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Re: Curious... *PIC*
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Re: Curious... ()

John K Jordan
>>>I never really got out of him what he did with the guineas....are they layers, for eating, or just pets?

Good question! They certainly are entertaining. I have eight (full grown) at the moment and plan to add maybe eight more to the flock and sell the rest.

People keep guineas for several reason. One always of interest is there constant hunt for bugs - the are known for eating ticks. Some people don't like ticks and are happy with that. (!)

A lady I know in Georgia said she has seen her guineas running around carrying baby copperhead snakes. Surprising, but some people don't like venomous snakes either!

I saw guinea on the menus in some restaurants in Italy but not yet around here. We cleaned and cooked one a neighbor's dog had just killed. It was an older bird and not real tender but would be fine for stews and such.

Another reason is they are noisy and let you know when something unusual is around. Some people call them watchdogs.

For those who may not know, this is what the guineas look like when about half grown:

The eggs are small but very good to eat although tough to crack open. The problem with the eggs is unless you keep them in cages they lay them in well hidden nests in the brush. Even watching closely, I usually don't find a nest until it has a bunch of eggs, maybe 20 or 30 which we pick up and incubate, OR, find where a raccoon or somesuch has found the nest first.

One funny story: I have been turning wooden eggs from fancy woods but turned some from plane maple that we use for decoys to try to entice the birds to lay in spots we pick. I had one wooden egg in a nest with a few guinea eggs and a the next time I checked it they were all gone. No broken shells as a possum or skunk or such would leave but just plain missing. After a search I found the egg on the gravel driveway in the woods. The big crows rob the nest one egg at a time and drop it to crack upon to eat the insides. That wooden egg had been dropped six times!! I can imagine that crow now, "Hey Bubba, come looka this, toughest egg I ever saw!"

We also have layer chickens and can sell all the eggs we get. They are colorful.

When the the chickens get older they quit laying so I invite families with kids to visit and learn first hand where their food comes from. (Lots of kids have no idea... "I thought chicken came from McDonalds", "Which part of the chicken is the nugget?") They have feather pulling contests, watch how they are cleaned and washed, and go home with chicken for the freezer. I've done this several times and it's always a huge hit, more interest than I ever imagined.

JKJ

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