I'm new to Dave's Garden. My front yard,100 feet by 80 feet is all garden, pond, trees, no fence. No grass, except for the fancy stuff. I thought about letting a chicken, goose, something, live there to eat the bugs, slugs. This is a semi-rural area, if there is such, with a field across the street. A local farmer said chickens would get run over. My hubby said what would we do during winter, zone 5.5. I'm afraid something would eat them, coyotes , neighbors. Any ideas?
i think a goose might fly away, ducks are MESSY, and the chickens will also scratch it up something terrible.
i would recommend guineas. if you don't care to build a simple shelter for them to winter over in, they won't have the freezing problem that chickens have [except ice storms can be difficult for them]. they would roost in a nearby tree. but they would be prone to getting eaten by owls, hawks, etc at night... i bet hubby could build a guinea house cheaply enough, and there is a great book i recommend [i should just by them by the case load HAHA] called "Gardening with Guineas"
Guineas are a joy, plus eat ticks too! you won't have to collect eggs, cause they will lay them out in the field, and won't likely hatch them. you may have to replace your flock every three years if you don't house them properly, but you won't have to feed them much.
here is a site where you can find the book, a message board, and a breeder's list where perhaps you can pick up adult or half grown guienas, if you don't want to order keets [the name for newly hatched]... there are lots of colors to choose from too!!!
be sure and read the book and talk to your neighbors first... guineas don't understand boundaries. but their poop is not messsy like chicken poop, and your neighbors might appreciate being tick free...