Guinea fowls find me scary and mean when I wear certain clothes!
It was raining and time to both feed my birds and put them to bed. On this particular day I made a snap decision to get out my coat which is grey with a lot of fluorescent yellow around the chest and back, and sports a yellow hood. I didn’t think anything of it as I went around doing my usual duties… feeding first the ducks and locking them up for the night… then the chickens, then the guinea fowl.
The ducks were OK, but…
Now the ducks in particular are very wary of anything they are not used to or if they perceive it as different, at least my original ones are very much that way. We’ve bred four other girls here on the property and they are a lot more trusting of me. So things went along fairly normally… until it was the guinea fowl turn.
The guineas have a pen over on the other side of our property and we usually walk over there together, or should I say, they run ahead and then turn and run back to me… repeat… repeat! Once we arrived I did everything as normal, first throwing seed into the lower pen and waiting for four of the guineas to run on in. The problem was, no-one ran in! While ever I stood near their gate they wouldn’t go near it. I moved away and then suddenly they all ran in and began to eat their dinner.
I thought that was strange as they don’t normally act that way, but they sure did on this night. Then it was time for me to feed the other three in the second pen and they also wouldn’t come near me or their gate. Wow, I thought this was all weird!
Back when Streak and his two girls used to be housed in the top pen, he always demanded to be fed out of my hand. I dropped down to allow this and he went crazy! In fact they all did! They were flying at the wire netting as if I were some horrible predator about to get them. It occurred to me that it may be the coat I was wearing so I stood back, took it off, and then dropped down again for Streak to eat out of my hand. They all calmed down and began to eat their food. Although Streak would eat out of my hand he was extremely wary of me and even a little finger movement would make him jump back and stare up at me to double check I was his normal friend.
Apparently wearing the coat with the bright yellow transformed me into something big and scary. Even the sound of my voice did not counteract the look of me.
Pinky Purple Jacket
I get the same reaction from the guinea fowl if I forget and wear my pinky-purple coloured jacked. The chooks are fine, and even the ducks… but the guinea fowl have a real aversion to it. I’ve forgotten a few times and every time I get the same reaction. They don’t seem to believe that it’s me and they get really frightened. If I take it off and hang it over in a tree, then come back, it’s business as usual.
I’ve got a bright dark pink garment I wear and I’ve never had them object.
I’ve also found that a certain aqua coloured top is off-putting to them as well. I have other aqua garments I’ve worn without any problem. I’m not sure what it is that they object to. Maybe it’s the pattern!
I have a huge umbrella which is wonderful to use when it’s raining, but it’s totally a no-no for my birds. Apparently it transformed me into something that has puffed itself up to make it look big and scary. None of the birds like it although the chickens are pretty good. They seem to have the ability to ascertain that its only me whereas the ducks run away from me. I usually won’t use it when putting them to bed out of respect for how they perceive me.
Now if it’s really raining, I have a poncho I like to wear as it covers me quite well. Once again, the ducks don’t like it. They don’t really care what I wear but they don’t like anything that changes my overall appearance. But, if it’s raining cats and dogs, they just have to put up with it, I mean… I’ve got to wear something!