Country View: Lisa Murano - Tick Control with Guinea Fowl - Boyers, PA
Radio interview source: Lisa and Chris Murano, Owners, Murano Hatchery
Chris and Lisa Murano and their three kids live on 25-acres near Boyers, Pennsylvania. Part of their property is wooded, and they became frustrated when they couldn't go for a walk without having to pick off ticks afterward. There were ticks all over the dogs, too.
Lisa says she didn't want to dump a lot of pesticides – and cash – onto the yard, and it wouldn't do a bit of good in the woods. She learned about guinea fowl, which are known for their tick-eating abilities, and decided to give them a try. "We just had our original flock with about a dozen and that was it. And the next year I had a small incubator and I decided well these guineas are doing so good, I should hatch myself some more. And every person that found out I had guinea babies hatching wanted to buy them. And so by the end of the year, I had sold every egg I could hatch."
It dawned on Lisa that there was something to this, so she kept a bunch of her own guineas, got more from a breeder, and started a business. "I get farmers that come and they buy 2-3 dozen at a time. Guineas are very seasonal layers, they won't start till about March. They take 28-days to hatch and I have two really big cabinet incubators that are always on rotation. The farmers will come and they get them as babies. They raise them, and just sort of let them live in their barns, and patrol their fields, and it's really kept the tick population down."
Lisa says the family business is growing even more. They're providing guineas to local feed stores, and plan to start shipping the birds around the U.S. In the meantime, the family has also gotten into chicken farming, including Black Copper Marans and Silkies.They learned that if guineas make friends with chickens, the guineas are less likely to fly away.
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