The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

We have plans for our pair of guinea fowl

Photo: Stormy sky

Photo: Stormy sky

I love our guinea fowl. Particularly Cloud, the sweet natured Stepford wife who doesn’t appear to notice her husband’s rages or his need to cosy up to Carol, our Maran hen.  Carol is not keen on this type of speed dating so rebuffs his advances. But I know that Thunder rattles her. Often I find her feeding with the younger chicken when I toss them mixed wild bird seed in the morning. Both guineas love these treats and don’t want to share.
 
The rest of the flock are frightened by his mighty pecks. Thank goodness we have an arrangement of bins fairly close to the wall –n a sort of above ground catacomb area that can only accommodate the smaller hens.

Poor Hope is the most bullied even though she has Beatyl, our diminutive cockerel, as a husband.  Beatyl is terrorised by Thunder too. Sometimes I find his beautiful tail feathers in the run. Yesterday I took sometime and watched the drama in the run. Thunder has become a ruthless dictator.

Every being must have the right to space and light. Something had to be done, especially with the young leghorns arriving in August.

I trudged back to the cottage with a sinking heart. I love the guinea fowl. The Mrs Boss experience was so heartening when she raised them. And probably because of that I don’t want to let our couple go.

But on the other hand I don’t want to nurture a tyrant and moll. Perhaps if our guinea fowl had more space then they wouldn’t be so destructive. I reckon that they probably need to be totally free range. They are wild birds after all.

This morning I bumped into and old client. She has a lot of land, breeds horses, and has a small flock of guinea fowl and chickens.
“I just wondered if you would like a pair of guinea fowl. The bullying has got out of hand in our run. I’m fond of them and it would be great if they could live on relaxed estate like yours.”
She didn’t even pause to think.
“I’d love them. They would be free range. In the winter our guineas tend to join the chickens in the hen house but in the summer they roost in the trees. Would that be O.K?”

More than O.K. Our guineas will love their new life. It will be better than anything that we could provide. Thank you Emma, your land is the perfect answer. Our guineas will have the freedom that they deserve and our hens will have peace at last.

Even though I know that Thunder and Cloud will be happier in their new home I will miss them and their little inquisitive cheeps when I pass the run at dusk. And the almost metallic burrrring when I toss something tasty into the run.


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4 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Linda

    I think that they’ll be much happier living on a large country estate with the freedom to roam.

    Hello Veronica

    I’m really looking forward to the arrival of the new chicks.

    Hi Michelle

    Cloud the guinea fowl hen is a good layer. We’ll miss her eggs.

    There are two new hens in the new gang.

  2. Michelle in NZ

    A tough decision, but the guineas will be fine, and the chooks will have a chance to blossum (and increase the egg producton?).

    You’ll be all ready for the new chick type chooks. Sending super positive thoughts and wishes for a happy chook community.

    huggles once more to the min Pins, smuggled extra huggles to Dr. Q,

    (Zeb sleeps/snoozles, waiting for his human sized hottie)

    Michelle “the resigned to it” Human of Zebbycat Cooper

  3. While it is sad to let them go, they probably will be much happier in a larger space. This is why I have hesitated in getting any animal like that in the city where we are allowed chickens, one goat and a pig I believe. You did the right thing.

  4. Veronica

    Sad that they are going, but it sounds as if it’s for the best. I bet you are really looking forward to welcoming your new little chicks!

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