We recently added guinea hens to the farm and I’m completely obsessed with them! Guineas have a reputation for being loud, ugly and very wild but I have found them to be mesmerizing to watch and their noise hasn’t bothered me at all. Also, the fact that they eat ticks by the thousands makes me love them no matter how ugly or noisy they are!
We got Lavender Guinea hens because I read somewhere that their temperament is a little better than the more common guinea hen. In the beginning they were very skittish but it’s gotten better and better and while they aren’t warm and fuzzy, they have been fine with Rosie and us. Also, I think their gray feathers, with white polka dots, are beautiful!
We have a tick problem here on the farm. In fact, our entire geographic area does, but we have fields and woods surrounding us- which is basically a haven for ticks. Both Bryce and Harris have had Lyme ( before we ever moved to the farm) and we certainly don’t want to go down that path again. It’s estimated that they can eat 1,000 ticks a day!
I’ve wanted guineas for a while but I’ve been put off by all the negative press surrounding them and not being exactly sure where they would “live”. We have fox, hawks, and any number of other predators and I was worried that they wouldn’t be safe free ranging, which they must do in order to help with the ticks. Fortunately, guineas are very proficient at flying, which can help them to escape and we have made room for them at night in the barn (an attached corn crib) where Bryce put up high perches for them to roost at night.
Once we moved them out of the brooder, we kept them shut in the barn for several weeks so that they could come to see it as home and so far, fingers crossed, it has worked. They come back to the barn during the day to rest and also as the sun starts to set. We couldn’t be more pleased and hope it continues. So far, they have been staying pretty close to the barn during the day, but my hope is that they start to explore a little more in the coming weeks.
They move in packs and do almost everything together, as one! It’s super fun to watch! If one gets separated, he makes lots of noise and freaks out until he is back with his pack! I’m excited for them to be here and I sure hope they stay!