James Freyr wrote:My wife and I are buying 58 acres of beautiful, secluded, rolling topography, mighty old tree inhabited, tick infested land. It has approximately 35 acres in pasture and the remainder in woods. The day we came home walking the property the first time, much to my dismay I was covered in seed ticks all up and down my legs, with some full size adults everywhere else. The last few times I've been to visit the land I've sprayed toxic gick on my socks, shoes, and pants and it seems to work (I'm not spraying that shit on my skin). Only had 3 tick bites last time and pulled 4 or 5 off that were crawling around on me. I hate toxic chemicals, the companies that make them, and having to buy this spray which means my money went back to the evil cronies who poison the planet.
So the neighbor had an agreement with the landowner and has had a small 9-15 head herd of cattle grazing free will on it for the last 20 years. I met the neighbor and thankfully he's super a nice guy and I told him he can continue to keep his cattle on the land until my wife and I build a little house on it and move in next year, and he seemed happy about that, not having to scramble to relocate his cattle. Besides, he knew the land was for sale and this day was coming. So I understand ticks have a 2 year life cycle, and I wonder if the land is so tick ridden because the cattle have been playing host. In my mind I like to think that removing the ticks food source will have an impact on their population. But is removing livestock from the land for a few years going to have any real impact? Is this futile efforts if the opossums, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, fox, etc. are still playing host to the tick population? I totally understand chickens and guineas, and I'll be having them out there on patrol once we move there. My wife and I will one day be having our own livestock on the land, but that's several years out. We want to be able to homestead without having to spray carcinogens or wear a hazmat suit.
We would much appreciate any thoughts on how to address this problem in an environmentally and permaculture way. Thanks!!
R Ranson wrote:How is she doing today?
Looks like you are giving her good care.
The only real challenge now is avoiding depression. That's our number one killer in our flock. We've had hens loose eyes and half a chest (with the lungs poking out through the visible rib cage - way ickier than it sounds) and they came through fine. Others stub their toe and keel over because they get depressed.
Do you have a companion chicken that would keep her company? Occasionally we get a chicken that has sympathy for others instead of trying to eat them like a normal chicken would. They seem to treat injured chickens like they would chicks - get them eating, keep them happy, keep them warm. These are usually chickens that have suffered some injury themselves in the past.
If no companion chicken, keeping her near the flock (so she can hear them) or near you so she can see and hear you, while she recovered will make a huge difference to how well she does.
Please keep us up to date. So glad you were able to save her. Training your own chicken guardian from a puppy sounds like a lot of fun. I think it's wonderful that your dog respects you enough to obey the drop command - I know so many dogs who don't consider the human the pack leader and that would make things much more difficult. You're doing a great job!
Barbara Clowers wrote:My daughter had something similar happen. She separated the injured hen from the others. She kept it inside and warm. She lived and is laying eggs again. As for great pry, how old is it and was it trained to guard chickens. Unless trained with stock they are not reliable. If well trained they will die for their flock. I belong to a Facebook Akbash Dogs group. Groups exist for GPs as well. Members are knowledgeable and respond quickly.