Five Things About Guineas

In April, we purchased six pearl gray guinea keets from Southern States.

guineas, guinea keets, keets, baby guineas

This was the minimum amount of birds you were required to purchase there.  We now have five guineas who live on our property with us, under our care (one mysteriously disappeared in June). And, for the most part (haha), we enjoy their company here.  But there are definitely a few things you should know about guineas before you decide to get some of your own.

 

  1. They make a lot of noise.
    guinea, guinea hen 
    In fact, they make noise CONSTANTLY.  When they are actually happily roaming around together, they make a constant light chirping sound.  This is one sound they make that is not annoying.  It’s actually pretty cute.  However, guineas are rarely happily roaming around together.  They are usually bothered, typically because they have lost each other.  In this case, they make a loud squawking sound.  They do this constantly until they find each other.  Let me remind you again that they get separated from one another extremely frequently.  You can do the math here.

    If they are really, really bothered (one example is occasionally our dog will chase after them), they make a very loud, high pitched, almost cricket-like sound.  This is their alarm call. 


    Long story short: guineas are noisy little buggers.  Personally, we have grown used to the noise. And because our homestead is five acres, they shouldn’t really bother our neighbors either.
  1.  They roam.
    guineas, guinea hens, roaming guineas
    Other than the occasional adventure, chickens tend to stay pretty close to their home turf. Guineas, on the other hand, will roam all over your property, or even into others’ property.  It doesn’t really even seem as if they have a goal of where they would like to end up.  Their bug picking just seems to lead them all over, with no real sense of direction.  So far, ours still always seem to return home for bed.
  1.  They will get through any fence. guineas, chickens, ducks, fence
    The guineas somehow getting through a fence is a daily occurrence on our homestead.  I have found them in the garden countless times.  They always escape the fence meant to define their roaming area.  They go into every fenced-off pasture.  Recently, we planted seed on the dam of our pond, and every time we let the guineas out of the coop they would venture into the pasture and chow down on the seeds.  Typically there will be one guinea who hasn’t made it through the fence yet, and by now, we all know what they do when they’re separated.
  1.  They are always getting stuck.  In the backyard, in pastures, in the greenhouse, on the other side of our property, in tight corners....you name it and guineas will get stuck in it, behind it, or under it.  One time we found one of our guineas stuck flat under a metal gate we propped up to cover an open window into our greenhouse (we had propped the gate there because they kept getting into the greenhouse).  This was literally an occasion where when we tried to prevent them from getting stuck one place, we created an entirely new place for them to get stuck.
  1. Guineas are stupid.  Based on all of the above, the final conclusion is that guineas are just plain dumb. However, they can be a great source of entertainment for anyone who can have a light-hearted take on their highly unintelligent behavior.  It is always an adventure with guineas.guineas, backyard guineas, chasing guineas, trail cam
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