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Guinea Fowl:
Fat Cat::

Guinea Fowl
Fifteen years ago, we had a considerable tick problem on our property. Our cats would come back inside, after sneaking out, covered in ticks. This was dangerous not only for our animals but for our family. We were deep in Lyme tick country. We’d heard how Guinea fowl eat ticks as a main food staple, so we bought twenty Guineas one spring to test if they would be able to take care of the tick problem. By the end of the summer, the Guineas eliminated our problems with ticks, basically eradicating the tick population.

The trade-off with ticks came with one major problem. Guinea fowl can be very noisy. Every time a predator enters their territory, they begin a loud, high-pitched screech. If you have neighbors, and want to keep them on the friendly side, do not buy Guineas. Another problem was with the physical make-up of the bird. Guinea fowl have a small neck and are easily killed by hawks and other birds of prey as they wide-range forage on the ground. The birds roost in trees, unless you are able to house-train them as chicks with your chicks to roost inside the coop. As they sleep, they are easily picked off by animal predators. If you do train them to roost inside, be prepared to find that they are the worst bullies in the coop. Our Guineas’ outside roosting was copied by some of our chickens after a while, which was another problem.

Our initial twenty Guinea fowl did not live out the year. The last three, named Peter, Paul, and Mary, became attached to us, and we to them, and they would sit on a table on the porch outside the kitchen and tap with their beaks on the window until I would go over and tap back. We would tap at each other for a while, then they would be off for the rest of the day. It was a sad winter day when they were no longer there, tapping their greeting.