Natures Tick Control - Guinea Fowl
Guinea Fowl - The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
A few months ago our family moved to the country. One thing we weren't accustomed to seeing were ticks. Our pets are on tick preventatives but we started to see them in the house or on our persons on a regular basis. The solution, Guinea Fowl. A while back I remember a friend telling me how these birds ate 90% ticks and they were great watchdogs so I decided to give them a whirl!
- These birds eat lots of annoying bugs including ticks, stink bugs, and box elders! I haven't noticed a single tick since we got them.
- They're great watchdogs so if you have lots of predators or a burglar, they'll be sure to let you know.
- Their eggs are high in protein & amino acids.
- You can hatch their eggs and sell the keets for some extra cash! Guinea keets can be quite a bit more expensive than chickens and the demand for their eggs is increasing.
- These are very wild birds. You have to coop them for the first 6 weeks or they'll run away. Some say you should even coop them for the first year. We've been bitt a few times while handling them.
- They are very loud, which is a good thing but can be annoying at times. If you have a backyard operation in the city, I don't recommend these birds.
- You'll have to buy another type of bird food, particularly wild game feed to supplement their diet. I prefer to buy one bag for my whole flock but they have different nutritional needs than my chickens & ducks.
- They're nearly impossible to sex. You can only tell the females and the males apart when they're fully grown and only by their sound. The females are the only fowl that can make the "BUCK...WHEAT" noise.
- If these guys get out before they've been "coop broken", good luck catching them. They're great escape artists, very agile, & hide and seek pros. We've had them get out a few times and there is no way we could have found or caught them without our dog, Sheriff Samson.
- These birds only do well in flocks. The minimum recommended number of keets is 6.
I hope this post helps you decide whether or not guineas are a good fit for your homestead.
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