Lesson 654 – Guinea hens and vultures

Our newest editions, the young Guinea hens are settling in nicely. After a few days of hiding and getting pecked on by *everyone*, they have more or less become full members of the flock.  There are still, however, a few of the older ladies who will only put up with so much youthful exuberance. These grand ladies want to constantly remind the youngsters where their place in the flock is, but much to my relief, the Guinea hens have learned to get to safety by roosting on a high bar (and how they get up that high sort of defies any kind of logic, they don’t exactly look like flying birds.)

Our as yet, un-named birds huddle together, keeping each other safe and warm under the keen eye of other flock members.

That’s one keen eye.

They make sure to keep out of pecking distance and are content to watch what goes on below them.

“How are the vultures doing?,”  Asked one of my sons when he saw me taking pictures out at the coop.

“They’re not vultures,” I corrected him. “They’re Guinea hens.”

“Can’t you tell the difference?”

7 Comments

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care

7 responses to “Lesson 654 – Guinea hens and vultures

  1. Guinea hens are fantastic fliers, and they can fly from the ground up to the roof line in a flash! 😉 The male guineas may have to be removed when they mature. In my experience, they don’t like to take no for an answer and will bother your hens till they are featherless unless you intervene.
    Loving your blog! ~Lynda

    PS: I share my experience with you, and you can erase the link if you prefer. 🙂
    http://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/so-what-do-a-guinea-fowl-and-i-have-in-common-with-dr-mccoy-in-a-star-trek-movie/

    • Wendy Thomas

      Lynda,

      I had heard that Guinea hens like to fly up to branches to get out of the reach of predators (and poultry owners) but I’ve never seen it. And when you look at their rather football shaped bodies, it seems just impossible for a Guinea hen to fly. I’ll take your word on it.

      I got our two new editions to the flock when they were only a few weeks old, we are hoping that they are both females as I live close to neighbors and I have *promised* them that we will never, ever have roosters again.

      Glad you are enjoying the blog and I’ll check your link out.

      Wendy

      • Oh dear. You may very well be having guinea hen for dinner in your not too distant future. They make a rooster sound quiet by comparison! While the keets are still young enough (they are very nervous birds and quite powerful as adults) catch one and spread out its wings for a look. They are quite large, and again, very powerful.

  2. When we began with chickens (who mostly don’t eat slugs), we did consider ducks and guineas, but various factors (including noise in regard to guineas) did keep up with hens alone. As the first generation is still pecking and roosting vigorously, but perhaps in egg laying “menopause,” space is going to become an issue. We (with help from our carpenter-skilled neighbor) did construct one coop, but another is not on my horizon. Too many predators (racoons, coyotes, hawks, eagles, and owls) eye our chickens to let them “free range” outside of their electric fence, mesh fence, and hawk-confusion ribbon-banner Maginot fence. Always something to fret about.

  3. I love my guineas, they’re noisy, but I love watching them roam around the farm. They fly into the trees at night, sometimes, you just never know where they’re going to show up. Have fun with them Wendy!

  4. Our Luigi (sorry for the pun, but he had the name when we got him) hangs out in one of our two hen houses at night with the girls, but free-ranges during the day. He’s the only one I’ll let loose unsupervised. If I don’t come down to let him back in at a reasonable hour, he’ll roost under our back deck on a handy cross beam. He’s escaped any number of predators to date, no problem, and has been known to fly up in our tall pines when spooked.
    You wouldn’t think a wild turkey could fly well, but they can and do, under similar circumstances.

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