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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Does anyone have Guinea Fowl? They are a hoot!

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Author Topic: Does anyone have Guinea Fowl? They are a hoot!
Harmony
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We got 25 birds now and I **love** them!

They have been the joy of my life for the last three years and they eat ticks!!!! [bow]

Momma's little helpers! Dumbledoor's Army! [kiss]

We hatch the eggs and sell the babies to help with the feed bill (which is enormous 'cause we spoil 'em silly).

Post a reply if you have Guineas or you are interested in 'em.

I am a very positive person and for years I have been asking myself what good the Lyme has possibly done in my life: the answer is the Guineas!

I would have never allowed myself another pet if it had not been for necessity. And they are awesome! Full of life and fun to have in my life! [woohoo]

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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poppy
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Don't they make a lot of noise? I have assumed these were only for people who have deaf neighbors or are a long distance from other houses. And don't they fly away? Would like some little tick eaters because I have seen as many as 15 deer at a time passing thru my yard and some frequently behind my back fence. They don't get in backyard because of fencing, but side yard has an actual deer path thru the ivy on the ground!
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MannaMe
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We had some until the fox got them. We plan to get some more this summer.

Are yours tame? Do they come when you call them? We got ours as full grown birds and couldn't get very close to them.

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LabRat
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Harmony, tell us more about your Guineas. I've been thinking of a few chickens or birds of some type. My most powerful wife tells me they are bigger than chickens. Are they sociable, I've seen chickens that you had to be a bit rude too, to get them out of your lap!
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GretaM
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Anything that eats ticks are angels in my book!
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Harmony
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Yes, they make **a lot** of noise. But I love them, so I don't even hear it anymore - unless I am in the coop and the boys cut lose with their warning call and it about splits my ear drums - ha ha.

Consider them as barking dog with a barking obsession - and you will get an idea if you can deal with that.

They do help to warn you and chickens, for example, when there is a predator or intruder (UPS, airplane, etc. get flagged, too) - [Smile] and that can be useful to some people.

I sent a letter out to our neighbors before I got them, to let everybody know and address concerns before anybody gets mad. Also, we are zoned agricultural and may keep fowl by right of law - still I did not want to trouble our neighbors and talked to them. They say it is ok.

If you coop the Guineas at night and have a red light (not white light) on in the coop, they will be quiet at night.

The first year is the worst - as if they are trying out their voices. But they can start a ruckus (vocal) anytime they feel it necessary.

Predators are a big problem. I built a home for them that is enclosed with 1/4" hard wire cloth, cemented in the ground - so far no fox or racoon or such got in. I also put electric fence around the coop and it is on at night. Three times there was yelping - then the predators learned to leave our birds be, I think.

The local fox is savvy now. [Wink]

You gotta start with keets (babies), and leave 'em locked in their enclosure for about 6 weeks and give 'em treats there, etc.

Let them out slowly and teach them to return home to roost. After a while they do it on their own, when they get the routine.

There is a great article on how to train 'em on the Guinea Fowl International Association web page. That is an awesome site with sweet people who have taught me a lot!

Check out the forum for questions and answers form many Guinea keepers, and the articles for great information:

http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/articles/training.php

Ours are not real tame but I adore them anyway! They have personalities and are fun to watch. We all need something like that in our lives - especially Lyme folks!

Guineas are very shy. You never have to worry about them coming to you, unless you spend a lot of time training them to come for treats. They avoid people as a rule.

They are about the same size as a chicken, but the eggs are 50% smaller. Substitute 3 Guinea eggs for 2 chicken eggs in a recipe.

I eat the eggs - cooked thoroughly - assuming Borrelia cannot withstand heat. Make sure the yolk is solid after cooking! They are yummy.

[ 04-14-2014, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: Harmony ]

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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faithful777
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I love guineas!! A friend had some when we lived in VA but she lost them all to predators. She didn't put them in a coop at night.

Do you let them out to roam free during the day? We have too many predators here to let them roam. I was thinking of having a coop with a large run that had my garden in the middle. Guineas eat the bugs but don't dig up plants.

I just love the sound they make. They are extremely entertaining.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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Harmony
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Hi faithful777,

fellow Guinea-enthousiast! Ha Ha! [hi]

Yup, we have a coop and an attached run and I only let my babies out of their secure enclosures when I am home.

I carry a wild-life-scare-gun in my back pocket to scare away hawks when I see them threatening our Guineas. And I watch out for stray dogs and such.

They only go out about 2 hours a day, but with 25 busy beaks and ticks waiting patiently until someone comes by... well, they get their encounters with our little angles sooner or later.

I think it takes time to reduced the tick population significantly - but I think it works.

And I do not think pesticides are the solution.

I like your idea of a Guinea patrolled garden inside the run! How ingenuitive!

I think you would have to enclose a large area and make an enclosure inside that for your plants - they will dig and damage if left in one area all day, I think.

I would start by letting them have it all the first year and then closing off a plant area inside the "tick cleared area" for my plants the next spring.

I think it would definitely work and be a nice way for you to have a tick-free garden.

Let us know how it works out, if you do it please. And let me know if you need Guineas or hatchable eggs. [Smile]

I also have tips on run construction - was even thinking about writing a book, but it is not out yet. [spinning smile]

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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faithful777
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I can't let any of my chickens out even when we are home. Aside from hawks, we have mountain lions, coyotes, antelope, elk and I think someone even saw a moose out here. And of course we have racoons, skunks and other small critters.

I have a huge run that is partitioned off with a door every so many feet. That allows me to start new chickens in a different section until they are old enough for the rest of the girls. It also lets me move a trouble maker out if I need to.

This summer I am going to plant a section of the run with grass and a chicken mix for the hens to munch on.

Guineas do not dig up plants. They will graze your garden for insects and not pull anything out.
I love the sound they make!!

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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Lymedin2010
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Request for some pics &/or video. You make me want to get some too, but I fear the bears & predators will make meals out of them.
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Harmony
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Predators will eat them.

But you can protect them - an electric fence may even work for a bear. Works for me!

After I get zapped, I usually have an automatic reaction to that spot on the fence - an internal memory, he he,

that makes me hesitate every time I get near it, until I remember that the fence is off now and it's ok.

The Guinea Fowl Internation Association has a photo gallery:

http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/gallery/

click on the photos to see Guineas from all over the world (mostly the USA) from members' back yards -

several members have posted a bunch of pics - that may give you an idea of what the look like and how they live

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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faithful777
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We just make a really big run that has hardwire mesh instead of chicken wire. We put a couple of strands of electric wire around the run.

The electric wires keep smaller critters out but a bear or mountain lion can get through all of that.

We keep our birds close to the house which helps keep them safe. All rifles are loaded and near the door to go out to the coop.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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LabRat
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THANKS FOR THE LINKS AND COMMENTS EVERYONE.
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grandmother
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Guineas have the reputation of being tick eaters but, do other chickens eat ticks, or is it just guineas?
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Harmony
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grandmother, I think chickens eat ticks, too, but Guineas are more keen on "meat"

they are raised on higher protein feed and are more disposed to look for bugs than chickens, I think, even though chickens eat bugs and worms, too

maybe Guineas just need more protein

also, I think, Guineas range further - not sure how far chickens would go, we just have Guineas and they go for miles if you let them out long enough

ours definitely range to the edge of the pasture and "graze" the edge of the woods for bugs

for those who wanted photos, check out this beautiful shot of a resting Guinea posted by CrazyBirds:

http://guineafowl.international/forum/index.php?id=8199

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

Posts: 596 | From USA | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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