Out of the mere 6 guinea hens we started with this spring we are down to one and I’m ready to ring his scrawny little neck! I have heard that raising guineas with chickens makes them easier to train; for things like going into the coop at night and such. I have also read the females can be territorial but the males can be down-right nasty. When ordering most birds you can have them sexed; guineas you only get a straight run option (meaning you get whatever hatched).
I have had chickens loose feathers before, usually due to a rowdy rooster trying to mate with a hen. But this group seemed to have a bigger problem than the usual rooster. After watching the chickens while I was on a “steak out” trying to kill the fox, I found the problem. It was the one remaining guinea.
The one we have left I have named Lucifer because he is the meanest bird in the flock! The roosters are a rowdier bunch than normal but they peck and run for the most part. Lucifer locks on to his target and doesn’t quit until his feet are planted on the back of the bird and he has a mouth full of feathers.
He is so mean that even Thomas Thanksgiving (the last of the Turkeys) has no tail feathers and had to be removed from the group because he was starting to bleed due to the relentless pecking. See more about blood and birds in The Story of One Winged Wilma and the Guinea.
Now that I have found the problem, the situation will be remedied. I am going to set Lucifer free.
From this there are a few possible outcomes:
1. He will get eaten by the dogs or the fox.
2. He will scare the dogs enough that they will forever leave the chickens alone and he will eat the fox.
3. He will survive and wander about the place until he freezes to death or chokes on a mouse. (I don’t think they eat mice but I wouldn’t put it past this one.)
This may sound harsh especially when I try to give each animal the highest quality of life we can provide, but I have limits too and he has reached the end of the line! With a bird this mean around the laying hens will not lay and that is a problem all it’s own. Not to mention how is anyone going to “Shake a Tail Feather” when they don’t have any left?!
We plan to try again next year with the guineas and rework the system a bit. They really are pretty birds. We had the pearl breed, they have little poke-a-dots on each feather and when they are not trying to kill one another are quite fun to watch.
It’s time to enjoy the get outdoors you mean bird!