Today consisted of dragging a round bale of hay to the cows with our truck. The tractor had a connection problem, all fixed, thanks to our neighbor, in the solenoid. There was more weeding in the blueberry patch, I am about half way finished.
Let’s talk Guineas. I have not done any empirical studies, what I see is what you get. I have guineas and peafowl and I have had geese in the past. All of these birds are touted as watchdogs. The geese did squawk when someone would arrive, but not consistently enough to depend on. My experience with peafowl is that they do make noise, but not to the degree that some people claim, they also are not dependable enough to be watchdogs. Guineas make more noise than the other two fowl when they hear something that is out of the ordinary. Guineas are not to be confused with watchdogs either. Sometimes at night there might be an armadillo, a skunk or maybe an owl, and the guineas will start hollering. There may be something after them like an owl, I think this is their biggest night time predator, and there is no way to shut them up. At 3 a.m. my dogs may howl at coyotes and this is far less disturbing than the guineas. Fortunately guineas squawking at night is very rare.
Guineas are great for eating ticks and other bugs. It would seem as though we could easily be overrun by guineas, but that has not happened. Guineas usually have nest of about 25-30 eggs. We have about 15 guineas, we have had the same general number for about 7 years. If there are 5 or 6 nests per year times 25 eggs hatching, watch out. For some reason we not been taken over by guineas even though I have tried to make it happen. I have taken the babies away because they die easily from something as minor as wet grass. When I raise the guineas it takes about 3 months before they are big enough to fend for themselves. When they survive with their momma, she has them up in trees in a few weeks. Our guineas have a summer home and a winter home. In the summer they sleep in a pecan tree, when the leaves start falling they move to a cedar tree. This move I think is to avoid owls. This past fall we had guineas hatch, 14 little keats, way late in the season. Two of the late hatches have survived some very cold weather. Normally the guineas start nesting when the pecan trees leaf out. Guinea parents share the load, when mom is setting on a nest the male guards her. When the keats hatch mom and dad protect them, in fact the whole flock will pitch in. Guineas are better at watching out for hawks, they almost always alert the chickens to natures tax collector. If you decide to get guineas, keep them penned up for about 10 days or they will try to go to their old home.