I personally don't agree with the use of chemicals, pesticides and others for the eradication of pests. In the U.S.A. and to smaller extent in Australia, big areas of land can no longer be used owing to the poisoning of the soil through the overuse of chemicals and pesticides.

How can poultry help Man to control the many pests that attack our land and plants?

After thousands of years of line-breeding, the Japanese have produced the Japanese Bantam. Japanese bantams have very short legs and they do not have strength in their legs to scratch in the soil. When in Japan, one can see, when walking through the terraced gardens, Japanese bantams gently ticking their way through flowers, bushes and trees, looking for grasshoppers, ants etc. In actual fact, the bantams work in close harmony with nature to control these pests.

Peacocks are also very useful and behave in a like manner, but half a dozen peacocks in an orchard or garden would be more than enough. An orchard will take on an exotic atmosphere when there is a beautiful peacock to be seen walking through.

Another important predator is the Guinea fowl. These fowl are rather noisy but extremely useful. They can move their heads twice as fast as the bantam or peacock and pick up grain and insects so quickly that it is very hard to follow. They have no problem catching grasshoppers or flies in flight and love eating ticks. I have all three types: Japanese bantams, peacocks and guinea fowl - and find them very useful for the small hobby farmer. I never feed them too much, otherwise they become too lazy and hang around waiting to be fed. Their droppings also provide a rich natural fertilizer as well and so it is worthwhile having some poultry around from both aspects.

Bernhard Hilse
Extract from Capricornia Zone Newsletter Vol.3 No.6

DATE: November 1987

* * * * * * * * * * * * *