Working Animals

The Farm

Working Animals

At Hilmy, we practice an integrated approach to pest management, utilizing our precious flocks of fowl to keep balance in the vineyard, amongst other things.  Sharing the land and living in harmony with all manner of critters, we each work with the other to develop and keep a healthy farm.

Hilmy Guinea Fowl: Insect Control

Our Guinea fowl have proven to be wonderful insect patrollers, happily munching on insects that would ordinarily wreak havoc on the vines. It’s because of their ravenous appetite that we are able to avoid pesticides to keep the vines free from insects. With our Flock of Guineas, Ruby, the rest of our chickens, and Mia, our peahen, leaf hoppers don’t stand a chance.

Hilmy Goats: Weed Control

Weed Control: we keep a small herd of goats on Hilmy Ranch. While they are valuable to weed control on the main property, training them to be weed control partners in the vineyard is proving questionable. If it were up to them, they would feast on every last bit of grapes, vines, stems, bark and all. We are currently devising new methods to utilize our beloved herd without incurring damage to the grapes. Through careful timing and consideration, it may actually be feasible to get these little brats to cooperate and eat weeds/leaves in the right way, at the right time. It remains unclear. Sheep may be better.

Our Great Pyrenees: Deer Patrol

Simon and Bella, our Great Pyrenee protect the vines from being a feast for Texas Axis and White Tail deer.  For the most part. Nocturnal by nature, these friends of ours nap and greet guests of the winery by day, and guard all corners of the property by night.

Leena: Rodent & Bird Patrol

The Great Huntress. Keeps rodents at bay. She hunts at night with Simon, who we believe is her best friend.