Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guinea Freedom

This year was the first time that we were able to hatch out our own guineas.  Out of 98 eggs we had  89 eggs hatch.  That was a better hatch rate than the booklet said we would have.  We expected about 50%.  What a surprise for us.  All of the keets moved to the brooder and not a one lost.  That is a big difference from when we get them through the mail.  We may loose up to 10. Out of 15 turkeys we have 5 left.   These were healthy keets, no drafts or cold temps.  The incubator was a gift from my mom.  We look forward to hatching turkeys and chicks next spring.  I didn't even notice an change with the electric bill.  That will save us a whole heap of money in the spring.  I figure around $250.00.  We moved them from their brooder to an area in the chicken coop, made just for them.  The screen let in fresh air and sunshine.  They grew and grew.
Happy guineas.  Well, as happy as a guinea can be I guess.  They continued to act like we were the mad monster ready to bite their heads off.  I want to make a statement here. Guineas are not sweet pets.  They don't want to be touched. Notice how calm they are in this picture? They didn't know I was there.
The guineas have been turned loose in the yard.  The screen is down and so is the wall.  This fact comes with a sad footnote.  When we took the wall down they were freaked out.  Evidently, later that evening they piled into a corner and didn't come out.  We lost 21 guineas to suffocation or crushing.  I am still in shock.  Like I said before, small brains for such good little birds. So now we have 78 left.  I know that is still more than we need.  Why we thought we needed that many guineas I have no clue. We like birds too? Here they are out in the pasture for the first time spreading their wings and flying.

The pups have to be watched at all times.  The have expressed that fresh guinea is very tasty, no need for any condiments.  We have the training collars back on to reinforce the "NO PUT THAT GUINEA DOWN" command.  Emma is very vocal about the lack of fresh meat. After all they are RETRIEVERS! If you would like to have a guinea or two or three or four of five....well you get my drift.  Just give me a buzz.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm


LindaSueBuhl said...

Oh my goodness - guineas are truly wonderful bug eaters - but so danged dumb! We had 31 at one time and most of them died from suicidal tendencies - fying into trucks which were driving at 60 miles an hour, roosting in trees convenient for possums and raccoons to kill them (possums just kill - the coons would eat'em after killing) - so best wishes for your guineas - we decided it was cruel for us to keep them living on a busy road( our Rhodesian ridgeback had to have a shock collar and at one point decided it was worth being shocked to eat guinea) Dang I like the birds but as my hubby pointed out - a bird who has poop bigger than it's head - can't be smart. Sorry for my long posting - I'm sure you'll do better with your birds than we did - we live in a rough location for poultry.

Rain said...

Haha! Guess you're going to have a freezer full this winter Kelly!!

Marigold said...

That's a lot of guineas. Hide the Peanuts.

luckybunny said...

That's a lot of Guineas! I bet you'll never see a bug again! lol. That's great you did so well!

Michaele said...

Wow! You are going to have to wear ear plugs with that many guineas around.

Jennifer said...

Loved the video, they sure are noisy aren't they? I would love to have some guineas of my own but I have not been able to talk my husband into it yet.

Danni said...

Wow. Fascinating post. I knew they were noisy and skittish, but I didn't realize they were *that* dumb. LindaSueBuhl's comment was interesting to read, too.
Great job on hatching them out - how to keep them alive looks to be your challenge now. Sheesh.
Why did you choose to raise guineas? I know they eat ticks, but do people eat guineas as meat? Or eat their eggs?