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guinea hens
May 5, 2011
9:51 pm
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Birdi
Western Maine
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It was certainly fun reading this thread and very sad as well.  Thanks for answering some of my questions regarding the guineas.  I have often thought about them because of the bug control, but heard that they are really noisy and wondered if the noise was worth the benefits.  Do they ever settle down not just the noise but all of the issues named above?  I guess I never knew how wild they are…I figured that they would tame down when they got older or something.

I don't think I'll try it and I'll stick to the chickens and turkeys.

"simple pleasures make my heart smile"

May 5, 2011
10:41 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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They're pretty noisy, a friend that has them says hers are pretty quiet so maybe age does have something to do with it, hers are older.  I love having them, they are a lot of fun to watch and I'm glad I got them. 

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 5, 2011
10:41 pm
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Miss Judy
West Central MO
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My in-laws talk about having had guineas years ago. Their big complaint was not being able to keep them at home. They were always in the road usually headed to the neighbors.They were a target for owls because they liked to roost outside in trees. And they would fly up into the trees very early in the evening…they went to bed before the chickens.

   If anything strange was around to spook them they became very noisy. They were a lot like Peacocks in that respect.

With all that being said they still liked having them around.

May 6, 2011
12:32 pm
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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I've enjoyed having guineas, glad I had the experience, but they are not something I will repeat.  We only had four.  We had one die in the chicken house (after it was an adult), suddenly for no clear reason.  One got out and got killed.  That was a while back.  Then we took everybody to the duck 'n' buck yard.  We had had one of the guineas kill a chicken in the chicken house, so I didn't want to leave them there with the chickens any longer.  The two guineas we took to the duck 'n' buck yard both got out when the goats pulled down the chicken wire.  Some ducks did, too, but I was able to get the ducks back.  Fence was fixed etc.  Guineas are just insane and Not Very Smart.  They have been hanging around the duck 'n' buck yard.  One of them got killed.  If the other is still alive, it probably won't be for long.  They are too scared of people to get caught and put back, and they are not smart enough to wander freely.  I have found guineas very frustrating to keep, and not very satisfying as it's like trying to keep a wild bird.  In other words, impossible.  And dumb.  Did I mention the dumb part? sun

 

I'll take my ducks and geese and chickens, thank you.  No more guineas for me.  To actually get them to eat your bugs, mosquitoes, etc, you'd have to let them free-range, and then you run into the wandering and dumb issues.

 

Did I mention the dumb part? sunsunsunsunsunsunsun

 

::clearly not a guinea person::

Clover made me do it.

May 6, 2011
12:40 pm
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langela
iowa
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Suzanne~ Would you tell us how you really feel?laugh

May 7, 2011
11:57 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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OK, to add to odd guinea stories, my guineas just came around to the kitchen window, and all stared up at me while I was washing dishes and made their “oh my god the world is ending” noises while staring right at me. 

WHAT was that all about?  I went out and looked around, nothing unusual going on.  It was very strange. 

When I go outside most days, they come towards me in a general way, but never too close of course… they seem confused that the chickens all rush towards me as if I have treats every time they see me.  I don't know what was with the guinea serenade, but it was very strange! …and noisy!

Hey Suzanne!  How dumb are they?  sun sun sun

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 7, 2011
3:04 pm
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Miss Judy
West Central MO
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Buckeye Girl, they must have heard about all our comments on CitR! laugh

May 7, 2011
6:31 pm
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LauraP
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I love having guineas around, been around them most of my life and kept them myself the last 15 years.  Yeah, they make a lot of noise, but not nearly as much as the 10 tom turkeys gobbling themselves silly all day or the 10 geese wandering around proclaiming their supremacy.  Best thing about guineas, even better than their reputation for eating ticks, grasshoppers, etc. (all true), is they're hands-down the best look-outs for hawks.  When they start their racket and head for cover, so do the most of the other birds, and the farmcollies shoo the stragglers to safety.  But yeah, some are incredibly dumb, and the dumb ones don't survive.

 

Never had one attack a human here – not a hint of aggression towards people in ours.  Some are half wild, some half tame, and one of the pearls is special friends with a little banty rooster he grew up with.  We do have a small band of white bachelor guineas we call the terrorists because they'll take over a feed pan, particularly in a pen of young fowl, and terrorize anything that approaches.  Bebe, the bossy farmcollie, generally deals with them and if she can't get to them, she bugs one of us until we'll follow her out and take care of the problem.  For about five years we've had a stable population of bachelor guineas.  Last year we added a dozen new keets, hoping for some gals to help provide replacements for the older guys. Half survived past adolescence, which is an excellent rate in my experience — I usually expect a third to drown in something while learning to fly and another third to die from one dumb stunt or another.  No clue how many we have at the moment as the fowl are back to roosting in the cedars and hiding their spring nests.  We'll know in another month or two.  This morning one of my turkey hens that had been missing for a month showed up with four babies several days old.  I'm hoping to see the same with some guinea hens in a few weeks.  I'll net the keets and move them to a brooder because guinea mama instincts aren't suited to our climate.  Now and then I hear about somebody with a guinea population that keeps expanding on its own, with smart parents that don't drag their keets through the dew wet grass to their deaths.  I've yet to benefit from those genetics here, though every few years we give the flock another try at it.  And regret it.

May 7, 2011
10:44 pm
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Flatlander
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Wow…we went to an auction today and the guineas went for 30 and up per bird, so we didn't buy any.

I really wanted a few…but now I'm glad we didn't LOL

May 8, 2011
9:37 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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If you have a broody hen, and you can find any fertile eggs, I hear that having a hen raise them is a good thing.  Makes them at least a tiny bit calmer.

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 10, 2011
9:29 am
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bubbashome
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I'm down to 7 guineas from our almost 50+ last summer. They're starting to pair off and I'm expecting some of them to disappear soon to sit on nests. Mine nest in the big pine tree next to the house along with two of my chickens. We've gotten pretty close to a couple of them and they're not nearly as afraid of us as they once were. Mine will “play” close to the road but we've got a lot of big truck traffic (we live down the road from a gravel pit) so they stay in the valley. They do wander next door to our neighbors but they don't mind since they eat the bugs and don't destroy anything. They seem to know how far their dog can reach.

 

I think I'd miss mine if they weren't here. They're great “watch dogs” too!

May 10, 2011
11:25 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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I have to say bubbashome, you' the nail right on the head!  I'd miss mine too!  As many times in the day that they irritate me, it's many more times as often that they make me laugh and give me enjoyment.  …like the guinea egg that was sitting in the driveway this morning made me laugh a lot.  Must have been 'dropped' there yesterday… I think.

Oh, on the irritating, but still funny side was their crazy ideas of where four are going to sleep roosting in a tree, but the two in the coop are screaming for them, so they four go flapping out of the tree, but can't find the coop 'pop' door because it's almost dark, so I have to go out and turn on the light so they can find it, or put up with guinea yelling till I do. 

Yes, dumb!!!! but entertaining.  It's also a bit like having a toddler around, when it gets too quiet out there, I have to go see what's keeping them that way!

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 10, 2011
12:30 pm
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bubbashome
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I feel the same way – if I haven't heard them in a while, I need to go out and find them!

 

Mine usually “drop” the eggs in the area where they eat. I've found two so far. My chickens roll them around and try to open then give up!

 

Right after I got mine, they did take off for parts unknown but came back a few weeks later and they've stuck around ever since. Guess they found out the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence! happy-flower

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