guinea

Guinea Fowl Frenzy

The end of our holiday vacation is an absolute mess. The husband is sprawled across the unmade bed, completely wiped from driving seven hours back home after the holiday weekend. A developing stomach flu that persisted throughout the trip threatens to make him vomit at any moment. The dog is restless and gassy from the ride and can’t stop wandering the bedroom in neurotic circles, reassuring himself that the room is as he left it. Every lap he stops by me, nipping at my hand in a constant vie for attention. We came home to a note that Pepper the cat had been locked in the spare bedroom for two full days during the holidays. Investigating the room for evidence of his past imprisonment is beyond this night’s abilities. And the reason for out late return, the four newly acquired teenage guinea fowl, are spending the night in our bedroom because Ian was too exhausted to lug them to the outdoor coop. It was all I could do to heft them out of the car and into our room.

So far their screeching dismay for their caged life is all the proof I need that the claims of their incredible volume are true. I’ve also learned that trying to make their first night a little more comfortable with bowls of food and water was a terrible idea. Both substances were spilled in a matter of seconds by the panicked birds, dirtying the bedroom floor with a soupy mix of bird poop and soggy food. And on the bed I sit, trying to find the motivation to make up lesson plans about earth worms for the next school day. It would be a long night, but internally I think I gave up on this project the second I walked into the room. going to be a long night. think I gave up on this night a long time ago. After almost a week away and a drive from Pittsburgh longer than we thought possible, I stumbled back into a freezing cold, stale smelling animal-filled home, left my sick husband to find his way into bed and the luggage to settle deeper into the car trunk. The last thing I want to do is make a PowerPoint about worms. And to think we wanted to introduce four new fowl into this crazy mix.

But everything I’ve described is also what I love about this place. Here, we have the ability to just go and DO the crazy things we think about. If we want to go ham on farm animals (no pun intended) we can simply peruse Craigslist until we see some that fit our land and budget. In my “former life” of being a college student and city dweller, I used to spend a lot of time dreaming about a future like this. Ian and I used to spend hours planning out our lives together, often down to minute details of farm projects. But here, I don’t do that much. In fact, our “big picture” conversations have all but ended. Our present is so chock full of projects and potential it’s all we can do to keep with the flow of ideas. If that means that sometimes I will have to go through a some crazy hectic nights of less than stellar decision making to take a risk with a new animal species, then so be it. Because this time in our life is woefully short and soon these opportunities will pass us by. I don’t know what the future holds, but we probably won’t live on this incredible land for more than a few years. And when we do move on to some horrid suburban home, I want to leave fully satisfied that we have pursued every homesteading opportunity that came our way. 

So cheers for Guinea Fowl! And farm animals in general. But what with the dog, the cats, and our twelve birds, I think we are set for a while. At least until Spring….or the next good Craigslist deal.

IMG_4730
The fowl’s previous owner was a prow at catching them for us.
IMG_4728
Poor little caged babies.

IMG_4739

IMG_4752
These girls sure aren’t going to win any beauty pageants.
IMG_4747
Leaving the shelter is the best thing that ever happened to Wendell. He hasn’t had a dull moment since
IMG_4755
We let the fowl into the coop this morning, Anyone that doesn’t get along with be promptly eaten. Except for my precious silkies.
IMG_4765
Early morning coop shot filled with happy poultry.

Have any questions about guinea fowl? Leave them in the comments and I will address them in my next post!

Share this postPin on Pinterest3Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUpon0

16 thoughts on “Guinea Fowl Frenzy

    1. ha ha oh no! Odds are good we have at least one male because they are too young to be sexed yet. But we thought we’d risk it because there is only a 1/16 chance that they would all be males. That would be just our luck…

      1. Doris, the difference is in the sounds that they make. Females can make a “buck wheeeeat” sound while males typically make a more alarming “chi chi chi” sound. It’s very hard to tell simply from looking at them and it takes a few months for them to get old enough to be distinguished. Mine are still too young to tell.

  1. I beg to differ with your comment about them not winning any beauty pageants. Haha. I see my text inspired you.

  2. Guinea Hens are just as mean as cocks. We call ours the Guineas police. Every time they interact with chickens we joke they are saying ” Show us your papers, no papers then you’re going to regret it” some chicken pass the test others do not. We’ve even had hens hatch and raise guineas, this seem to help a little, but the police mentality always seems to win. So, as Offspring says ” You gotta keep em separated.” Anyway, that is our experience with Guineas and Chicken, their interaction with Duck is also odd. Not as violent, but I believe that is because ducks are like politicians, always playing an angle for themselves and their kind. @MavisManor is our farmstay if anyone has question we are always open to share. Lydia, those guineas look very good. Enjoy the fun and chaos! –

  3. Oh dear I hope that ours get along a little better than that. We only just finished building the chicken run, I don’t want to think about building a whole separate coop. If the guinea fowl start to pick on my silkies, they may find themselves plucked and roasted.

    1. Because my birds are young and need to stay in their coop for two more months, I can’t speak to their destructive tendencies towards flowers yet. I am curious to know though!

  4. I really like your coop! How are the guineas and chickens getting along so far? We don’t have too many problems with ours getting along. But we let ours free range all the time, except at night when they all go to the barn. In the morning we have some problems with the guineas picking on the chickens a little before we turn them out, but they all usually just go their separate ways and manage to coexist peacefully for the most part.

  5. Hi Humble little homestead! Thanks for the coop compliment. 🙂 So far our guineas and chickens have been doing great together, probably because the coop is large and the guineas are still immature. From what I’ve been reading they will get along less well when they are full grown, but thankfully at that time the mandatory two months of captivity period will be over and we will let them free range during the day. But if current trends of behavior continue I’m not sure we will have a problem.

Comments are closed.