Guinea Hens are fascinating little birds, however, they are not the brightest to walk the earth. But once in awhile you come across one that exceeds expectations, I have one of those now at Spur of the Moment Ranch in Mountain, Wisconsin. In 12 years, we have only had 3 guinea hens that made a nest; deposited eggs on the nest; and then sat on them. This particular mom has been remarkable. She chose her nest to be in Spuddy’s stall – our hackney pony. She hatched 15 chicks there about 3 weeks ago. We put a waterer in there; and baby turkey feed for chicks. Of course we had to change the water; and add feed as they grew. Mom guinea was very protective, one day when I went in to take care of things she ruffled her feathers forward; I was too dumb to get the hint; then she flew and hit me in the head. Since then she has been fine, not so sure about me.
Well, this weekend came, our cabins in Mountain Wisconsin were near full with guests. Mom Guinea decided it was time to take the flock out of the stall and into the world. Many of my guests have stopped by to check out the family, and have marveled at how many of the adult guineas have come to mom’s aid helping out with the little flock. This morning we had an encounter with an unwanted predator – a coyote. Guests had a chance to see how the mom guinea rounded up the little flock in the open horse paddock; and told them to stay still in their little circle; then the adult guineas surrounded the little flock and screamed at the top of their lungs, making such a racket that the coyote ran off with the help of our springer spaniel, Valentine. Everyone marveled at the sense of community these birds shared. It was truly amazing.
Guinea hens are used around the ranch to eat wood ticks. They will eat their weight in wood ticks in a season; as well as many other bugs. They make great watch dogs, no one comes onto the ranch unannounced. They run more than they fly, and can be quite silly and very entertaining. Spur of the Moment Ranch prefers natural pest control; as opposed to chemical pest control in Mountain, Wisconsin.