Guineafowl are fun

The summer of 2015 was our 4th summer on the farm. Our third with animals. In the past we’ve always had a lot of guineas, I’d read they were good at bug disposal, snake disposal, and general small pest disposal. Unfortunately they are also INCREDIBLY stupid and like to commit suicide on  the 70 MPH road in front of our house. They’re not cheap, Atwoods sells day old chicks for $5-$10 each and you can buy them from other farmers for between $2 and $5. So definitely cheaper from other farmers, but you don’t get a box and mortar’s return policy and generally you have to drive further and honestly I’m at Atwoods all the time anyway so I might as well pick up chicks.

This year was especially rough on the guineas, we started last summer with at least 40, and went into this summer with a whopping 1. After spending every day chasing the guineas back into the fence, watching people hit the guineas, driving around their little corpses, or holding up traffic and potentially causing wrecks, we decided not to renew our guinea flock and just hope the other birds could hold their own with the bugs and other icks of the farm. They were unsuccessful.

So now we’re on the hunt for more guineas, hopefully we can do things a little different so they don’t roam as far and as wide. We started with a new guinea pen. It’s built out of 2 4×16 cattle panels, 8 6ft T-posts and a 12x?? tarp. (I got the tarp for something else, it’s too big for this project but I didn’t want to buy another one.)

This is the outside, you can see the tarp covering the cattle panels. The T-posts hold the panels in a curved position to give you height and width. The height/width doesn't matter really, I made them tall enough so I could walk under it without having to stoop down. Guineas like to roost so they want height as well as room for scratching the food.

This is the outside, you can see the tarp covering the cattle panels. The T-posts hold the panels in a curved position to give you height and width. The height/width doesn’t matter really, I made them tall enough so I could walk under it without having to stoop down. Guineas like to roost so they want height as well as room for scratching the food.

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This is the front of the pen. We’ve got the front made of a dog pen and then chicken wire on top, the back of the pen is just chicken wire with a piece of plywood for wind break and stability.

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The inside of the shelter, I’ll need to upgrade the tarp if I’m going to keep it more than a month or so.

This was really just meant to be a temporary holding cell for the guineas as they get used to the farm and their new home. But the more I think about it, I can use it to transition the chicks in the garage to the outdoors, when it’s time to move the puppies out I can put them in here and we’re thinking about getting some farm cats, I can put them in it too…

I guess if it ends up becoming more permanent I’ll add some more structure to the base, because the piglets have already wormed their way inside to try to steal the guinea’s feed.

Here’s a cute video I made of the single guinea meeting his new flock mates. They fought a lot the first evening, but by the next morning he was sad he couldn’t get in there and join them.

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