November 20, 2013

You Hear Them Before You See Them

I don't think anyone will every accuse guinea fowl of being superior flyers, but they do get around.

Do you see them? They're in the pecan tree that shades the goat shed

My guinea fowl in the pecan tree.

Neither will anyone ever accuse them of being beautiful birds.


What they are very good at, is making their presence known. I can see why folks say they are good watch "dogs", but the real scoop is that they carry on about everything including, but not limited to, anything strange in the yard, or the neighbor's yard, or the neighbor's neighbor's yard.


When it's time to eat, they let me know! One thing I've learned is that they love chicken scratch as much as they love their millet. Any time I call the chickens, the guineas come running too. In fact, they love hanging out in the chicken yard.

At evening chore time, they're ready to go back to the buck barn. They fuss at me to get going, until I grab the feed can and a scoop of scratch. Then it's a guinea race back to their barn.

Heading home for the evening.

As long as I stick to the routine and the rules, everything is all right.

17 comments:

Lynda said...

I so want guineas! Do they get along with your chickens? Are they good mothers?

Chris said...

I think you summed up the often gregarious and eccentric guinea fowls, nicely.

I love all those fallen leaves on the ground. Will make great humus for next season. Are they the pecan tree leaves?

Quinn said...

Thank you for reminding me why I do not have guineafowl! I revisit the decision every Spring, because the ticks are so bad here. But for me, the noise factor clinches it every time.

Leigh said...

Lynda, the chickens are none to pleased with them, but they tolerate them. Apparently guineas are inferior to chickens (from the chickens' perspective) so the chickens have dibs on anything in the yard (but of course, it is their yard.) Mine are only about 4 months old, so I don't know about eggs and mothering. I can say that they are endlessly entertaining. :)

Chris, very tactfully put, LOL. The leaves around the chicken yard are pecan, the ones in the last photo are oak. I also have maple and dogwood tree leaves, and a lot of raking! My current outdoor project is to rake and haul the leaves to the garden, where I'm piling them as a thick mulch on the beds I'm going to overwinter. They are wonderful for mulch and as a soil builder!

Quinn, I think if we'd known how noisy they'd be beforehand, we might not have gotten them! Or at least not gotten so many. Trouble is, a minimum mail order is usually 15.

Mrs. Agrarian said...

I laughed out loud reading this! I love our guineas and don't mind the noise at all, but I soon gave up running to see what the fuss was about because it was usually nothing! They love to cry "wolf", so now when I hear them I just think, "They're either squawking about nothing, or they're being killed...oh well!" You just can't run every time, lol.

I love the close-up head shot. Yeah. Not the prettiest birds! Thanks for the comic relief, today!

DebbieB said...

Are they as good for eating bugs (especially ticks) as they're supposed to be? Is that why you have them, or is it for their watchdog qualities?

Renee Nefe said...

hummm Not so sure I would want that.

Leigh said...

Mrs. Agrarian, I got a chuckle out of your comment as well. But, it's so true! They cry wolf endlessly, and I finally came to the same conclusion as you. :)

Debbie, we got them because of the tick problem we had summer before last. Lymes disease claimed one of our dogs! We don't really need a watchdog so much as I'd like to have a guardian. That's still on the discussion table however.

Renee, especially in your neighborhood, LOL. I'm sure your HOA would love it!

Theresa said...

I'm sure your neighbors must love them...;)
I know if we had close neighbors they would love our ever alert terrier posse. But they are winsome in their own way and certainly useful, which is more than I can say for the posse sometimes...

Sandy said...

Leigh,

I see your Guineas have you well trained :-)

Woolly Bits said...

ok, the heads aren't really beautiful (or rather only for a guinea fowl male?:), but I do love the dotted plumage! and let's face it - turkeys don't have pretty heads either and neither do vultures, but they do have other advantages:)

Susan said...

I think they are fascinating to look at and I feel the same way about turkeys. It was always startling to hear the range and volume of the noises they produced (for any reason at all) when I had them. Unfortunately, mine did not take to training and would also not free range.

Michelle said...

What fun!!! I am SO living vicariously through you right now. :-)

Farmer Liz said...

We've had our guineas for nearly a year and its been a learning curve! I've got used to the noise (since we moved their cage further from the house), but ours don't seem so good with routine. Some nights they just won't go to bed and we've lost a few to foxes because of that. They do seem to be getting better though. And I hope they are eating the ticks!

Leigh said...

Theresa, we worry about that! That's one of the reasons we put the guineas toward the back of the property; the other reason being that's where the ticks are. But. Those guineas still get around.

Sandy, LOL. This is so true.

Susan, I think about your experiences with guineas often. Not sure why I "lucked out" in the training department (so far, anyway.) And I think my guineas free range too much!

Michelle, so good to hear from you. With guineas, there's never a dull moment.

Liz, good to hear from you too! They truly do have minds of their own. I'm hoping the same thing about the tick eating!

Managing Member said...

I've been following your guinea adventures with a certain amusement. We have a flock of 17 and I find them endlessly entertaining. We have 16 females and one male (didn't plan it that way - just happened). This is our second attempt at a guinea flock. We tried 6 early in the summer and lost all but one to a predator. Decided to go big or give up and added 16 more to the 1 leftover (she was so lonely, it was heartbreaking). The noise is just background sound now and I wouldn't trade them for anything - they've become such a part of the family.

Leigh said...

Managing Member, 17(!) You are so brave, LOL. I sincerely hope you have no losses this time. We're actually considering thinning our flock, mostly because they've begun to wander into the neighbors' yards. A few might be okay, but we fear 9 may be too many for folks! For all their noise, they are certainly the most amusing critters we have around. :)