Hi, I'm Bennie.
Bummer to start this way, but I have been sooo sick for over 12 years, then got diagnosed with Lyme Disease 5 years ago and got on antibiotics and got Guineas!!!! Yeah!!!!
Had no idea they would grow on me so much. We started with three dozen eggs shipped from Family Winter at the guinea farm: one box of Pearl Gray, one box of Coral Blue, and one box of Buff Dundotte.
16 hatched and we ended up with 9 males and 7 females. The following year we got 30 keets shipped to increase the female and Coral Blue and Buff Dundotte numbers. We kept 8 of them plus we also kept one of our own: Teddy. There is even an article about him published here: http://guineas.com/articles/newsletters/Dec2013_GFIAnewsletter.pdf
Then our Shreck was taken, at 11:30 am, by a Coyote or Fox (probably Coyote) in the bright daylight, while I was at home, and we decided to add Lifestock Guardian dogs to our little farm. We still don't have them because we are building a new coop/dog house and run to give the dogs and birds the best chance to get used to each other when the puppies arrive.
Two of our hens died last spring, probably due to overfeeding treats in the winter - the second, Emma, went to necropsy and had a fatty liver and ruptured ovarian artery. Now we are strictly feeding 10% of diet in treats or less.
Kept two babies this year and sadly, Lucky died a few weeks ago, Confirmed internal bleeding into his left lung on necropsy. It could have been a birth defect (I did help him out of the shell - but he seemed fine after that) or my horse (he had some mud on his wing and may have been struck) or something else. I stopped feeding dried mealworms from China. We have gone to non-GMO, local feed and I did not feel comfortable with the imported treats anymore because I am concerned about quality control and possible contamination. May try a meal worm farm again (had mites and threw the last one out), and grow them at home.
So we have 16 + 9 - 1 - 2 + 2 -1 = 23 Guineas, and we have been hatching and selling keets for three years now.
Never had a chicken!
Was thinking about Ameraucanas (for the blue eggs) and Silkies (because they look so beautiful) and joined BYC!
But I have been on the site often to search for help with the Guineas, especially diseases and parasites etc. Very grateful to have this great and vast site with so many users! I even have BYC "chillin' with my peeps" T-shirts in gray and pink, and everyone loves this site, even at my dentist the hygienist said: "Oh, this is a great site!" when she saw the web address on my T-shirt.
Been a member of the Guinea Fowl International Association and on the forum there for years and there are some good friends of mine on that site now - go visit or post or join us there for anything related to Guinea Fowl. Sadly, lots of forum members seem to have left to go to facebook - I don't do facebook since they own my pictures after I post, and I love to post pictures but wish to retain my copyright.
Thanks for organizing and helping others on the BYC site - you rock!!!
Edited by BennieAnTheJets - 3/6/16 at 10:39am