Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some Advice on Raising Guineas

I am happy to report that all of our flock of guineas
that graduated from Birdbrain Academy in July have survived
for the past two months....



almost unheard of in the world of raising guineas.


Raising free ranging guineas is tough at best.

If you have the insane idea that you would like to try....
I will first try to talk you out of it.
If, after my pleading, you still have a hankering for guineas,
then I must warn you....
your first flock will be a disaster.


You see, guineas need a leader....
a smart leader (smart guinea = oxymoron!).


So it will take raising your first flock...
and losing most of your first flock to oncoming traffic, farm equipment, hawks, owls, etc.

After most of your first flock has committed all types of suicide,
you will notice that a few "smart" guineas remain.
These are the guineas that "get it"... survival!

These smart guineas will then serve as leaders for your next,
and hopefully much more successful flock.


Now I warn you, guineas are not cheap....so if you are planning on raising them,
make sure you have a little extra cash (the price of your first flock) to burn.
For you will most likely have to purchase at least two flocks to end up with a healthy number of 
guineas to patrol your farm.


Oh, and if you are thinking of raising guineas in suburbia,
think again.
Guineas are unbelievably loud.
They also have no respect for boundaries, roads, etc.


But if you have plenty of room, lots of patience, and a little spare cash...
raising guineas may prove to be a fun activity.
And you can't beat them for insect control....especially ticks and stink bugs...
not to mention comic relief!



To answer a question from yesterday about how I tell the difference between Daphne and Chloe....


This is Daphne...she has a tiny white dot on her forehead.
"D" for dot, "D" for Daphne!

17 comments:

Becky said...

I think you're brave for having so many guineas. :) My sister had a few last year and after I heard the constant, irritating noise they make, I decided they're not for me.
I'm glad your second flock has done well. :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

well, this answers a lot of questions. we drove to a vineyard last year and took teddy. we got her out of the car and kept her on a leash. the guineas kept coming right up to teddy. no animals ever come right up to teddy. i told my husband that either they were fearless or really stupid. do you still have many stink bugs? we had tons of them the last few years. they were so bad that last year i planted no garden at all and this year i only planted some pots. however, the stink bugs have disappeared. i only saw 1 or 2 outside the whole spring and summer. on the news they said that they have headed south.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I have read enough about guineas from you and others to know I shall not even try. Besides, the noise would drown out the chickens and that would be sad.

Country Gal said...

Good advice on the Guineas ! The farm that's just down the road from us has only two Guineas and have been there for years ,I have no idea how they have survived this long, they roam the neighbor hood and seem to get along with all the cats and dogs in the area mind you our Miggy gets upset when they start to squawk she thinks they are hurt ! I kind of figured the girls had some markings so you could tell the difference ! Thanks for sharing and all your wonderful photos ! Have a good day !

Junebug said...

I was beginning to wonder why you had guineas. But bug control and comic relief is good! So here's laughing at them!

Karen Bates said...

They have a face only a mother could love...but I know you do. They really are amazing...they clean your farm for you. ;)

missy said...

A face only a mother could love..It's good that they don't hang out by the house...

Lilac Hill said...

We started with a pair of young guineas. The first night they were freed from their pen I heard an owl take one. Afterwards we added a few more to the farm. They roam free and roost in an evergreen tree and the cherry tree. They have successfully hatched 2 more clutches this summer. I did plant a few extra tomatoes to share with them. One of our dogs is a tick magnet in spite of treatment so keeping her well has been a real bonus. The original 3 guineas were enough, keeping our farmstead and the neighbor's yard free of ticks and potato beetles so we will be removing the extras from the farm this fall.

Lilac Hill said...

The first night our first pair of guineas were released, an owl took one. I added a few more and started the summer with a trio. They effectively kept the ticks and potato beetles under control. One of our dogs is a "tick magnet", we remove 30 or more in a day, even when treated.Fortunately we have not pulled a tick off her this summer. The trio hatched 2 clutches this summer so our confusion of guineas has grow and will be thinned this fall. The original trio and surviving keets are nature savvy and road wise birds.

Anonymous said...

This is our second year with guineas. I have to say, it has been very hit or miss. The coyotes here are brazen and I've lost several to them. We had a female determined to sit on a nest. Was surprised to even have found her nests. After removing eggs from her repeatedly, decided to let her set. Had read that they almost never survive as the mothers are pretty poor at their job, dragging young babies through the wet grasses, etc. This year with the drought seemed to be the right time to try. She successfully hatched out about 15 little ones. They were SO cute running around the farm. Then disaster. The automatic timer on the coop misfired somehow and the coop didn't close one night. All the babies were gone:( REALLY sad. Just now found a new nest and wondering if I should try to incubate them in the house. Bad time of year though. Would have to keep the babies in until spring. Argh.

Anonymous said...

Oh, wanted to say that our main purpose to having them is for bug control. The ticks here were awful this year (not enough of a freeze to kill them off last year). Haven't seen hardly any of the larger ticks (which usually are a real problem) Still having issues with those darn seed ticks (I actually got lyme disease from one a few weeks ago; I know, not supposed to get lyme disease from the seed ticks, but tell that to the bullseye on my elbow; doc said he is sure that's what I picked up too) Once found tons of squash bugs in the garden, opened the gate and squash bugs no more. Oh, and they cry wolf all day long over the smallest disturbance. Love those loud, ugly birds.

Bernadine said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'll scratch Guineas off the list of potentials!

Lisa said...

When I had guineas (notice past tense..had) I always said that when God was giving out brains in the animal world, either He forgot the guinea hens or they forgot to get in line.

Diane said...

I would love to have them for the ticks but after your post I would probably think twice, or maybe thrice. Very funny post.
Blessings
Diane

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Hello Beverly,
Moombeam is up on my new post for your viewing.. Wishing you a beautiful day, and thank you for allowing me to attempt to create him.
Blessings,
Penny

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Hello Beverly,
Moonbeam is up on my post for your viewing.. Thank you for allowing me to attempt to bring him to life on paper.
Wishing you a beautiful Sunday.
Blessings,
Penny

Katmom said...

So true about them needing a 'leader'... one of our neighbors had (had is the key word) guineas... one decided he was more suited to the lifestyle of our resident quails... It was so entertaining to watch the covy of quail stroll by with a Guinea pulling up the rear! lol!

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