The Guinea Fowl characteristics are quite a bit different to any other bird I’ve had anything to do with. They are fascinating, and certainly very entertaining with all their antics. As long as you have the room to cater to these birds, they can be a wonderful addition to your property.
Are they noisy? Yes, they can be… but it’s not a noise that ever worries me, although my menfolk can complain at times.
Anyway, let’s look at some of their ways, according to my experience…
During the mating season they pair up and then go their separate ways. Together they wander the property searching for bugs and eating lots of grass. Males will help the female find goodies to eat, making a special sound to alert her to his find. It’s quite lovely to watch.
If they become a little separated during their trips around the property, the female will stand where she is and call for her mate to come to her. She never bothers about going over to him, oh no… make him come to you is her philosophy. He usually comes running.
Once the season comes to an end, the male shoos off the female. “Go on, get out of here!” This upsets her, and I’m quite convinced that if she had her way they would remain close friends, or even mates, the entire year. Never-the-less, he no longer bothers to find worms etc for her and thinks only of himself until next mating season.
Guinea fowl don’t like to be alone as they are very much a flock bird, so they all come together as a group. It’s been my experience that the guineas love my rooster and they like to hang with him. He’s known them since they were tiny little keets and once he let them know that he was boss, they have always respected that and now love to spend time with him.
Guineas first inspect
The guinea fowl will react to anything new left lying around the grounds. It could be a hammer, a piece of timber, or a hose that you’re in the middle of using. They will walk right up to it, but not too close. Then they stretch their necks towards the offending object as they endeavour to decide if it’s alive, and will it jump up to attack them. After they’ve all gathered around and given it a full appraisal, then they’ll give it a wide birth as they walk around it.
I don’t find the chooks (chickens) worry about any of these things. I haven’t really found them reacting to new and strange things as they seem to take it all in their stride., but guineas are definitely different.
Guinea Fowl characteristics make them Brave!
The Ride-On Mower
Every time I get on the ride-on I have to deal with the guineas. All the other birds will just make sure they keep out of the way so I have no problem with any of them. But not the guineas! Oh no! They want to challenge me!
As I approach them, do they get out of the way? No, not at all. I have to slow down to allow them to finish eating the grass they are currently eating, and only when they have had enough do they decide to walk on.
It’s so important for me to be very careful with them. I think if there was some uncaring person driving the ride-on, there would be nothing more than a pile of feathers left!
The boys are so funny to watch. They run up to the mower and stop nearby, twisting their body and holding their head down as if they are challenging me to a fight. It’s as if they are saying that I have no right to be there. They’ll do it over and over. Meanwhile the girls seem to ignore my presence and keep eating the grass, even though I’m right there and could run over them.
I’ve been so close to them with the mower that I touch their wings. Of-course, I would never allow them to be in danger. I always tell them to move and call them by name. They will, but not like the other birds who are anxious to get out of your way, they’ll do it in their own time.
We’ve had them challenge the car in the same fashion. They don’t appear to have any fear of these things.
Taking on the neighbour’s dog
The neighbour’s dog can be walking up the side driveway and they’ll all rush right up to the fence to chortle at him and tell him to go away. All the other birds take off… I’ve seen the ducks actually fly all the way to the dam just because the dog is on the other side of the fence. The chooks just wouldn’t go near the fence to start with.
Taking on the hawks
I’ve seen them run off hawks. The hawk begins to circle overhead, licking it’s beak in anticipation, but once seen by the guineas, it’s all on. They chortle loudly at it… and will keep going until it decides it’s far too noisy down there, and takes off.
On the other hand, if the guineas perceive they are in actual danger, they will run for cover, but they won’t do it lightly. Challenge first, and then run if necessary!
You’ve all heard the saying ‘bird brain’ haven’t you? It seems to suggest that birds have not a lot upstairs, but I beg to differ. I’ve read online how people say that guineas in particular have no brains. In my experience with them, I’ve found them very intelligent, as indeed, I believe all my birds are intelligent. Maybe not in every way, but sometimes they amaze me.
If the guineas happen to find themselves outside our boundary they become very upset. This can happen especially in the pre-mating season. Two males are chasing each other and they end up taking to the air. Sometimes when they land, it can be outside the fence. The fence is just normal farm fencing and is not designed to keep birds in. I mean, guineas are strong flyers and could go up, up and away at any minute. They simply choose not to.
Now, if they are on the other side of the fence they seem to lack the understanding that they flew over, so why not fly back. Occasionally I’ve seen them fly back, but more often than not it’s up to me to go fetch them. If it happens that they are left overnight, I think they fly up into a nearby tree, so that next morning they simply fly back into the yard.
Run back and forth
If a guinea finds itself outside the boundary fence, it will run up and down, back and forth. If it’s left to do that for hours, they make a very definite track. The girls will call out, but sometimes I’ve had males out without a sound to alert me.
Fortunately this doesn’t happen often, and to date, I haven’t lost any of my guineas to the passing traffic. They are far too concerned with the need to come back inside the fence. This is good as they don’t consider the road as an interesting option.
I could go on and on with the Guinea Fowl character, but you can read about many of their ways in my other writings.