nasty creepy crawlies that like to call your garden home.
Why are Guinea fowl such great pest controllers?
Guinea fowl have incredibly sharp sense and have no trouble spotting bugs, insects and critters that may be setting up shop in your garden. Guinea fowl tend to prey upon insects that are living close to the surface, on the top of the grass or on the branches and leaves of certain plants. Guinea fowl will be quick to lock-in on these creepy crawlies and swiftly devour them in a matter of moments. This being said, Guinea fowl are less likely to burrow beneath the grass or soil to find their prey. Nonetheless, gradually your flock of Guinea fowl will be able to bring the insect situation in your backyard under control.
Will Guinea fowl destroy my garden while looking for bugs?
Guinea fowl do sometimes peck up and destroy smaller seedlings however it is reasonably safe to allow your flock to patrol more established gardens. After all, Guinea fowl are possibly the best natural way to prevent those nasty bugs that like you ruin your fresh spring greens. This being said, if you have recently planted your precious crops and are waiting for them to grow big and strong, it is not a good idea to let your Guinea fowl loose in your garden. Wait until your plants are slightly more established, like in spring and summer, otherwise your Guinea fowl may end up destroying your garden without meaning to.
How can I help my Guineas out?
One fun insect killing trick to try at home is to mow the lawn whilst your Guinea are out grazing on the grass. Some savvy Guinea fowl will realise that the lawnmower displaces different types of creepy crawlies to the top of the ground and they will swoop in and chow down on these little critters.
Do Guinea fowl hunt in packs?
Guinea fowl prefer to hunt for bugs and insects in one large pack however sometimes they do break off into smaller groups. Nevertheless, Guinea fowl in generally normally keep the full flock in the corner of their eye, as deep down they are team players who like to stick together to the very end.
What insects do Guinea fowl like to eat?
There are very few bugs and pests that your Guinea fowl won’t relish munching down in your garden. From small ants to the most fearsome looking spiders, Guinea fowl won’t hesitate to peck these creepy little critters and gobble them up.
Tics are one of the Guinea fowls favourite treats. Tics tend to reside in moist bushy areas, so, if you live out on a large property that gets plenty of rain, like in North Queensland, you will need to be especially vigilant of ticks. Most people will recover relatively quickly from a tick bit, whereas other people can experience severe allergic reactions that can become life threatening. If you’re worried about ticks a flock of Guinea fowl is a sure fire way to keep those tic numbers down.
Grass hoppers can be a plague upon your garden, destroying your plants and seedlings without care or concern. Guinea fowl absolutely love eating grass hoppers as well. The good thing is that because grass hoppers are usually quite large, as far as bugs go, Guinea fowl are likely to find these leggy insects relatively quickly and put their garden takeover plans to an end.
That’s right, bull ant bites may be a thing of the past if you introduce some Guinea fowl into your backyard. Bull ant bites can very quickly ruin a picnic, BBQ or any trip into your backyard if you’re not careful. So, rather than dowsing yourself in insect repellent every time you step outside, simply let the Guinea fowl lose and begin to reap the benefits.
Guinea fowl will really go after nearly any insects you have in your backyard, from cockroaches, to spiders, termites, wasps and mosquitoes. So long as the bug is in pecking reach you can rely on your Guinea fowl to gobble it up.
Will Guinea fowl eat or kill snakes?
This is a topic that causes some genuine conjecture. On the one hand, many Guinea fowl keepers have reported and documented their flocks circling, attacking and killing small snakes that may slither their way into your garden. This being said, these tend to be a rare occurrences and may not necessarily be the whole truth. Some poultry gurus suggest quite wisely that though Guinea fowl have and do attack snakes on occasion, the main benefit is the fact that they tend to deter snakes from coming close to the property by their cries, calls and songs. In other words, though Guinea fowl have attacked snakes before, it’s important to realise that their main relationship with snakes is one of intimidation. Though they may kill snakes if need be, they prefer to simply scare them away first.
Guinea fowl are really one of the best natural solutions to a bug problem in your backyard. Rather than turning to the nasty, chemical and artificial approach to taking control of bugs in your garden, simply secure yourself some Guinea fowl and let nature do the rest. Be sure you have a sturdy coop for your Guinea fowl to come home to, like the Taj Mahal, Penthouse or Mansion, otherwise your might have problems with your flocks perching on your trees or roof.
If you want to know more about Guinea fowl, such as raising them with chickens, caring for keets or how to determine their sex, our Learning Centre is full of great articles that should be able to help you out.
Download our Ultimate Predators and Pests Handbook