Well, I got the phone call yesterday letting me know that there were guinea keets available to order. Unfortunately, I had to tell her I was no longer interested.
You see, we are having increasing problems with raccoons and other predators such as hawks. A few weeks ago, my adorable little Aracaunas were accidentally left in their chicken tractor over night. I had to leave for work, and when DH went to lock up the chickens for the night, he forgot they were in the tractor. I ended up coming home to two torn apart Aracaunas, strewn through the yard. :( Two Buff Orpingtons have also been the victims of predators. We think they decided to be adventurous and "flew the coop" and got picked up by hawks. Their bodies were never found.
So, my conclusion was that, although I could keep the guineas locked up in the coop at night, it was not going to prevent the many hawks that circle the house from picking up some fast food! I am disappointed, but I realize this is just how farm life is. We did have our chickens free ranging on the property until they began dwindling in numbers.
I was also beginning to think that my parents (mostly my dad), although they would appreciate the reduced tick numbers, would not appreciate the loud noises guinea love to make!
How does everyone control the predator population around their homesteads? We did have an amazing Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd named Whinny that did an amazing job keeping critters away from the poultry. Unfortunately we lost him to bone cancer several years ago and have not replaced him. Well, my parents tried to, but he ended up being the biggest scaredy cat there is, and is now and indoor dog... We may end up looking for another livestock guardian dog (LGD), although keeping one simply for guarding poultry is hardly cost effective.
I am very interested in hearing your methods and ideas!