Thursday, 18 May 2017 19:19

A winery in New Zealand has an unusual security team – an adorable crew of critters assigned to pest patrol in the vineyards.

Yealands Estate in New Zealand has introduced babydoll sheep and kunekune pigs to graze its vine rows, with the tiny critters conveniently being a wee bit too small to reach the grapes, and providing the added benefit of natural fertiliser. Yealands also ‘employs’ around 100 free-range ex-battery hens to eat pest insects, with the resulting eggs a bonus.

Life is hard for the furry and feathered staff on the estate, with classical music played during the day using solar power. The vines are meant to respond positively to the music’s vibrations but the chooks also benefit, with those closest to the music reportedly laying larger eggs than those further away.

Yealands also has 25 wetlands with many native birds, and a gully full of monarch butterflies, but life is even easier for them, as they’re just for show and don’t have an assigned role.

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