Monday, March 5, 2012

Wandering Guineas

Guinea hens normally live in trees, but since ours have been raised with/as chickens they live in the chicken coop. The first Winter we had the guineas a few started to roost in the trees, unfortunately one night an owl feasted upon all the guineas that were outside the safety of the coop. I woke up to a bitter harvest of headless guinea bodies, not pretty.

Last Summer a few of the guineas began to venture forth and spend time in the trees, a few even spent the night outside. I was happy that once Winter set in they decided to roost with the chickens as it was both safer and warmer.

With the onset of Spring in the air the guineas are once again setting out to explore the property. I have seen them in the trees and in the sheep barn. The other day I watched as a gaggle of eight guineas marched their way into the sheep barn and began to holler and screech. Their cries were amplified by the loft in the barn and the echos of their calls had the sheep totally spooked.

These pictures mark the first time that I have seen the guineas perched on top of the goat barn. I like that they are venturing forth as we will have a lot more cleared land for them to patrol this year. The guineas are great at devouring ticks, and in this role they are worth their weight in gold.


  1. Owls attack guineas? I didn't know that. Something was catching mine, on the ground, in the daytime and just taking the heads. I couldn't imagine what could sneak up on a guinea. They are a lot of fun to watch aren't they?

  2. I guess that guineas imprint on where they were raised and keep coming back. How big an area do they patrol?

  3. Michaele - I love watching the guineas especially in the Spring when they do their mating dances!

    Ian - From what I have read it takes a long time for adult guineas to acclimate to a new home, the imprint is strong on the young ones. The guineas seem to expand their patrols along the same lines as where the animals graze. As we have opened up new areas for the sheep and goats the guineas have followed them. The guineas have never ventured off into the forest areas on their own. They seem to like routine as they did a complete circuit around the house last year every morning and evening. It was funny to watch them fan out and tramp through the yard in a line.

  4. We were very excited when we got our first guinea chicks. Evidently they could hear the guineas down the road and squeezed thru the chicken wire and joined the neighbors. We just left them as they seemed content.

  5. dannie - Guineas are a fickle lot, you have to imprint "home" on them or they get a wandering eye.