A few weekends back I made an impulse decision. I saw an ad on Craigslist for a trio of guinea fowl and I just couldn't pass it up. We already had a pen that was ready and empty (former turkey pen), and guineas just sounded like fun to have. Plus, we are already getting EGGS from them!! Yay!
|our guinea eggs|
We think we have either two males and one female, or two females and one male. It can be difficult to tell the sex of guineas--most people say you can distinguish the gender from sounds they make. We plan to let them free-range in our yard and the surrounding woods once they have stayed in their pen long enough to know it is their home.
I just hope they don't wander off or "go wild," as some tend to do, and I worry about them going into the road eventually and getting hit We may need to breed them every year to keep our numbers up as I've heard they are sometimes easy prey.
As I was reading up more on guinea fowl, I also learned these cool things:
- Guineas are incredible foragers and if allowed to free-range, will not eat much in feed.
- Guineas serve as excellent pest control, eating ticks and other unwanted insects. You can turn them into your garden and they will eat the bugs and pests but not the garden crops.
- Guineas do not scratch as much as chickens do, and thus don't tear up landscaping when free-ranging.
- Guineas are great at sounding alarms when something is amiss or there is a predator. (Our guineas are actually not loud at all except when sounding an alarm!).
- Guineas make great meat birds. The meat is mild-tasting and they dress out at a nice weight compared to heritage chickens of the same age.
- Guineas are entertaining. I love watching large flocks of guineas run around together. They have such a strong flock instinct.
I was worried about them being loud, but so far they aren't loud at all! Just sweet little chirping noises. So far the guineas have been nothing but delightful to have, and their eggs are delicious :)
|slightly smaller than chicken eggs, guinea eggs have a more triangular shape|
Those of you that have guineas, what advice do you have for me in my new adventure?