The Cottage Smallholder

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Update on the Farming Friends – Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Event. Gentle beings.

guinea fowl 6 monthsJune 2007 saw the launch of the Farming Friends’ – Cottage Smallholder’s Interblog Guinea Fowl Event. Looking back at the guinea fowl posts this is a well rounded cycle. Amazing highs and lows and even tears. Everything started here when Sara at Farming Friends sent us six guinea fowl eggs in the post

I love my guinea fowl. They are gentle docile beings. Hanging about in a group, they communicate constantly with one another. I went down at dusk on Saturday to lay some gravel in the gluey, muddy run. They had settled in the chicken house for the night and I could hear them reassuring each other with gentle, attentive cheeps. Even when I started raking the gravel they didn’t revert to the raucous shrieks that would wake Sleeping Beauty. As I locked the gate and walked away the soft, comforting cheeps continued.

Laying a surface of gravel makes life in the run a bit more fun. It has scratchability. And Mrs Boss’ and Mrs Squeaky’s feathered feet don’t get clogged up with mud. Even chickens and guineas don’t want the Glastonbury mud without the music. And it’s easier for me when I venture in to check all is well and top up the food and water.

This morning I decided to give them a good pre Christmas spring clean. The shortest day of the year is approaching. I wanted the nesting box to be luxuriant with thick and tempting nests of hay – to attract all hens. Once ensconced in the deluxe suite they might consider laying an egg.

A decent clean out takes about 20 minutes. I give the flock some wild bird seed to distract them as I potter to and fro. I tipped the ice from the lid of the storage barrel to access the hay. Eventually the guineas finished the bird seed and ranged about the run with Mrs Boss in tow.

Suddenly I heard a weird noise. A strange high tinny reverb that was repeated again and again. I had my head in the hen house. A child must be playing with a small, supple metal spring on the other side of the fence. I was intrigued and all my Mrs Mop chores were abandoned. I crept along the run to investigate.

A flurry of guinea fowl caught my eye. They were closely examining the shards of ice on the ground. The weird sound was emanating from this group.

“Pring ing ing ing ing ing” appears to be Guineafowlese for, “What is this?”

Clearly a versatile comment it also seems to mean, “I haven’t a clue.”

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Ripley

    It would be worth visiting Sara’s site – She has lots of useful information on Guinea Fowl.

  2. Just checked it out, thanks for the heads up.

  3. Stumbled across your site whilst looking for info on Guinea Fowl, thanks for sharing

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Philippa

    I didn’t know that you can clicker train chickens (or guineas). We loved the clip on YouTube! The hen looks as if she is having fun.

    I’d love to research this further.

  5. Fiona:

    Have you thought about clicker training the guineas or the chickens? You know that the great pioneers of clicker training, Marion and Bob Bailey, always taught their classes on chickens and traveled with them around the country. See video

    New York City

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sara,

    The interblog guinea fowl event has been the highlight of 2007 for me. It has been fun and rewarding and I’ve learnt so much.

    When the six eggs arrive in the post in June I had no idea how much pleasure they’d give me. Thank you for giving me such a great experience!

  7. farmingfriends

    It is always a joy to read about the guinea fowl and I am very pleased that the interblog guinea fowl project has been a success and that you enjoy the guinea fowl. I love watching and interacting with my guinea fowl too. Best wishes.
    Sara from farmingfriends

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat,

    They are handsome in their own peculiar way. I am very fond of them.

    Happy Holidays to you too!

    Hi Mildred,

    I wasn’t very clear on the post. Only two Guineas have names Cloud and Thunder (who is one of three identical male guinea fowl). Mrs Squeaky and Mrs Boss are the white bantams.

    The guinea fowl are real characters.

  9. aw, I love their names . . . they sound to be real characters!!

  10. Another lovely Post Fiona!!! I just love reading about how they are getting along. Haven’t they grown up well and are such handsome birds too!!! And after all this time something new to learn about them. Thanks!! And Happy Holidays!

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