|Lavender Guinea freedigitalphotos.net|
Around these parts, it's an inevitable part of spring and summer. Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, buffalo gnats, just to name a few. For me, the ticks are the worst. Especially the Lyme disease carrying Deer Ticks. It's impossible to walk out the door without finding one crawling on your skin. And if you go in the woods? You're guaranteed to come back in, crawling with ticks. DH and I have come out of the woods, with literally hundreds of ticks, the size of a pinhead crawling on our legs! Not a pretty sight!
Since our homestead is situated on a hill, surrounded in woods we have a lot of trouble with ticks. For this very reason, for the last couple of years I have been considering getting Guinea fowl. Guinea fowl are native to Africa but are commonly raised here in the U.S. for insect control on farms. Typically they are allowed to roam free during the day, then put in the coop at night. Since they like to roost in trees, this helps keep them from being preyed on my night predators, such as owls and racoons. (I had no idea owls would attack guineas!)
Guinea fowl will also alert you to any intruders onto the property, with their loud screeching. Because they can be so noisy, it's probably a good idea to listen to them to know if you (and your neighbors) can handle the noise!
In addition to their tick eating abilities, they also will supply you with tasty little eggs, and you can also eat the guinea fowl meat. I have read it is comparable to chicken and turkey, although personally I have not tried it.
I have been getting really excited about my newest poultry adventure! Because of their noise, and the close proximity of our chicken coop to the house, I am planning on building a small guinea coop to house them further away from our homes.
Since guinea keets (babies) are not available through hatcheries until May or so, I still have about a month of waiting before I can place my order. Patience is not my strong suit!
Does anyone have experience with guineas? I'm really curious to hear everyone's adventures with them!
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