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View Full Version : Guinea Hens - where do they come from?



Derby Lyn Farms
Jun. 12, 2012, 09:56 PM
Had a baby guinea hen come running out of the field into the yard as I was grazing my gelding today. Old enough to have feathers. Anyone care to explain where this thing came from? Does the tree out back grow them? Did it come baled in the roundbale;) They certainly don't hatch out of eggs from other guineas.

It started sqauwking and my gelding was less then amused with it. He gave it the stink eye and was a little annoyed and wanted to know what I brought home. Told him I didn't do it and I was just about as thrilled. I know they eat ticks. But my chickens were doing just fine with that. The last guinea hen here got kidnapped and left at another farm with other guineas. This one looks confused and lost like it just fell out of the sky. Is this some kind of joke that someone is playing on me?

Amwrider
Jun. 12, 2012, 10:00 PM
Sounds like an alien abductee that was just returned to your farm. Any strange circles appearing in your pasture?

Derby Lyn Farms
Jun. 12, 2012, 10:03 PM
Yes, many strange circles where the grass is burnt and the horses won't eat the grass around it. Very possible it is alien related.

alabama
Jun. 12, 2012, 10:06 PM
I want it! I'd get some guinea chicks if I thought the cats would leave them alone. As it is, I'm left with having to lure the neighbor's grown ones over. I think they're funny as h#ll!

Derby Lyn Farms
Jun. 12, 2012, 10:20 PM
The cats are leaving it alone. I think if it were smaller they would eat it. It's got feathers and lost the chick fuzz already. If it is around tomorrow I will get a pic. I have some smaller hens about the same age that it is trying to hang out with but they aren't really going for it. I think they are getting the alien vibe from it too. If it is here tomorrow Alabama I will box it up and ship it ASAP!

alabama
Jun. 12, 2012, 10:27 PM
Send it on! LOL! I love them despite being cranky about most noisy things.

My outside cats are so funny when the neighbor's guineas come visit. They look both horrified and fascinated - but the birds are just too big (and probably too scary) for them to attack. These cats regularly kill squirrels so I'm not sure baby/small chicks would make out too well. Who knows? Do the babies make the same kind of noise the grown ones do? That might put the cats off! ;)

MistyBlue
Jun. 12, 2012, 11:02 PM
They do come from outer space.

Mars to be exact.

Even Looney Tunes knew that:
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y172/MistyBlue5105/Martian_300.gif

Tell me that's not a guinea hen....

Derby Lyn Farms
Jun. 12, 2012, 11:05 PM
They do come from outer space.

Mars to be exact.

Even Looney Tunes knew that:
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y172/MistyBlue5105/Martian_300.gif

Tell me that's not a guinea hen....

LOL! That is exactly what this thing looks like. Face expression and all!

PNWjumper
Jun. 12, 2012, 11:19 PM
My outside cats are so funny when the neighbor's guineas come visit. They look both horrified and fascinated - but the birds are just too big (and probably too scary) for them to attack. These cats regularly kill squirrels so I'm not sure baby/small chicks would make out too well. Who knows? Do the babies make the same kind of noise the grown ones do? That might put the cats off! ;)

My formerly vagrant-turned-permanent-houseguest guineas hatched a nest of 11 babies. The cats left them alone, and my cats regularly kill full-sized squirrels, bats, big birds, etc. (i.e. they are KILLERS). Maybe they wouldn't have if there hadn't been (stupidly un-) vigilant parents around all of the time, but the babies got eaten/squashed/picked up by other things (owls, eagles, coyotes, coons)......just not the cats. And I know this because a bunch of them made it to 6-ish weeks of age (at which point they look like a small adult and can fly - kind of) and were living in the trees at night. I'm pretty sure it was one of our resident owls who picked them off one after another.

But no problem with my [usually murderous] cats.

Derby Lyn Farms
Jun. 13, 2012, 10:19 PM
....And it is gone. Maybe I am the crazy one? Maybe the guinea was never even here. I haven't seen the thing all day. Now I feel kind of bad.

ETA: I don't feel that bad because I didn't go out of my way to look for it. But I did not hear it anywhere.

enjoytheride
Jun. 15, 2012, 07:20 AM
I arrived at the barn last year to find a guinea hen running around the pasture. Since the barn is in the middle of the city it was a little concerning. I texted my BM and asked her when she bought the Emu and she was quite surprised.

It eventually left and went back down the block to people who owned an acre in their backyard and were raising them.

Something similar happened when I found a chicken in the indoor arena. In pieces. I assume something caught it at the place down the road, and then drug it all the way to the barn, and inside the indoor to eat it. Why I have no idea. It was a big chicken.

alabama
Jun. 15, 2012, 10:50 PM
I was a little concerned for my neighbor's guineas as at first I had seen a herd of five of them but lately only two. :( I thought some might have been picked off. Nope. All five showed up and breakfasted (sp) on the bird seed I put out for them! Yea! My evil plan of guinea luring is well underway. ;)

grayarabpony
Jun. 15, 2012, 11:21 PM
Personally I think they come from hell. Just wait until the 5 turns to 30. Try to have a conversation with someone with the guineas yammering and all you'll be able to do is watch each other's lips move.

We were invaded by the neighbor's guineas this spring and now I'm cheering on the gray fox who has started picking them off. Peace!

alabama
Jun. 16, 2012, 12:17 AM
My dad had a huge flock of them when I was a kid and I did find them a bit alarming then. I don't know, though. I'm really enjoying these. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they eat ticks. I'm tick phobic so anything that kills/eats ticks is thumbs up in my book!

I don't have many visitors anyway so the noise doesn't bother me which is shocking to my SO because I am VERY noise sensitive. The fact of the tick eating plus my outside cats' obvious horror just tips the scale in their favor. ;) They might all be hens, as far as I know. The second year I was here, I saw the same (I think) five but they had escaped their coop. Now I think he's turned them out to wander. Probably hates them and their noise. LOL!

grayarabpony
Jun. 16, 2012, 12:12 PM
The noise IS probably why my neighbors turned theirs loose. lol

In spite of the guineas the ticks are still bad here, due to the mild winter. While I loved the weather we had last winter and this year so far, the ticks are baaad. We've lived on our farm for 15 years and I've never experienced anything like it.

LauraKY
Jun. 16, 2012, 02:42 PM
grayarabpony, do you have a lot of oak trees? I keep hearing about lots of ticks, but we have few oaks around. There was a bumper crop of acorns in 2010, therefore a bumper crop of mice (interim host for ticks) in 2011. This year fewer mice, so ticks looking for a host.

grayarabpony
Jun. 16, 2012, 02:54 PM
Some oak trees, but mostly red maples (which we have cut down around the pastures), Loblolly pines and tulip poplars.

rmh_rider
Jun. 16, 2012, 05:17 PM
Had a baby guinea hen come running out of the field into the yard as I was grazing my gelding today. Old enough to have feathers. Anyone care to explain where this thing came from? Does the tree out back grow them? Did it come baled in the roundbale;) They certainly don't hatch out of eggs from other guineas.

It started sqauwking and my gelding was less then amused with it. He gave it the stink eye and was a little annoyed and wanted to know what I brought home. Told him I didn't do it and I was just about as thrilled. I know they eat ticks. But my chickens were doing just fine with that. The last guinea hen here got kidnapped and left at another farm with other guineas. This one looks confused and lost like it just fell out of the sky. Is this some kind of joke that someone is playing on me?

From my understanding of my friends ginnie's they never stay in their own yard until night time. If you do not own ginnie's then they are from the neighbors.

Odd birds they are.

Yes they can hatch from other birds. Might have been dropped off from a neighbor or a passerby. Kinda like how people drop off dogs or cats to neighbor's who appear to be in need of a new pet.

Derby Lyn Farms
Jul. 2, 2012, 11:15 PM
Eek! So maybe I am loosing my mind. A few days ago, about a mile down the road, I had to stop to let 2 guineas run across the road. One of them was white, is this even possible? Then yesterday, out of my field and across the road runs 2 baby guineas!!!! Smaller then the 1 spotted in my yard. This is insane. I think they are over taking the area and are wild ones that got loose from the neighbors from previous years.

buschkn
Jul. 3, 2012, 11:35 PM
I love my guineas! I have 2 who have been here about a year (started with 4). Got another young adult one from a friend, and bought 6 babies. One baby met an untimely end due to a fan but otherwise they have grown up nicely and we just turned them loose a few days ago, so far they are hanging around.

I, too, don't usually like noisy things, but these birds are too stupid and too funny, I love them. The 2 original ones run up to any car that shows up, and love to stare at themselves in the hubcaps. Those two are males and only sqwauk at new or strange things.

Sadly, one of the babies is a female and is OBNOXIOUS. She is constantly yelling, for no apparent reason. If I could catch her, I would probably eat her myself.

For whoever was wondering if it's a girl or boy guinea, they make different sounds. The male's sound is singular, like ACK-ACK-ACK, while the female makes a double sound, ack-ACK ack-ACK ack-ACK. Or so I'm told. I think you can search on YouTube and find examples of the two.

buschkn
Jul. 3, 2012, 11:39 PM
Also, for anyone wanting to know how to keep guineas around. We got ours pretty young and kept them in a big wire dog cage, up off the ground, with starter chick feed and water, until they got bigger and fully feathered and able to fly-ish. If you turn some of the bigger ones loose, but keep at least 1-2 in the cage, they tend to stick around. Then eventually you can let them all out. And half will promptly fly away into the woods, and if you are lucky like me, the other half stick around. :D

Hippolyta
Jul. 5, 2012, 04:18 AM
When trying to describe guineas to ppl I, too, have always said that they looked like those Looney Tune martians! They are so bizarre and unworldly looking...and that is even before they start to make those noises!

They do tend to go afar...really far. They also looooooooove to roost very high up in trees, way at the tippy top as far up as the branches will hold them. The one you saw probably just on a jaunt from somewhere not-so-close.

They do eat ticks of all sorts, as others have mentioned. They make good watch-birds & are always good for disturbing relatives visiting from the city.

The real answer to your question is that they come from Africa. Yours probably didn't fly that far, however. There are other species that (hard to believe) look even weirder than the domesticated. BTW, the domestic spp is referred to as "helmeted", giving more credence to our Looney Tunes analogy.

Hippolyta
Jul. 5, 2012, 04:19 AM
I should also add that I have seen them catch & eat mice. It was disturbing to watch.

Calamber
Jul. 5, 2012, 09:01 PM
Chickens will kill mice too, and frogs. I do not know why the guineas are upsetting the OP so much. I really like seeing them around, they have such beautiful plummage even if they look like they are lacking more than a few brain cells....In any case, the mystery is that guineas can be successful in the wild, that is where they come from in Africa, so if you really want to know that is where they come from. Too damned many predators around though, guess that is consistent with the banking and political situation today.

Derby Lyn Farms
Jul. 5, 2012, 09:20 PM
I do not know why the guineas are upsetting the OP so much.

Working midnight shifts, then coming home to sleep during the day to a guinea hen squawking like mad at itself in the shiny wheels of your truck.

grayarabpony
Jul. 5, 2012, 09:35 PM
I do not know why the guineas are upsetting the OP so much.

Do you lack hearing?

Derby Lyn Farms
Jul. 5, 2012, 10:08 PM
Do you lack hearing?

:lol::lol::lol:

birdsong
Jul. 5, 2012, 10:46 PM
My friend in Co had one show up with its friend the Peacock one day....they stayed. That poor peacock was harassed constantly by its constant companion who insisted on running circles around it non stop...clacking its head off... wore little yellow sneakers.

I have a flock of peacocks myself...guineas would pale by comparison with the noise during the 6 mo mating season!!

The fireworks just sent them all over the top last night!!

Derby Lyn Farms
Jul. 20, 2012, 04:52 PM
I came home from work this morning to find 4 or 5 of them in my yard. All different ages, all kinds of noises. I managed to sleep through them somehow, but they are still hanging around and still squawking non-stop! I do I get rid of them now? I think they were once domesticated and are now wild. Looks like 2 little ones and the others are adults.

macmtn
Jul. 20, 2012, 05:50 PM
Personally I think they come from hell. Just wait until the 5 turns to 30. Try to have a conversation with someone with the guineas yammering and all you'll be able to do is watch each other's lips move.


THIS!!! :cry:
And they aren't really good to eat..even if you could catch them
They do eat ticks though...

PeteyPie
Jul. 20, 2012, 06:48 PM
What are they for? If they are not native wild animals, not good to eat, are they used as pets, or do they lay eggs? I am not familiar with them at all.

walknsound
Jul. 20, 2012, 07:18 PM
I loved my guineas. They never made noise unless a stranger came around, then you would know for sure, terrible racket. They would watch the stranger like they knew he/she was gonna steal something! LOL! The foxes, coyotes got them. I couldn't catch them to confine them at night. I would find eggs all over the yard, they had no nests, wouldn't use the straw nests I made for them. Mine never had babies, don't know if I had males or females. I never saw a tick the whole time I had them. The last I heard grown ones were $30 around here, too much to pay just for them to get eaten. We got the ones we had cheap at a poultry auction. They sure aren't the smartest of birds.

Hej
Jul. 20, 2012, 09:23 PM
Dear OP,

I am sorry to answer your question as I am about to do, but I just can't resist.

Guinea Hens - where do they come from?

Well, when two guineas love each other VERY MUCH......................................


Sorry, sorry.

PeteyPie
Jul. 20, 2012, 09:46 PM
Dear OP,

I am sorry to answer your question as I am about to do, but I just can't resist.

Guinea Hens - where do they come from?

Well, when two guineas love each other VERY MUCH......................................


Sorry, sorry.

:lol:

purplnurpl
Jul. 20, 2012, 09:55 PM
Personally I think they come from hell. Just wait until the 5 turns to 30. Try to have a conversation with someone with the guineas yammering and all you'll be able to do is watch each other's lips move.

We were invaded by the neighbor's guineas this spring and now I'm cheering on the gray fox who has started picking them off. Peace!


braaahahaha, that's what I was going to say!

They come straight from hell.

I worked the hens into the property sale of my parent's farmette. I thought they were sooo funny! Turns out they are annoying and they pecked the front yard clean of grass. Our neighbor slowly picked them off and fed them to the mexicans that work at the QH place next door. lol. true story.

Derby Lyn Farms
Jul. 20, 2012, 11:27 PM
LOL all funny stories thanks. My chickens do just fine eating ticks and they don't make nearly that much noise. I said I was going to eat them when I caught them but not if they don't taste good. If they sell for $30 for an adult then maybe I will just sell them! I almost caught one tonight. It was sitting on the fence gate and I snuck up. I grabbed it, but it put up a though fight and got out of my hands. They were gone for a while, since I first started this thread. And they show back up now. All day was a constant squawking.

Bacardi1
Jul. 21, 2012, 01:22 PM
[QUOTE=macmtn;6448875]THIS!!! :cry:
And they aren't really good to eat..even if you could catch them
QUOTE]

I don't know how you've had them prepared (or if you've had them at all), but roasted, grilled, or braised Guinea Fowl is absolutely DELICIOUS!! I buy them all the time, either locallly (Wegmans supermarket has them from time to time) or from D'Artagnan's (http://www.dartagnan.com/51190/565631/Guinea-Hen/Whole-Guinea-Hen.html) when they're running one of their many sales. I've roasted/braised them, & last year I spatchcocked one & grilled it outdoors. It was FABULOUS. Have also enjoyed them in restaurants. I'd describe the flavor as chicken-like with a bit more "oomph". Not gamey like truly wild poultry, but different enough where you know you're not eating chicken. The texture of the meat also has a finer grain than chicke.

Don't knock it until you've tried it - or tried it prepared properly.;)

PeteyPie
Jul. 21, 2012, 03:13 PM
I've roasted/braised them, & last year I spatchcocked one & grilled it outdoors.

I learned a new word today.

Bacardi1
Jul. 22, 2012, 02:17 PM
Lol!! I'm assuming that would be "spatchcocked"? As of last summer, it's my new most favorite way of grilling chicken (or guinea hen). The bird comes out crispy-skinned & very juicy because you're essentially grilling it whole instead of cutting it into parts. There are only two cut surfaces exposed to the heat.

PeteyPie
Jul. 22, 2012, 02:26 PM
Lol!! I'm assuming that would be "spatchcocked"? As of last summer, it's my new most favorite way of grilling chicken (or guinea hen). The bird comes out crispy-skinned & very juicy because you're essentially grilling it whole instead of cutting it into parts. There are only two cut surfaces exposed to the heat.

Yes, "spatchcocked." Do you leave in the leg and thigh bones? The description I read online said the breastbone and ribs are removed and the photo looked like the thigh and drumstick bones remained. The drumsticks and thighs with bone in always take a long time to cook, so it seems like if you left those bones in, the breast would be overdone and the thighs raw. (Don't you just hate raw thighs? -- good question on a horse website!)

Bacardi1
Jul. 22, 2012, 02:38 PM
Oh goodness - what website gave you that info? Spatchcocking fowl isn't even remotely that difficult. The only bone removed is the backbone, & you can even leave that in if you like.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spatchcock

All you do is take your bird & cut all the way along one or both sides of the backbone. (If you remove the backbone completely, toss it in a Ziploc bag & into the freezer - it's great for adding to homemade chicken stock.) Then simply spread the bird out & press firmly but gently on it to flatten it out. Then season, marinate, whatever, & grill. Easy peasy.

Boning doesn't come into the picture at all.

Derby Lyn Farms
Jul. 23, 2012, 12:00 PM
Will have to try spatchcocking when I catch one of the suckers. Thanks for the tip.

Upon closer inspection, one of the little guys is in fact a young wild pheasant and not a guinea hen! How funny that these noisy things picked up an orphaned pheasant on their adventures. If only they could tell their story. And one of my hens has started crowing like a rooster. Ok, obviously it is not a hen, but I have no idea which one is a rooster. They all look like hens to me.

Bacardi1
Jul. 23, 2012, 12:18 PM
Hey - don't wait to catch a Guinea Fowl to try spatchcocking. I don't do chicken or Cornish Game Hens, etc., etc., any other way on the grill these days. The difference in results between spatchcocking & cutting the birds into serving-size pieces before grilling is like night & day.

Hippolyta
Jul. 24, 2012, 07:15 AM
The random pheasant adoptee is too much! :lol:

If you want to tell g. hens from cocks: the males can only say "chi chi chi". The females say "buck wheat", but they can fake it & imitate the male sound.

When they are keets, there is no way to tell. Once they are adults, the males usually have bigger waddles & helmets

PeteyPie
Jul. 24, 2012, 11:50 AM
The random pheasant adoptee is too much! :lol:

If you want to tell g. hens from cocks: the males can only say "chi chi chi". The females say "buck wheat", but they can fake it & imitate the male sound.

When they are keets, there is no way to tell. Once they are adults, the males usually have bigger waddles & helmets

I kept expecting a punch line.:)