Information and unique products for Dogs, Cats, Rabbits and Backyard Chickens

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A New Pet To Protect Your Family And Chickens From Ticks

Pearl Guinea Rooster

As Lyme Disease, a tick born illness, has become more and more prevalent in the Eastern United States, many farm owners with livestock and family have turned to Guinea Fowl to help eradicate the danger. Guineas are especially known to immensely enjoy snapping up ticks out of tall grass where they tend to thrive and pose threats to dogs, children, and livestock nearby.

Guinea Fowl are also known for their alert behavior and vocal nature. Guineas are said to be effective at warding off hawks, rats, foxes and snakes with their cry; helping to protect not only themselves, but other chickens, ducks, or geese, on the farm that are prone to attack by predators.

Once raised from young, Guineas will pretty much live wild and roam free once mature, but since they are territorial, they will stay in close proximity to where they have been raised. Guinea Fowl also are an excellent bird to harvest for its meat, tasting almost identical to pheasant.

guinea fowl- great for eating insects in the garden without damaging the plants. Good watchdogs too, if anything new comes on the place you hear about it/them! (this includes any snakes they see)  

Guinea fowl- great for eating insects in the garden without damaging the plants. 

Good watchdogs too, if anything new comes on the place you hear about it/them! (this includes any snakes they see)

Photo by chris.murphy on Flickr

There are Brown, Buff, Buff Dundotte, Coral Blue, Chocolate, Lavender, Powder Blue, Purple, White, and the more common Pearl Guineas; and then there are the rare and exotic Vulturine and Crested Guineas.

Baby Guineas are called keets.

Their alertness and ear-piercing screeching make Guineas great "watch dogs."

Guineas will rid you of ticks, slugs, scorpions, fire ants, and many other pests.

Male Guineas select their mates, and they remain steadfast companions.

Hens can lay eggs as early as four months. Eggs are brown and small.

Guinea hens notoriously are indifferent mothers; therefore, incubators are used more often than not.

Hens don't screech like the males. Hens will utter two syllables sounding like "go back," buck wheat," or "patrak." Together they are a noisy bunch.

Original Post:

 Guinea hens are available through:

Guinea Fowl can be purchased in three forms. You can buy hatching eggs and try your hand at incubating, order day-old keets or even find adults if you look hard enough. The easiest option is ordering day-old keets, less time consuming than hatching your own and easier to acclimate to you and your property than adults.
pearl guinea fowl adults

Why Guinea Fowl instead of Turkeys or Chickens?
  • Predator Resistant
They may not be as tame as chickens and turkeys, but this can be a good thing. Guineas are constantly alert for predators and once one is spotted they erupt into a raucous alarm that can send a hawk on its way. Guineas will still need a coop and pen to return to at night, this takes some encouragement and training at a young age. Placing a light in the coop helps as Guineas don’t like going into dark buildings.

  • Pest and Weed Eating Machines
Guinea Fowl are excellent free rangers, perhaps one of the best in domesticated fowl. The Guinea flock will march through a property wiping out a whole slew of pests including but not limited to: snakes, rodents, ticks, scorpions, grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, beetles, ants, June bugs, spiders, weevils, grubs, bees, hornets, and wasps.

These high protein eating habits also can cut back significantly on feed requirements, that is if you have enough pests for them to eat. (Side note: if you raise bees on your property, make sure to keep them at least 1/4 mile away from your guineas).

Not only to Guineas love insects, but they love weed seeds, particularly grass, preventing the spread of said weeds into your crops or garden. They are also excellent defenders of fruit trees as they can fly up and take out pests up high.

The most popular Guinea in the United States is the Helmeted Guinea. It comes in several color varieties including Pearl, Lavender, White, Purple and many more.

guinea, fowl, keet, chicks, hatchlings

Getting Started with Guineas:
  1. You will need all of the same brooding equipment that is required for chickens. Guinea Keets will begin jumping very high at a young age, so it will be necessary to cover the brooder or they will start jumping right out.
  2. Guineas need a coop larger than chickens, about 3-4 sq. ft. per Guinea. They will also need a covered run if you live in an area with snow, Guineas will not trudge through snow.
  3. The best option for feeding Guinea Keets is Turkey Starter Feed, or a specific high protein game bird feed if you can find it. Later on adult guineas will prefer whole or cracked grains to corn.

 Guinea hens are available through:


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