Sunday, March 3, 2013

Guinea fowl

I love my guineas.  If you don't have guinea fowl and you have a farm, you should get some.

Here they are saying hello to me.  They are always happy to greet me and run to me.  But they always keep a few feet away from me.  There will be no contact with humans...

Guineas cruising by.

We'd had a few nice days lately.  I think the birds' hormones have been kicking in - spring is on the way.  The males have been chasing each other and trying to be dominant.  They've also been dividing up into pairs or small groups and have been going off to be alone.  Yeah, spring is coming.

The males stick their wings up and chase each other.  Below a light gray male guinea is displaying this behavior. 

I believe these are two brothers at the feeding area.  These two were called "piebald" color when they were chicks - they used to have some white on them when they were tiny chicks, but it went away.  It appears they are actually a pearl gray/royal purple mix.  I like the spotted feathers underneath their dark wings.  In the background is a pearl gray guinea hen, the spotted one.

The guineas don't mind the two outdoor cats, Brindle and Benjamin.  Here's Benji walking by.  However, if another cat comes around, the guineas gang up on him and chase him away.  They are very protective and don't like changes.

Two guinea hens walking down the road, talking about guinea hen things.

I cannot wait for spring to come to see all the excitement with all the guineas.  This is the biggest group that we've had to survive winter.  Hopefully we have a good mix of males and females.  They will be chasing each other around, will be making nests and hiding their eggs.  Maybe even we'll raise some of our own guinea keets - we have never been successful in hatching our own guinea keets before.  There's always goals.


Rae said...

We LOVE our one guinea (all the others went and got themselves killed) It is so fun to watch, and is the rooster's sidekick. He/she and the rooster are a predator spotting team, and both scream bloody murder if there's something lurking.

Btw, is there any way to tell whether he/she is a girl or boy? Or, more likely a girl or a boy.

Farm Girl said...

Very nice shots. I do wish I had some. Maybe next year.
I hope your guineas stay safe this year and multiply. :)

Razzberry Corner said...

Hi Rae, You may be able to tell if yours is male or female. The males stick their wings up. Look at my 3rd photo, there's a gray/almost white one right in the center, wings a little bit up. It's a male. And the one on the very left is a male - wings are up. The females have a more pronounced bump on their back above their tails. Look at the photo of the 2 piebald males - the spotted one behind them has the bump on her back between her wings, she's a female. The photo of the 2 hens walking down the street - they both have a bump between their wings right above their tail. It's hard to tell the difference if you only have one.

Our male guineas used to hate our roosters when they were able to be together. The male guineas pulled out all the rooster tail feathers! The guineas are a predator spotting team here, too. They are the first to scream, the roosters (in their pen) hear the guinea screams and start their alert cries.

We continually loose guineas to predators, too. This past summer we got a lot of keets, way more than we wanted, knowing that many of them will be killed. And now we have the biggest flock we've ever had!


Razzberry Corner said...

Rae - I've also noticed females are smaller than male guineas, not that that will help, as you only have one. And I've seen that you can't judge them by their wattles - I used to think males had larger wattles, but that's not necessarily true.


John Gray said...

Funny but I have been looking at buying some eggs again for the incubator

Dog Trot Farm said...

Goodness gracious I do hope your Guinea fowl stay safe, if I recall correctly you experienced quite a bit of tragedy in that Guinea yard that year. Here's to staying safe, greetings from Maine, Julie.