Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Chooks help control fruitfly? jobs for the boys

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:24 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:21 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 166
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
hiya,
so, I found a past thread where someone recommended using their chooks to dig the soil after the fruit season to help remove fruit fly eggs/larvae/pupae from the soil and thereby reducing the amount of fly affected fruit the next season.

What I didn't see is anyone's success rate after doing this. We appear to have a fruit fly problem for the first time ever, so I would really appreciate some input from those with more experience. :-D

If the "using chooks as a control" approach works, then I have a job for my boys.......

This is all good in theory - but - Could anyone that has done this let me know if it REALLY works, please?
Is there anything in particular I need to know / look out for?
We can use one of those pheromone pots at the same time, but if we spray with pesticides, then the chooks will not be invited to assist....

Our fruit and veggies are in a cage, but the mesh is steel reinforced plastic coated netting, not chook wire or cyclone wire. Parrots have not managed to get through it, but I don't know how persistent foxes will be. (Never thought of needing to keep foxes out of the veggies..... :think: )

Assuming the boys get to do fruitfly control - I am thinking to provide a secure crate with some cover for them to sleep in and / or put some electric fencing around the perimeter (which can get turned on at night), but to assume foxes will not try too hard during the day to break in. What do you all think? (or should a wire be hot all the time?) of course the bits of the veggies that will then be "exposed" to chooks will also need to be cordoned off........ here's the spot
Attachment:
veggiehouse.PNG
veggiehouse.PNG [ 672.27 KiB | Viewed 1405 times ]


any thoughts?

is there anything else I should know about this?

thanks in advance!!!! :bg


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:24 pm 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6730
Location: ACT area
Okaru your vege garden is similar to mine and to my orchard. The orchard (wip) is designed to be fox proof and when finished the ducks will go in there - hopefully to control (among other things) the pear and cherry slug which also pupate in the ground. My only concern with chooks around fruit trees is that their digging might encourage suckers to grow from the roots.
My vege garden is fox resistant but probably not fox proof. So far I've been lucky - my Silkie run is in there and so is the Patch Patch - both have access to parts of the garden as needed.
What about using a portable electric mesh fence around the work area.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:02 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 166
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Thanks Sue. Perhaps a smaller breed, (or younger cockerels), might be better. Controlling cherry slug would also be good, though they are in the hawthorns which grow everywhere here as well. We stripped and pruned the nectarine yesterday, clearing the fallen fruits from underneath.
We'll do an experiment over the next year or so and report back. Will you let me know how you get on with pest control as well?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:32 pm 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6730
Location: ACT area
We have an Hawthorne bank here too.
Can't wait to get the ducks into the orchard but am resisting until they get a permanent pen. If I compromise with something temp. it will be forever.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:09 am 
Offline
Gallant Game
Gallant Game
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 6:47 pm
Posts: 541
Location: East Gippsland
Interesting project!
I have had chickens under the fruit trees for ever. No fruit fly but pear and cherry slugs and suckers all over the place.
We have fruit fly in the vegies where the chickens are not allowed.

_________________
Small free-range flock of Croad Langshans
http://croadlangshan.org/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:15 am 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6730
Location: ACT area
Globi - any clever ways to manage the suckers other than travelling with a machete?

I'm having a go at solarising some - lawn clippings packed under black rubbish bin lids - the hope is that the heat will kill them.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:11 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 166
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
:-D Thanks for the input Globi! Sounds promising!!

So the fruit fly seem to stay localized and not "travel" too much?

I'm assuming your chickens still have access to "normal" feed type and amount?
:-)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:21 pm 
Offline
Gallant Game
Gallant Game
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 6:47 pm
Posts: 541
Location: East Gippsland
My solution to suckers is to firmly close my eyes. When I start to fall over them I use the brushcutter. There are sprays, of course but I don’t use them.
The solarising sounds actually promising, Sue. I would immediately try that except I use the lawn clippings for nesting material and never have enough. Will think up something similar though and try it.

Yes, they have pellets always and some grain. I use the orchard and little old vineyard block of half an acre for breeding. There are several small houses for brooding, hatching and raising chicks, haphazardly in the shade of the fruit trees. They all roam and practise self-sufficiency, with me racing after them, offering chick crumbles, offering growers pellets, offering water, and them ignoring me.
There is mesh fence with electric wires all around it.

That there are no fruit flies in the orchard but plenty in the vegie garden next to it is due to them cleaning up all the fruit on the ground, I think. Chickens are a very traditional thing in orchards, I'm sure this has a reason.
And I forgot to say: there are no Coddling Moths in our orchard either.

_________________
Small free-range flock of Croad Langshans
http://croadlangshan.org/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:46 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 166
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Globi, your description of randomly placed chook houses and what sounded like chickens doing whatever they please and acting like they own the world hit a chord with me. :biggrin:
A half acre is a big space for happy chooks....

We should have covered/enclosed the apples and did what you did, adding chooks - rather than rip the apples out. We ended up with woolly aphids and sooty mould, which came from nearby cotoneasters. Chooks would have handled the aphids quite nicely..... We live and learn.

Our nectarine is in a cage of its own, I guess this stops the tree escaping as well... :rofl:
This means we can have two projects going with different fox protection.
My OH thinks the foxes will not manage the netting. I am hoping that if they start working it out, it will take them longer than one night to get through it. I think the electric fence / wire would be better, though.

Have a great long weekend everyone!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:38 pm 
Offline
Gallant Game
Gallant Game
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 6:47 pm
Posts: 541
Location: East Gippsland
Okaru, what I do is called bad management by other chicken breeders.

However: we have a small commercial vineyard and hobby orchard and vegie garden and the last time we used an insecticide is probably more than 20 years ago. It is not just the chickens, I think, but they help.

And maybe locking nectarines up is easier than locking up little chicks? I should perhaps try that! Easier to catch?

_________________
Small free-range flock of Croad Langshans
http://croadlangshan.org/


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone