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Guineas and Keets

Written by: Bobbie
October 13, 2013


I've called this meeting to order.......Each morning we are greeted with guineas lined up in rows on the ramp bannisters. Looks like someone called a meeting. Why do we have this unusual flock of birds? They are the ultimate tick repellent that’s why. They eat a good portion of there own body weight each day in insects. Which helps keep the property free of ticks. Oh yeah, we can find ticks in the woods and very occasionally on one of the animals but not on us. We love to watch these silly birds. They flock together in fall and winter but come spring they pair up and stay away from each other all through summer and early fall. Males chase each other for hours on end competing for that special girl. Seem familiar?

The birds are used for food in some cultures and the eggs are highly nutritious, that is when you can find them. The females will lay in one nest and usually in a remote spot. So when you find the eggs, it is difficult to tell how old they are. There can be 30 to 50 or more eggs in one nest, that is if the fox hasn’t located them. I do incubate a fair number of eggs each year for replacement and often sell the keets (baby guineas). By the way, I have 5 young ones right now. They’ll be for sale at the farm tour this coming weekend.

These birds have a reputation for being noisy but we haven’t found that to be an issue here. Once in a while something unusual will happen and then there is a lot of clattering but for the most part they mill around, eat and entertain us. They are fascinated by mirrors, hubcaps and shiny clean cars (not happening at our place). They will look at themselves all the while clucking and strutting. They must wonder what this other handsome guinea is doing in their territory.

Life is pretty simple when one can be so easily entertained by creatures such as these.