Guinea Fowl – The Next Generations

A post on Guinea Fowl to make up for missed posts.

We’ve been raising Guinea fowl since we move out to Westport.  Tricia ordered our first batch of 15 to help with bug control and because they are so ugly they are cute.   They are free range and though we lock them up at night, the flocks numbers vary due to predators.

I wasn’t convinced they were doing all that great of a job until we lost all of them for about a year, summer to the next summer.  The second summer, we had bad Japanese beetles and more ticks than normal.  While America doesn’t have a predator for adult Japanese beetles, guineas eat the young grubs in the ground.  Coincidence or not, I’m attributing the low beetle and tick population to the guineas.

Survivors. Far right is the lonely teen.

Starting 2019, our flock was down to 4.  Guineas lay eggs in late May and like to lay in tall grass in the open field, not in convenient boxes like chickens.  So it’s hard to get eggs to hatch; however, by keeping their aviary door closed for a few days, I was able to get 8 eggs in May; 4 hatched. I kept

Hatch-lings from clutch of 40

these in the brooder about 5 weeks so they’d be bigger when introduced with the others.  Guinea flocks are fickle and instead of having one flock of 8, we had a full grown flock of 4 and a flock of 4 smaller “teens”.  They would not join flocks, but frequently the flocks congregated near each other.

In July something attacked them during the day.  I had 8 when I let them out and that night only 3 adults, 2 injured, and 1 teen.  While the Guineas didn’t want to combine flocks, they decided to take in the stray teen.  So the adults adopted the teen and we were back to a flock of 4 again.

18 days prior to the attack we found a clutch of 40 guinea eggs hidden in tall weeds.  I had people interested in guinea chicks if I could get them, so I figured I’d try hatching them.  After the attach I was glad I did.  I managed to fit 29 in the incubator, but not knowing which ones were newer or older it was just a crap-shoot on how many would hatch; 12 did.

Combined flock, teen is second from Right on the back perch.

I broodered these for about 2 1/2 weeks, then added them to our flock thinking we’d have 2 flocks again.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the adults take them in.  Maybe age was a factor.  Or maybe with so many, they figured the better join forces or be the minority.  🙂

Harassing our dog

It’s been fun watching our 3 adults, 1 teen, and 12 younglings run around.

 

-Jason

Brothers M. Mondays in May – Freezer Fun

Brothers M. Mondays in May is back – A new post each Monday in May 2019.

One of our big investments for raising chickens is the freezer space and the space the freezers take up.  We have one porch freezer and it picked up a lot of rust over the last couple years.  I figured I’d wire wheel it down and repaint it to try and keep it around longer.  Here’s some of the pictures of the process.

After I painted it, Samantha added her special touch to the lid.  She originally didn’t want to add any color to it, but the family kept at her and this spring she added some color.  Unfortunately, you can see some of the rust coming back, but it’s still lots better than it was.  And I love the Totoro!

 

Family Project

Brothers M. started as a way for Joseph and Matthew to earn their way to the Scouts National Jamboree.  Both boys are still in Scouts and this summer we did family project for a merit badge, creating a walkway over a creek along our hiking trail.

 

A tree had fallen across our ‘sledding hill’ which is also part of the hiking trail and was directly uphill from the creek crossing.  Cutting logs and rolling them down the hill was a perfect opportunity to make a bridge.

Of course we picked the hottest day in September to start on it.  Wanting get out of the heat, dad tried to cut come corners with the chainsaw and ended up getting the saw stuck.  This necessitated having to chop off 3 6-8″ limbs with an axe; so much for not getting overheated.

 

Joseph coordinated placing the logs, cutting planks, and nailing them down.  Knots made the walkway more uneven than was desired, but then again, it’s a hiking trail.

 

A side result was that we cleared enough of the fallen tree to make the sledding hill trail serviceable again.  We’ll will wait until cooler weather to finish cutting the firewood though.