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 Lyme's Disease
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Peggy McKee

88 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2003 :  11:16:42 AM  Show Profile
Our place appears to be an international vacation resort for ticks. The number and variety of them is unbelievable. Our many different efforts to reduce the population meet with limited success. So far I have never seen any reference to alpacas contracting Lyme's Disease. Any one out there have any information on this? Thanks.

Judith

4018 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2003 :  5:14:36 PM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message
Peggy, while I have not personally had any experience with ticks on my alpacas, Lyme Disease has been mentioned to me as a possible cause of neurological problems in one of my males (not the case, in my particular situation), which would indicate to me that some people may have experienced tick problems. If you have tick problems, my suggestion would be to get yourselves some guinea fowl next spring and turn them loose (when adult) on the bug population at your location. They'll eat anything that hops, flies, crawls, etc. and are good protection against ticks as well as against the snails and slugs that can spread meningeal worm (and they do a heck of a job on flies, too!).

If you check the AOBA library - or the AlpacaNation library - or the libraries of any of the regional affiliates, you may find written reports or records on how Lyme Disease affects alpacas, and suggested treatments/preventatives.

Judith Korff
LadySong Farm, Inc.
2723 Bunker Hill Rd.
Steamburg, NY 14783
(716) 354-6355
A Holistic Management Farm

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David

85 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2003 :  2:19:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit David's Homepage
Judith you never cease to amaze me.

"guinea fowl" ?

Where do you come by all this stuff. I want a signed copy of the Book of Judith when it comes out!

David Hogan
Future Alpaca Baron :-)
http://www.earlydawnalpacas.com
Forum, Chat, Event Calendar
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Peggy McKee

88 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2003 :  9:01:18 PM  Show Profile
Thanks for the suggestions,Judith. I have been trying to avoid guinea hens but since they will be helpful with several problems we may have to put up with them.
quote:

Our place appears to be an international vacation resort for ticks. The number and variety of them is unbelievable. Our many different efforts to reduce the population meet with limited success. So far I have never seen any reference to alpacas contracting Lyme's Disease. Any one out there have any information on this? Thanks.





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David

85 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2003 :  12:46:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit David's Homepage
If these little suckers are such noisy burglar alarms isn't there another critter that will eat anything that moves?

David Hogan
Future Alpaca Baron :-)
http://www.earlydawnalpacas.com
Forum, Chat, Event Calendar
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Kate

291 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2003 :  09:15:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kate's Homepage
Judith, do you have any secrets to keeping guinea hens from wandering off and being eaten? We have had no luck keeping them for very long, but have no problems with our chickens- they always come back into the barn at night to roost.

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Judith

4018 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2003 :  10:15:45 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message
Hi Kate and David and Peggy. No, I don't have any "guinea secrets" -- I've never owned them either, but seriously considered getting some this past spring and should have done so. I probably wouldn't have had all the problems with meningeal! I didn't do it then because I have cats (lots of cats!) and I was afraid the cats would eat the keets before they had a chance to get big enough to defend themselves. However, I've decided to build a cat-proof henhouse for next year and to raise the guineas.

I'm told that guineas must be raised from keets (chicks) on the site you want them to patrol because they do have a tendency to wander if they don't "imprint" early on. Kate, I don't know whether you got yours really young or got some older birds, but that may have made a difference.

I have friends who are trying guineas this year and they find them absolutely amusing to watch (like a little "wave" of hens weaving across the lawns and fields), and tell me they've had almost no problems with bugs of any kind. I know people say the guineas are noisy, but frankly I'd rather have a calling guinea than a barking dog.

Good luck to both of us!
Judith Korff
LadySong Farm, Inc.
2723 Bunker Hill Rd.
Steamburg, NY 14783
(716) 354-6355
A Holistic Management Farm

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Kate

291 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2003 :  12:21:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kate's Homepage
[quote]


<Kate, I don't know whether you got yours really young or got some older birds, but that may have made a difference.>

They were chicks that we tried, two the first time, and one got eaten by something because she wouldn't come in at night. Our second attempt at keeping guineas actually failed due to health problems, now that I think back- we got them from a huge hatchery, and none of them lived longer than 2 months. It was a horrible environment they came from, probably parasites galore, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at their failure to thrive.
Maybe we'll try again this year, and start them in a pen out in the boys pasture (my neighbor doesn't like the racket they make!)
I guess we erred in not keeping them in some kind of a pen to start with- we're used to the predictability of our chickens!
Kate

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David

85 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2003 :  11:49:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit David's Homepage
Ive read that they hate to be alone and this is an effective method of training them to stay around.

Pen them all up for 2 weeks so they can see a good quantity of thier new home. After 2 weeks let out 1 adult. That adult will not wonder as it will be alone if it does. Every 2-3 days let loose another adult until half of your flock is out and hovering around the pen. At that point you should be able to open the gate and they will go in and out on thier own.

Now this was from an article so dont hold me responcible :-) But may be worth a try.

**EDIT**

It also mentioned only feeding them in the pen to further create a feeling of safety and desire to come back inside.

Edited by - David on 12/04/2003 23:52:09
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Freddi

864 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2003 :  1:41:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Freddi's Homepage
Once you let the fowl out, where do they roost? Will they go back into their pen, or will the roost and poop (!) in the barn/shelter? I've heard that they make a racket...what kind of racket are we talking about? Catterwallering or just noisy bird-like noise? I am concerned about the neighbors, also. Thanks!

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Kate

291 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2003 :  4:32:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kate's Homepage
quote:

Once you let the fowl out, where do they roost? Will they go back into their pen, or will the roost and poop (!) in the barn/shelter? I've heard that they make a racket...what kind of racket are we talking about? Catterwallering or just noisy bird-like noise? I am concerned about the neighbors, also. Thanks!





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Kate

291 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2003 :  4:39:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kate's Homepage
Oops- hit the wrong button!
quote:

<I've heard that they make a racket...what kind of racket are we talking about? Catterwallering or just noisy bird-like noise? I am concerned about the neighbors, also. Thanks!>

They have an alarm call very much like the alpacas, and the birds we had before would sit on the fence and scold my dogs in their faces! They also scold like that when they take off in flight; they have a nicer "chatty" peep that I love, and they love to nest in brush. Guineas are noisier than chickens, and you either love them or hate them! Any close neighbors might prefer chickens...

Kate McKelvie
Alpacas of Sunset Fields
Glen Rock, PA




[/quote]

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Freddi

864 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2003 :  10:11:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Freddi's Homepage
Thanks for the reply, Kate!

Freddi Dunleavey
Alpacas of Dun-Dor Woods, LLC

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Schmidtke

8 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  3:45:31 PM  Show Profile
There is no other sound like that of a guinea hen. You will either find it reassuring (you will always know they are out there) or it will drive you nuts.
As for me, I like their call :)
But then I like ducks,
and geese,
our goats are great,
a horse nicker is nice,
love to hear those 'pacas hum happily,
you get the idea.
Go for the guineas!
Your farm visitors will be fasinated by their unusual appearance, impressed with your savvy husbandry and may reflect fondly on their own childhood guinea memories.
Now to decide which color to get....
(yes, they come in different colors)

Susan & Carl Schmidtke
The Alpaca Garden
26501 Stonesiffer Ln
Unionville, VA 22567
alpacagarden@iqworks.net
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Peggy McKee

88 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  9:29:56 PM  Show Profile
Hi,Freddi and Kate,
Two quick comments.
1.In addition to their awful noise (obviously I'm not an admirer of the species), guinea hens can be aggressive, especially towards young children and the whole flock will cuise out onto the road and refuse to move which annoys the heck out of the neighbors. When they start to sound an alarm at night there is no stopping them which is a real problem when you like to sleep with the windows open.
2. Kate, you might contact your local cooperative extension office and ask to speak to someone in 4-H. The 4-H poultry club near us sold guinea hen chicks at fair as a fund raiser and they were very healthy and well cared for.
Good Luck!
quote:

Our place appears to be an international vacation resort for ticks. The number and variety of them is unbelievable. Our many different efforts to reduce the population meet with limited success. So far I have never seen any reference to alpacas contracting Lyme's Disease. Any one out there have any information on this? Thanks.





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Kate

291 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2003 :  08:09:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kate's Homepage
Thanks for steeting me towards 4-H, Peggy!
We have board fencing with welded wire by the road, and never had a problem with our guineas going out THAT way. Never knew they'd gang up and cause a roadblock- sounds like wild turkeys! All our guineas were gone by the time we put in new pastures with high tensile wire- they were getting murdered in the ajoining cornfield, so now that fence should keep out most of the predators- except for the hawks.
We would like to try them again, because two of our light colored males had a few ticks on them when we did our spring shearing. We'll try to confine them to the boys fields, which are more distant!
I think the chickens are eating ticks too, because they roam our girls fields and the girls had no ticks, but I don't think they cover as much territory as guinea hens do. We shall see!
Stay warm, everyone...

quote:

1.In addition to their awful noise (obviously I'm not an admirer of the species), guinea hens can be aggressive, especially towards young children and the whole flock will cuise out onto the road and refuse to move which annoys the heck out of the neighbors. [quote]




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