I haven’t introduced them yet, because frankly, I haven’t managed to get a good photo of them. And I still haven’t, but I’ve lost patience with trying at this point. They are skittish little critters who seem to accelerate when they see a camera, so this is as good as it gets, for now. Here they are – our five Guinea Fowl! These are an interesting type of bird – many say they resemble a bald partridge. Personally, they remind me of the Skeksis from Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, but then I’m known for having a pretty lively imagination, too.
Guinea Fowl are a great addition to your chicken flock. Why? Well, for one, they are excellent at alerting you to predators and intruders. If they see something out of place, like, say, a hawk, a dog, or a fox, they are quick to sound the alarm, and you can hear it from quite a distance. This alerts not only you, but the rest of the flock, so they know it’s time to get to safety. Of course, the Guineas’ vigilance extends to things like small planes and helicopters flying overhead, but their periodic cacophony through the day is a small price to pay for knowing that you have an extra safeguard in place.
On top of that benefit, they will also help control the insect population, including the deer tick that spreads Lyme Disease. Because they are such voracious devourers of insects, they also don’t require as much supplemental feed. Those bird bellies are already full of ticks, Box Elder bugs, grasshoppers, and flies! We’ve really enjoyed watching them seek out the bugs. We’ve also read that they will attack and kill snakes – definitely a bonus, because you don’t want those coming after your baby chicks or eggs. We’re kind of savoring the opportunity to watch them take out a slithering would-be thief.
They do fly quite well, and we’ve been fortunate in that ours have stuck around so far. But we know from the experiences of others that they do sometimes take extended leave from the coop. In fact, sometimes they’ll go hatch some keets (that’s the name for a baby Guinea) and come back to the coop with their brood in tow. You thought they had left for good? Nope, they’re like Tusken Raiders. They’re easily startled, but they’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers.
Guinea Fowl like to roost in trees. So far, ours have been satisfied roosting on the perches in our coop at night, and sometimes, during the day, they like to fly on top of the duck enclosure and raise a ruckus. This has caused a great bit of consternation amongst the ducks. Despite this, they are laying eggs like champs – we are getting between a dozen and almost two dozen a day! So if you are in need of some awesome duck eggs, please get in touch. If you are a baker and want to purchase more than a dozen at a time, let us know, and we can work with you on quantity pricing. Buying local will mean you are supporting your local small farm, and it will also save you money in comparison to having them shipped! It will also make these duck hens proud to know that their eggs are being enjoyed.
Well, it’s time for me to eat some lunch and get moving on the rest of my day. Happy Wednesday to all!