Guinea Fowl; Do you like them or hate them? How did you get started?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by rollyard, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. rollyard

    rollyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2010
    Another post I have been reading sort of triggered this one. Guinea Fowl seem to divide people into those who either love them or hate them, with noise being one less desirable aspect identified with keeping them. I have had chickens & ducks for most of my life but only recently acquired Guineas. I must admit that it was with some protest that I took them on around eight months ago because, although I have thought about getting some in the past, I was put right off them when I went to another friend’s place who had only a trio of them. He also has hundreds of chickens & ducks. The male guinea was locked up in a small pen & when I enquired as to why this was he told me how the male would constantly harass & chase his roosters & was a real nuisance. So there & then I vowed never to get them.

    Getting back to my Guineas; another friend who had this pair (George & Mildred) was going away for extended periods & dropped around to see if I would take them as I had acreage & he thought I would love to have them around. Well, although I no longer have chickens, I still have a few ducks, & every fibre of my being was screaming "SAY NO", but I couldn't, because my friend was sounding rather desperate. That arvo he rang me to say he had them penned & to call around & pick them up which I did. They arrived home in short time & as everything happened so quickly I was left wondering what I was going to do with them. I knew nothing about them. I ended up putting them in a small crate where they were quite happy which baffled me a little because the little bit I thought I knew was that they didn't like being kept in confined spaces. My friend did come around a few days later & said they would be OK to let out so I did, & then spent an hour walking them back to the crate when I found them heading off @ a good pace down the road [​IMG]

    To cut a long story short, I did let them out after only a couple of weeks & watched them closely but they were fine. They allowed me to walk them back into the crate each day for a few weeks without any problems @ all, & would actually let me know when they wanted to go in for feed. After a short time they began roosting in a beautiful bushy tree & that suited me as even less work. When I found the first nest of 10 eggs I blatantly stole them for the incubator but was roused on by my friend who gave them to me "they should be left to raise young naturally". I cowered & assured him that the next nest of eggs was Mildreds. I hatched 8 of the 10 eggs (easy to hatch I have found), & mother Guinea went on to set on her second nest for only around eight nights before a Fox took her & all the eggs. That would be the last time I would let a Guinea set naturally I scowled to myself, & secretly couldn't wait to berate my friend when next I saw him. And I'm still waiting, patiently [​IMG]

    I found a nice new girlfriend (haven't thought of a name for her yet) for George, all the babies have grown, & I have more Keats from George & his new girlfriend, 23 in total. They have progressed now to roosting in a tall Mountain Coolabah. They come down early in the morning & roost very late just on dark. They can be so silly, but I have grown so used to having them & they are always around. They can get on well in their little group, but @ times may harass each other. They male used to chase the ducks a bit, but these days they all hang together with no problems @ all, maybe the season? I enjoy watching their wanderings & listening to their happy quite talking amongst themselves. Yes, they can be loud, but not all the time, & I have learnt the different sounds they make & find myself now looking around when their alarm goes off for whatever. They wander the gardens & lawns doing very little damage, & are keeping bugs to a minimum [​IMG] They are very low maintenance (especially compared to the ducks), & find a lot of their own food [​IMG]. Usually when they see me they rush towards me telling me to get a hurry on & produce their breakfast or dinner.

    I guess you could say that I have grown very fond of my Guineas; I guess you could say that I like them [​IMG]

    Some pics of some of the gang:-
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  2. cracking up

    cracking up Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2009
    So Cal
    I like mine too. Really enjoyed your story. I wanted them for a long time, finally the red ants got so bad my husband said 'get some'. Well they don't seem to bother the red ants and the first time one got over the fence and my husband had to climb the fence to get it back he got a horrible bite from a red ant. The guineas almost went that night! Now we both really enjoy them and they do keep the ticks down. More than that we just like them.
     
  3. taprock

    taprock Chillin' With My Peeps

    I love my guineas and good to know I am not the only one! I read about them and thought they sounded interesting. I had never been around them at all so it has all been new. I love how they wander up to the back door and squawk looking for handouts. And they are so cute when they run with their little "skirts" as I call their feathers. The noise doesn't usually bother me. If I hear them now and then I know were they are. Now if I haven't heard them in a while I go and check .. just like kids! Some of the girls can be a bit much at times. I don't think they are the brightest birds. They have found a favorite spot a ways from the house and near an active fox den. I chase them home and the next day they are back again. I know they are supposed to be good "watch dogs" but I haven't experienced that yet.
     
  4. StoneyRidgeFarm

    StoneyRidgeFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2010
    We got our first five guineas at the feed store for free. The previous owner had returned them because they were picking on her chickens. They get along great with our chickens so I suspect that the real reason was because they can be so loud. We noticed a dramatic drop in bugs within a few weeks. They are great "watch birds" and let us know when anyone is around. The most fun was having our RIR hatch 6 more for us. We are up to 12 guineas and I think that I have reached my limit for the time being [​IMG] Gotta love those funny lookin' birds!
     
  5. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I was given 6 guineas last April (3 males and 3 females). I had 7 tick bites in the first 2 weeks of April and haven't had one since getting the guineas. I kept them lock up for only one week and when I let them out, the girls took off for the woods never to be seen again. The males also left for about a week and one day came walking up the driveway and have stayed ever since. They roost at night in a big tree next to the chicken coop and wait patiently for me to let the chickens out each morning. On a few occasions they have slept in the chicken coop when it was exceptionally cold.
    I like the noises they make and the screaming when someone new comes around. I wish I had a few females for them and might try incubating a few guinea eggs. Besides tick patrol which is only half the year, I'd like to get eggs too and help offset the cost of their feed. I don't mind having them around at all.
     

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