Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guineas - Part II

(If you haven't read Part I of the guinea saga, go here to catch up.)

So, we let the guineas out to free range. A few things we've learned about guineas over the past few weeks:

1. Guineas are LOUD
2. They can fly like nobody's business
3. Cows don't like guineas
4. Guineas are dumb as rocks
5. Luckily they get along with chickens
6. Did I mention they are loud?

We didn't know what to expect when we set them free, so we planned their release for a Saturday so we could be home for a couple days to make sure all went well. David just took the netting off the top of their run and we waited to see what they would do.

One by one, they excitedly jumped up on top of the fence. Still not sure what was going on, but eager to check things out.

The next thing I knew, they were in flight.

Some of them headed over to check out the chickens.

The rest of them went to check out the house!

Baby watched curiously from a distance.

Duchess was cool as a cucumber.

One of their favorite spots is on top of the chicken run.

While screaming their lungs out.

It has been a few weeks, and thankfully they have been quieter than when we first let them out. The reason why I said we had "some decisions to make" in the last post was because they were so annoying we didn't know if we could keep them around. On several different occasions, David came very close to thinning the flock and sending some of them to "freezer camp." We researched to see if we could do anything to make them quiet down, and found this
"During that first year of life, when virtually everything they see out on range is new to them, they will call out to let you know something is wrong!  This may be the first time they see a predator, the family pet, an unfamiliar face/person, or a leaf falling from a tree!  Yes, all of these things are new to a young guinea at first. But relax, after the first year of life, as the guineas mature and become more familiar with their surroundings and caretakers, they will quiet down."  
We decided to give it a few weeks to see how it went, hoping they'd get accustomed to their surroundings. It seems that they have, and they are ranging further and further away during the day. They always manage to come back and sleep in their coop, which is good because it ensures they will be safe from predators during the night.

Basically what it comes down to is that we got the guineas for a job. We raised them so they would control and hopefully reduce our tick population. We'll have to wait until the summer to see if they are good employees, so we are just going to stick it out for now. Surely by then they will be used to the land and won't freak out if a leaf falls from a tree! But until then, they better be on their best behavior.



Thank you so much for visiting! We enjoy reading each and every one of your lovely comments.