Sunday, April 2

Ticks

This weekend Jennfer and two of my cousins (Blake and Aaron) went out to the farm to straighten up some things. Though we haven't yet closed on the property we've already been given the go ahead by the owner's to do some painting and cleaning.

The boys and I tackled clearing the shop building of years and years of leaves and garage garbage (mufflers, engine valve stems, beer bottles, etc.). It was dirty work but the shop building is in much better shape now. We plan on pouring a concrete floor at some point and adding overhead doors.

We also spent some time clearing the backyard of leaves and brush. It was here that we encountered the dreaded tick. We came back into Springfield in the evening and I went into the bathroom to check for ticks. I was infested! Ok, maybe not infested but there were 4 or 5 on me. I had to have Jennifer check me out. This did not make for a happy geek.

So in typical geek fashion we have to figure out a way around the problem of ticks. The solution is to get some guineas. Jennifer and I did some searching and we came upon some neat sites covering caring for and raising guineas. Frits Farm has some interesting reading on the friendly fowl including a step by step guide for raising guineas and pictures of different hen houses.

Unlike chickens guineas won't destroy gardens whiling eating undesireables like ticks, Japanese beetles, and other critters. The sound like an interesting animal to get to know and can help solve a problem at the same time, naturally.

That's one thing I've been looking forward to, the constant state of learning I'll be on the farm. Most associate geeks to technology, and while typically that's true I think true geeks just like to learn how to solve new problems. I think I've got tick problem all figured out. As soon as we get out on the farm I'll probably be building a little hen house and we'll be in the market for some keets (baby guieneas).

Technorati tags: , , ticks,

8 comments:

Katie said...

DON'T DO IT MAN!!!!!

Guinies may look all tiny and cute and helpful - but they are mean!!!

My parents had some on our farm. They constantly attached our sheep and other birds(including fights to the death). On the other hand they are fairly small. Up to you, just be aware I have talked to several other people who have the same sentiment about them. If any of your dogs are timid and are going to be in the same area as the guinies be aware they might get attached also.

Duane Keys said...

I've read you can raise them to be tame. We'd probably try that.

I can beat or drop kick a bird, but ticks sneak up on you! :)

Jennifer Keys said...

Trust me, if the Guinies turn out to be a traumatic experience for our "vicious" coward, Dobie, the birds will go!
I will have nothing traumatize my 95lb angel. He's just too sensitive....

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Hi Duane,

My wife and I bought keets 5 years ago to control the tick population. They are quite effective at this task. We have to replenish the flock periodically, due to predation. Our experience has been that the guineas are tame, gentle, sociable creatures, easy to live around (if you can tolerate their grating squawking noises).

I'll post some photos and some more details of our experiences with them on my blog (Ranch Ramblins) in the next few days.

I'd like to keep visiting here and posting comments from time to time, if that's OK with you.

Retta said...

Chickens(roosters)are the ones to watch out for-they'll spur you and bring blood!
Guineas are very playful,loud,and do-not attack you!Raise them from keets-and they'll be like pets!
I highly recommend them,my dogs,horses,and the cat likes 'em too.

Duane Keys said...

I've already added your site to my blog reader, and I'd love you to stop by and comment!

Duane Keys said...

Hal and Retta, did you build a hen house for your Guineas or do they just roost where-ever?

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

We have them in a pen at night, and they free-range during the day. I have written a post about our experience with guineas that can be found here:

http://www.mitzenmacher.net/blog/?p=162