A surprise

So, maybe those guineas aren’t completely useless after all.

We got them because we lost a couple of hens to a hawk last year. Instead of getting a loud and obnoxious sex-crazed rooster with eyes peeled to the sky, we got loud and obnoxious guineas instead. I will have to take a picture of them, though it is hard: they’re really skittish. Anyway, the guineas are loud and proud, and extremely alarmist about the slightest thing flying overhead. So they’re useful.

I didn’t expect eggs, though.

From all that I have read, these birds tend to lay in sneaky places, places other than the coop’s three nesting boxes. Guess what. At least one of the guinea hens (there are three, plus a boy) is laying in the box. Just like the chickens.

So we cooked up our first one on Sunday for lunch. Economic, this egg. Not at all watery. Tiny yolk, thick white…and the most amazingly thick little shell and inner lining: I had to all but cut the darned shell open! It was TASTY.

But it sure would take a lot of them to make a souffle.

POSTSCRIPT: I spoke entirely too soon. I just went to investigate a particularly long guinea-screaming-session, and behold: behind the greenhouse garden, in the weeds, a guinea nest.

Little sneaks.

10 responses to “A surprise

  1. Don’t you just love a surprise you can eat? I am forewarned about keeping guinea hens in town. They’d run me out on a rail for the noise, I think.

  2. Moonbear, you probably would get run out of town! Though I do wonder if they’d be so noisy if they were confined. If they make noise, it usually is for a good (in their world, anyway) reason. Mostly, when these guys get going, it’s because one is out of eyesight from the others. whereareyouwhereareyouwhereareyou?

    Maybe that wouldn’t happen if they were caged?

    But yes, stick with the chickens! Much more reliable and TAME.

  3. Getting eggs from guineas is like an Easter Egg hunt every day. They are sneaky, but aren’t they fun to watch?

  4. Those ones in the right place were merely a diversion to distract you from the motherlode! šŸ™‚

  5. Jenny: Exactly! Like I said, I didn’t really expect eggs, so it’s all a surprise…and now I get to add in the idea of finding them.

    I’m keeping the eggs that I found there: I just made X’s on them so I could harvest the new vs. the old eggs. Goofy birds.

    Kim: Like I said, SNEAKY!!

    Actually, I like the idea that they’re semi-wild creatures. They’ve really bonded with the other young pullets though so they’re not completely on their own. Except for laying outside the nesting boxes, that is….

  6. I’ve been kicking around the idea of getting guineas myself. Do they stay in the coop with the chickens? Do they wander off your proprty? Our biggest concern is our busy road (agriculture and everyone on the way to the lake). Any advice? šŸ™‚

  7. Hi Ang

    Our birds all free-range, so I am not sure how these guys would do in a coop. I will admit it’s the guineas who wander across our road, though…usually when the food bowl is low. They CAN fly, and easily roost high up in trees (which my neighbor found out when he accidentally locked them out when he was caring for our birds).

    It might be possible to put a guinea hole in the top of your hen yard’s fence for them to come and go (I’ve read that that’s what other people do). If we redo the henyard at our place this fall, we might have to do this for them.

    hope that helps! But BE WARNED they are loud.

  8. I’ve heard they are great for keeping down the tick and bug populations, but had never heard of them being hawk deterants? Love the pictures.

  9. Your guineas look great. My guinea fowl lay in the hedgerow of our fields and I spend hours hunting for the eggs!
    Sara from farmingfriends

  10. Last time I went out to a local farm to pick up stew chickens I asked if I could let my dog out of the car- a Bichon- (on leash) to pee. Sure, no problem, their dogs were already shut up.

    nope. the guineas went nuts. she has 17 (started w/ 24, but the fox keeps getting them) and they literally were doing mock mob charges at him to try to make him go away. He was mostly confused. If he’d stayed out of the car I had the real sense that sooner or later they’d have come right up and started pecking him!

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