We are overrun with ticks. I love the way the guineas look. I think I'd like maybe 5. Tell me the truth, are they really noisy? Or only when raising the alarm? Do males "crow" the way a roo does? What would be a good book to get me started?
I really don't think my guineas are too loud... most of the time.
There are times I'll be working in the barn and they all come in and I can't hear myself think. However, when they're roaming outside all over I hardly notice them. They are definitely louder when there is a "stranger" around. Typically if it's just me or my wife they ignore us.
As for ticks... that's the whole reason we got them in the first place. We were overrun with ticks. I could not walk through the pasture without them crawling all over me. 10 guineas later I've only found one tick this year.
Stu said it. They can be very noisy, but if everything is normal not so bad. They do like to come into a barn or garage and line up and scold at the very top of their stupid little lungs. If they are in the same building with you it is loud. If something disturbs them they can really get with it. Most of the time you wont be bothered at all.
I dont know if anyone that has them is bothered by them. The consideration is the neighbor's. My neighbors are not real close but can hear them and tease me about them some times, but they assure me they dont mind them either.
My neighbor did tell me they lined up in his shop and gave him "what for" one day. He shooed them on their way and they came back home.
You will like them just need to be mindful of the neighborhood.
I agree with stu3796 and greathorse. The guineas are noisy, but I've grown to love them and I hardly notice their loudness. I don't care about the hens calling "buckwheat", but I do tend to listen for the alarm call. If you notice a hen calling alarm then you should check around the calling guinea to make sure everything is OK. (Generally speaking, for a slight alarm only the male will call, but if the hen calls alarm also it may be something serious.)
Our neighbors aren't very close either. They're close enough to hear the guineas but the guineas never visit them. (As far as I know, that would be an awful long way to go) We never get any complaints.
And no, guinea cocks do not crow continuously like roosters. The guinea hens almost constantly call "buckwheat" but the guinea cock only calls the alarm.
The first year is always the worst I think. In my experience the guineas seem to be more noisy in their first year than at any other age. For the first year we had the guineas I really started to hate them. They were SO noisy. But that was probably because I was only used to roosters crowing, nothing louder than that. Now in our second year of raising guineas, I love them. It was like once our first guineas reached 1 year old they quieted down a lot.
The only negative things I have to say about guineas is that they may roost in trees at night. (Ours went on a kick of doing this back in February I think? They haven't done it in a while which is good. We've never lost a bird to this but it's still kind of annoying.) And that guineas are so addicting! (But is this really a negative thing? =p)
Overall I love my guineas. They are so fun to watch.
First year they are LOUD and always stressed out. I have a video of mine stressed and calling that I am trying to see if I can get it loaded onto my personal page. Once I do get it posted or if I can get it posted I will put up the link for you to hear them.