About six months ago the kids rush in the house very excited. “Momma! Momma, there’s a turkey in our yard!” I doubted this very much, but my curiosity demanded an investigation. Sure enough, it was not a turkey. It was a guinea fowl. Where it had come from, I did not know, but he was trying to hang out with our chickens. The chickens were just trying to get away from this strange creature, this upset the guinea and he started making a horrid noise, which just convinced the chickens they wanted nothing to do with him. I figured he would get tired of being the outcast and go back to where ever he came from.
After a week, I thought I should start checking with the neighbors, and, sure enough, found the owners. They said they didn’t mind if he (I say “he” but it could be she, I can’t tell) stayed at our house, which roughly translates into please don’t make us take that noisy thing back, so I didn’t.
The kids thought he was funny, the chickens learned to ignore him and I was annoyed by him. Every little thing I did, he protested. I raked the leaves into a pile he sounded off, I brought a puppy home he went on and on and on about it for hours!
I was at my wits end, so I googled “What are guineas good for?” And it turns out they will eat ticks. Yummy, I know, but not any other bird, that I know of, will do this and since I picked three ticks off of animals last year, I decided the freaky bird could stay… I would have to learn to take the chickens approach.
Last week we were at the feed store and they had guinea keets for sale, after six months of being an outcast I felt bad for Henry (I just made that name up) and bought him, two friends.
Since I had just hatched out 30 chicks the week before I thought this might be the time. The guineas didn’t have any feathers at all, but I didn’t know if they got feathers at the same rate as chickens, I would have guessed them to be a few days old. The girl at the store said they were two weeks old. When I got them home I realized this could not be. They were so much smaller that my chicks began to pick on them. Luckily the guineas are fast and by the morning, these chickens were also ignoring them.
So far they are doing well. They make a cute little noise at this age, it’s a shame it won’t stick. They are, however, very skittish like their larger counterpart. Don’t know when they will be able to be released into the yard, but Henry has begun to fight with my alpha rooster, don’t know what that is all about so I am hoping it all works out.