I would never have believed that Guinea fowl could be useful around vegetable gardens.
There are only three things I know about Guinea fowl:
- They are pretty
- Initially, I had only seen them portrayed on quilts, pottery and toys
- Then in June 2012 I saw them “in the flesh” for the first time – and they were disciplining a recalcitrant member of their posse.
But at lunch with a friend at Ninos coffee shop one day I turned to Mary and said, “You are famous. Your veggie bathtub is on the internet.”
This set off a discussion on vegetable gardening and pest control, and soon Mary was telling us that the Johannesburg Zoo keeps Guinea fowl to reduce the rat population and insects.
I was fascinated by this snippet. Rats can play havoc with your vegetable garden.
I know that lemon mint repels rats.
But this was the first time I had heard that Guinea fowl kill them.
Conversation turned to stopping snails in their tracks with coffee grounds and crushed eggshells, only to learn that Mary, having worked at the Johannesburg Zoo for 26 years, collected vegetable devouring snails from her garden and put them in a tub in her fridge freezer! As soon as she had a goodly amount, out came the tub of snails which she took to feed the birds at the zoo.
Back to vegetable gardens and Guinea fowl
You will be pleased to know that this bird is very useful in your garden.
- It seldom, if ever, bothers your vegetables or flowers; living instead on insects and grasses.
- They control deer ticks, wood ticks, grasshoppers, box elder bugs, flies crickets, and all other insects.
- Apart from eating mice and small rats, their noisy call will actually discourage rodents.
- They also kill snakes, and,
- if you are security conscious, they will alert you to anything unusual going on, on your property (perhaps neighbours who may covet your vegetables in the deep of night?)
So, give it a thought – if you are struggling to control pests and insects in and around where you are growing vegetables, get yourself a posse of Guinea fowl.
You can actually train them to come when you call.
And if you have a problem with bees, hornets or wasps, all you have to do is show it where the insects congregate, and you’ll be able to move around your garden without fear of being stung – the Guinea fowl will do the rest.
A wonderful addition to your vegetable garden, don’t you think?