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Growing Again

April 25th, 2013

The day before yesterday I picked up a few more fowl to add to our flock. They’re guinea fowl, beautiful little birds that are supposed to be really great at eating ticks. Since we live in an area with lots of ticks and lyme’s disease, we figured they’d be worth their weight in gold.
guinea hens 2
I bought four from a local farmer and a friend is giving me her female, who is very lonely since her mate became fox food.  She’ll fit right in with our 3 females and one male.  Hopefully I can get some better photos when they get more used to me and when we start letting them outside.
guinea hens 1
These little guys are very beautiful. Dailon turned a storage area in our coop into a little coop of it’s own. They’ll be living in there for a week before being introduced into our flock of chickens. We’re also going to be adding more feathered friends to our flock in the coming week, stay tuned to see what we add.

How many feathered and furred friends do you have in your garden?

23 Comments to “Growing Again”
  1. Mich on April 25, 2013 at 5:24 am

    I have some pearl guinea fowl and Peking bantams at the moment in one of the paddocks. Have some ‘rescue’ ex battery hens arriving next month. Other than that just the outdoor farm cats and my GSD Ella.

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  2. greenzonelife on April 25, 2013 at 6:10 am

    They are such interesting birds, i have never seen a white one before

    Reply to greenzonelife's comment

  3. Jennifer Fisk on April 25, 2013 at 6:30 am

    My chickens aren’t near my garden but I’m giving a lot of thought to raising a few ducks to keep it Japenese Beetle and Slug free. I have considered Guineas but they are so noisey and tend to wander. I do have a couple of Nigerian wethers who will be employed cleaning up the understory of my woods. There are so many baby Balsams and Spruce that it is getting hard to walk through. All of this is patrolled by an adult and puppy GSD.

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  4. Ann on April 25, 2013 at 7:24 am

    We currently have 6 adult chickens. 1 rooster and 5 hens. Then I added 6 new babies this spring, all pullets. This coming week I am adding 6 runner duck babies. These are for the same reason as your guineas, to eat ticks, slugs and Japanese Beetles.

    No more fowl, but we are just getting into raising bunnies for dinner. We have a trio, 2 girls and a boy. We are expecting our first litter any moment.

    Not sure what we will add to our homestead next. But I think we are done adding for this year!

    Reply to Ann's comment

    • Jennifer Fisk on April 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      I too have meat bunnies. My breed is Silver Fox and they are wonderful.

      Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

      • Susy on April 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        We’re supposed to pick up some Silver Fox rabbits next month.

        to Susy's comment

  5. Songbirdtiff on April 25, 2013 at 7:59 am

    As you know, we reluctantly have no feathered friends in the garden, but that will change one way or another. I do love guineas, and their feathers are beautiful!

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  6. amy svob on April 25, 2013 at 8:12 am

    My wish is to have some chickens but between our killer momma cat and our dogs they would only last minutes on our property. I don’t know how to stop them but it has been beneficial as the rabbits don’t eat in the garden or landscaping and the squirrels aren’t robbing the bird feeders. I’m working on my hubbs to make me something they could live in including a large runner and maybe I could let them out for a bit while the animals are inside. We’ll see how it goes.

    Reply to amy svob's comment

    • Joan on April 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Hi Amy,

      We have killer dogs too. They chickens get to go out several times during the day while the chickens stay in their safe enclosure, then the dogs go out for the last time at about 3:00, and the chickens get released then until dark. Today I ordered an electric poultry fence, which I think will deter the dogs just fine – we’ll train them on it without the temptation of chickens first though! Before this we used a chicken tractor in the summer, which protected the chickens from the dogs, and we just moved it around every few days.

      Reply to Joan's comment

  7. Maybelline on April 25, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Sadly, only 1furry fellow.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  8. pinepod on April 25, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Miss our guineas! Now we have lots of cats, lots of Muscovy ducks, 3 dogs (we’re dog sitting one right now which makes 4 dogs until June).


    Reply to pinepod's comment

  9. Sue Nugent on April 25, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I have always heard that guineas keep down the tick population, but are they as destructive to your flower beds as regular chickens? We are over run with ticks and would love to try some type of environmentally safe method of dealing with them.

    Reply to Sue Nugent's comment

  10. Rachel on April 25, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Our city allows us to have up to 4 chickens, and while we started out 3 years ago with 4, due to the coop door being left open we are down to 3. We have a Golden Comet, a Red Sex Link and a Black Sex Link, They are great birds, and are still consistently providing our family with eggs 3 years later.

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  11. BeccaOH on April 25, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Guineas can be crazy. I tried adult guineas. Kept them cooped for a couple weeks and when I let them into the run they flew out and went to my neighbors a quarter mile away. I tried to catch them, but they are crazy. Caught a hen, which finally drew the others close enough to lure into the yard and finally catch. Family and neighbors were not impressed by the loud and crazy birds. Sold those. Tried raising keets, but as they aged they refused to be penned and rubbed their heads raw trying to find a hole out. Sold those. So my guinea experience wasn’t the best. None of my poultry-raising friends who have tried guinea have stuck with them. Best of luck.

    Reply to BeccaOH's comment

  12. judym on April 25, 2013 at 10:39 am

    We still have our Golden buffs but hoping for more – maybe later this year or next. Would love to have some ducks as well. Right now because of predators we can’t let the hens run free but am hoping to rig up some inexpensive fencing we can easily move around the property. Then they can have more greens and bugs!

    Reply to judym's comment

  13. Kay on April 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    We had some Guineas, but I find them to be dumber than a bag of rocks. Each of them died because they were so pea brained. I hope you have a better experience with them.

    Reply to Kay's comment

  14. Sierra N Hampl on April 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    We do not have any feathered friends, yet. We’ve been considering chickens for about a year. We have a good spot for them, and a small shed that we could easily turn into a coop, so I think we may get some next year…we’ll see.

    Reply to Sierra N Hampl's comment

  15. Amy from Texas on April 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    We have 32 assorted chickens, 2 being roosters. 14 chicks & 19 guineas. We raised the guineas from keets. Kept them penned/cooped for 6 weeks, per instructions from guinea experts. They roosted in the hen house with the chickens through the fall & winter. Now, most of them roost in the trees. It usually takes them several weeks to imprint on the coop & after that you still need to herd them to encourage a return to the coop. But, you might have better luck than we did. They can gang up on the chickens, though…so keep an eye on them. They are noisy, but fun, too.

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  16. Lemongrass on April 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I grew up in the Caribbean with lots of guineas. We called guinea birds and loved them and their eggs. They were very, very good watch dogs. Whenever something or someone came to the yard they would alert us with their loud cries. They need lots of space and we had lots of land.
    I moved backed to the Caribbean and is thinking of having some again, not for their eggs but their feathers. and their noise. The only feathers friends I have are the birds that visit my garden.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  17. Colleen on April 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Currently we have 15 assorted breed hens. Our sweet rooster died a while back. One Australian Shepherd, who keeps watch over the property and from time to time, helps herd in wayward hen(s). One cat, who thinks she is a princess.

    Reply to Colleen's comment

  18. Caroline on April 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    The only critters in our yard (soon to be garden!) are uninvited!
    Rabbits, birds and those darn squirrels!

    Reply to Caroline's comment

  19. amy on April 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I loved my guineas but the neighbors where we are now did not…..Not because of their loud call…..which was excellent in letting me know about intruders but because they Would Not be contained…..Period…..I had raised them from babies……but they refused to bunk with the chickens and were actually aggressive with them…..They would fly 50 to 75 ft up into our trees making it impossible to contain them…..They then would fly/walk quite some distance to our neighbors property to eat their tomatoes……in addition to ours:) However….there is nothing like them for ticks…..and Japanese beetles…..My father tried them several times when I was growing up but he got them as adults…..They never stayed……Not once. Not to be a negative Nelly but considering all of your all’s lovely woods…..They may make a break for it~Susy…..I hope not……but if so….raising from keets would be a good idea. Once we raised the initial flock….they would have huge numbers of babies on their own….but lost many to a great horned owl that lived nearby….not real good mamas…..

    Reply to amy's comment

  20. Alecia on April 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Several cats- all neutered or spayed, one dog and wild guineas that roam here in Central Texas. What strange noises they make. Find it interesting that we ALWAYS see them in pairs. Amazing that the cats and other animals-coyotes, foxes, etc have not dined on them.

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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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