Poultry farmer fights fleas with banana peels

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Ekenyoro Secondary School student carries a seven-kilogramme cock July 15, 206, during the Kisii ASK Show. A Nyamira County farmer is using banana peels to fight poultry fleas. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.

One poultry farmer has discovered the use of banana peels in controlling fleas instead of chemicals, which may have a negative impact on chicken products as well as the environment.

Edwin Mobe stumbled on the simple integrated pest management method while researching in the Internet on the best practices in poultry rearing early this year. 

The Nyamira County farmer, who has 41 local chickens-commonly called kienyeji, litters the wooden house with the peels.

Although the impact is not immediate, the chickens gradually stop pecking their under-wings and scratching the necks within five days, he said.

“Bananas are in plenty in the Kisii region. Other than eating and feeding the remains to the cows and goats, I have also discovered that the waste can be a remedy to the discomfort the fleas are causing my chickens,” he said.

Ripe banana peels have an attractive scent, which invites the fleas to feed on them. The flea’s digestive system, however, cannot break down the substrate ‘causing constipation’.  This leads to death.

Fleas are blood sucking external pests, which under heavy infestation can cause anemia and egg production drop as well as weakened immunity.

Poultry attacked by these pests concentrates on picking the minute organisms from their under the feathers using their beaks or toe nails.

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Egg production and meat weight are affected because instead of feeding, the chickens keep picking the pests to ease the itching.

Stress also sets in as the biting goes on.

Although he does not measure, the farmer says a whole banana finger peeling can cover about two square feet.

Chickens also may feed on the peels. That is why he places more of the peelings to compensate for those lost.

The peels remain on the ground until they turn black. 

This remedy may be helpful to home owners who have pests like dogs.