Welcome to our "Feathered Friend Friday" series. Each Friday I write a post with interesting facts, photos, or funny stories about our chickens and guineas. If you need to catch up, you'll find all the Feathered Friend Friday posts here.
Just the other day I was thinking about how at first I really didn't like our guineas at all, but now it's hard to imagine our homestead without them.
Aside from the fact that they eat up tons of ticks and bugs and lay amazingly delicious eggs, they actually are quite entertaining and charming. It wasn't always that way, though, because at first they were so loud it was nearly unbearable for us to be outside. After we had our original flock of 16 on lockdown for their first six months to be sure they would always return, we let them out to free range. And chaos ensued.
They do make great "watchdogs" because if they sense any threat they will scream very loudly. However, when first let out to free range, everything seemed like a threat to them because they weren't quite familiar with their surroundings. A simple butterfly fluttering by could send a rush of panic through the flock and result in deafening screams. Just about the time when I said I'd had it and thought about getting rid of them somehow, they got quiet and became pleasant and enjoyable.
I guess they knew what was good for them! Now they follow me around for treats (sunflower seeds) and make sweet little noises while going about their business. In the mornings they tend to range out pretty far and I usually see some of them across the street visiting the neighbor's cows in their pasture. Towards the end of the day they come back and hang out by the house until it's time to roost in the trees for the night.
The guineas get along just fine with the chickens, cats, and Duchess. Occasionally they fight amongst themselves, but we don't see squabbles very often. All in all, our homestead is a peaceful one, something I never thought I'd say two years ago this time!
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