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Best chicken breed for eating ticks?

 
Doug Mac
Posts: 79
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
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We have a ton of ticks. I don't really want to get guinea hens. Does anybody have any experience with a breed that does a great job as a tick exterminator? Chicks are coming this March!
 
John Polk
master steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I think that they are probably all about the same...as long as you don't over stuff them with cereal feed.
Since you are starting with chicks, start feeding them worms, bugs early.
If they just get cereals, they won't learn that bugs are food.

 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I have heard good things about Cubalaya chickens regarding their foraging capabilities but not so much on the temperament. Not best for cold areas either. So anyways, yeah, they are very active with above average foraging instincts generally. If you really want to get at the problem of the ticks I would get the guinea fowl.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubalaya

I used to have a few of this breed, not my personal favorite because they are too flighty (at least from my experience). I wish I could say they were the reason I never had a problem with ticks on my property, but we had guinea fowl too.
 
Kitty Hudson
Posts: 33
Location: SW KY--out in the sticks in zone 6.
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I've had New Hampshires, Easter Eggers, banties, a few crossbreeds--they all love to hunt bugs of all kinds amid tall weeds and under trees, which is where ticks tend to be found. For what it's worth, breeds known for laying high numbers of eggs tend to be more active/noisier, while meat breeds tend to be least active/quieter but many need extra feed as they've been bred or hybridized to grow faster than normal. Consider splitting the difference with an old fashioned dual purpose breed. More than enough eggs for the average person, will raise at least a few of their own chicks with extra cockerels being good eating, and eat plenty of the bugs that bug you.

And for what it's worth, most of mine were originally hatchery chicks, but all very quickly picked up on their own that bugs were good eating.
 
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