Guinea Foul for Orchard Income and Insect Control

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1998: $1,820.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1998
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $1,609.75
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:


  • Fruits: apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, plums
  • Nuts: pecans, walnuts
  • Animals: poultry


  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal summary:

    I want to accomplish two things: (1) determine the feasibility of running Guinea fowl for profit in an orchard (2) determine the practical usefulness of Guinea fowl in controlling orchard pests in an organically managed orchard. Insect pests are a major problem in organic orchards and such orchards need an augmentation of income from another source. The three most common pests at present are plum curculio, gypsy moth and Japanese beetle. Because plum curculio will do their damage before the guineas are in the orchard in 1998, that damage will be compared to any damage the following year. Gypsy moth has up to now been controlled by Bt. In 1998 Bt will not be used and the caterpillar presence will be compared to the past by counting the number of trees infested and the seriousness of such infestations. In the past traps have been used for Japanese beetles. In 1998 no such traps will be used and the results will be compared with use of traps by counting the number of branches or trees defoliated. In regards to profitability, feed and maintenance expenses will be subtracted from income from sale of slaughtered birds; also, estimated savings from not having to use natural pesticides will be noted.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.