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Uncle Guinea

September 13th, 2017

We have one guinea fowl left out of our original flock. We got some the first year we moved in and have had them ever since. They can be loud, obnoxious, and annoying, but in general we find them to be important to the garden. When there’s a large group they range freely over a very large area and do a fantastic job keeping the tick population under control. They don’t tear up the garden and eat crops like chickens and turkeys do. Their most value comes in their ability to alert to any kind of danger, which helps keep all the other birds safe.

Currently, we have only one remaining guinea, a male. We’ve always heard to never have lone males, because they are the most obnoxious. That has not been our experience, he’s actually quite nice and a real asset to our flock. He’s super protective of all of our birds, but with the baby ducks in particular. In fact, we have taken to calling him “Uncle Guinea”.

Whenever Mama Duck hatches out littles, he follows them around. When they get a little bigger and start popping through the fence and roaming over a larger territory, he follows right alongside them. If the tiny flock separates, he follows one group while Mama Duck follows the other. It’s really fun to watch how his protective nature is most fierce when there are baby ducklings. He’s been “Uncle Guinea” for several summers so, we’re always happy to see him step up into that role whenever the baby ducks are around.

What fun things are going on in your garden this week?

7 Comments to “Uncle Guinea”
  1. Samantha Fisher on September 13, 2017 at 9:59 am

    I love reading your blog and all your happenings. Right now in my garden everything is looking pretty dry, I try to water it every other night, because we haven’t gotten much rain in central Illinois. Our cherry tomatoes are rockin’ and our cucumbers are still producing. I’m trying to start some lettuce for the fall, but our squirrels keep digging up the rows. Anyway, I love fall, so the cooler weather is amazing!

    Reply to Samantha Fisher's comment

  2. Chris on September 13, 2017 at 11:00 am

    That is too funny that he has taken on the role of the guardian Guinea! I thought of getting a few but sounds like they arn’t very hardy? What happened to all the rest of your flock?
    Yes, it is fun watching the antics of the feathered members of the garden! :)

    Reply to Chris's comment

    • Susy on September 14, 2017 at 11:57 am

      The majority of them were killed by an owl (all in one night). They’re actually very hardy birds, but since they have a tendency to roam free they are sometimes nabbed by predators. The big problem is that they aren’t good mothers, so getting new guineas to replace losses isn’t easy when you want to let the birds do it themselves.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Chris on September 18, 2017 at 11:25 am

        That’s good to know that they’re at least a hardy bird but unless they can be protected at night I won’t be getting any. My experience with any bird, free range is…they don’t last very long. :(

        to Chris's comment

  3. Nebraska Dave on September 13, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Susy, uncle guinea. That’s just what a crazy old uncle would do. Do you plan on getting more or will Uncle Guinea be the last to roam the property?

    Have a great Fall Maine day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Susy on September 14, 2017 at 11:54 am

      We would like to get more. I may order some in late winter so they’re pretty big by the time early summer rolls around.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. PennyAshevilleNC on September 14, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Wow- cool relationship, I love hearing about your birds…I wish I could have some but our space is really tiny :)

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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