Apr 02, 2012
Living (And Farming) With Nature
The farm is a bird sanctuary of sorts. This statement seems to be contradictory at first sight, but our farm is full of birds of various kinds (about 50 different species at last count). We can farm and yet we can live in harmony with wildlife.
If you want to have birds in your farm, you must not allow your workers to kill any bird, not even one.
Birds living in close proximity of each other will know if one dies, even of different species. A farm like ours is like a huge giant aviary. The birds are regulars, or have made their homes at the farm. If you kill one, all the rest will know of the death. After a few deaths, they will start to leave.
And why kill them? Look at the ‘enhancement’ they contribute to the farm environment:
These are nests of weaver birds. They have made them hanging from a neem tree we planted in a chicken padang (field). At the background you can see one that’s green in color. The birds have quickly picked up the grass that we have cut to weave a nest. It will dry out gradually. These nests are the most effective against the many snakes that have made the farm their home too. It’s going to be tough for a regular snake to reach the entrance of the nest.
Experts say, birds will bring disease to a chicken farm. This has not been our experience (11 years now). All you need is the will to live with nature, and put to practice modern scientific knowledge about dieases. The costs involved is marginal. The benefits to bio-diversity and the ecology, immeasurable.
Spread the word; it can be done.