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In Reply to: Re: Ticks posted by Diana on June 20, 2001 at 22:12:59:
I presume that you are referring to how I manage to keep the hay clean from the guinea droppings? Well, for the most part I keep it covered with a tarp - since the barn where I get all our hay from is just down the road a mile, I only keep roughly 16 bales on our premises at any one time. But the funny thing is that in the hay barns, there are pigeons and barn swallows. They tend to leave droppings too so just to be on the safe side, I always get bales that are covered by other bales.
Roosters and poultry in general do tend to be a problem because they are messy but it is my understanding that health issues such as coccidiosis cannot be passed from chickens to goats, goats to chickens, etc. There is a certain trade-off from keeping poultry with goats though: the poultry tend to "scratch" the ground alot and they get alot of insects and parasites that are detrimental to livestock. For example, there is some type of grub worm here in Missouri that I believe is the larvae of a horsefly. These can literally dig their way underthe skin of an animal and infect the animal. The poultry feast on these and over the last few years, we have seen less and less of them.
Of course they also go after worms, flies, moths, mosquitos, ticks, etc. Alot of people don't know that most poultry also needs to be wormed as well. Somewhere across that line, some worms are perhaps common to both poultry and goats so worming the poultry and the goats in my opinion decreases a broad range of these as well.
If you can start with poultry as chicks and train them to roost in a particular spot, that is perhaps the best way to get a handle of controlling the mess they make. As long as we are on the subject, I had a person write and ask about using geese for insect control. This does not work simply because geese (most species anyways) do not eat insects. They go for grasses and plants - perhaps a good way to knock down the weeds that contain worm and parasite larvae. But geese are really very messy in comparison and noisy in comparison with them all, unless of course you have a choir of Dr. Pepper rooster (10, 2 and 4am) crowers that have taken residence in the tree right outside your bedroom window!
Just to be on the safe side, we try and keep all the goat kids separated from the poultry for at least a couple of months.
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