Thursday, June 2, 2011
A Guinea for Your Thoughts
My original flock hatched from fertile eggs that I got off eBay. (Yes, you can buy hatching eggs on eBay!) Their eggs are extremely pointy; soft shades of buff to khaki with incredibly hard shells. The yolks are a truly saturated bright orange. I originally hatched 16 from 18 eggs, but 2 keets (baby guineas) never developed to be particularly strong and sadly faded away as teenagers. Beyond those two, the reminder are incredibly robust and one of the best hatches of birds I have ever had. (I find them to be far more disease resistant and weather hardy than chickens.) On hatching day, I came home to find what was evocative of a 'Jiffy Pop', with keets popping out of their eggs like popcorn in the incubator! This flock includes a mix of rare plumage colours- Buff Dundotte, Brown, Slate, and Lavender. We have had a few hatchlings this year from these birds. Their bright apricot coloured legs and beaks are adorable. As adults, their large, dark eyes fringed with long lashes and the wiry hairs on the backs of their naked necks hold definite appeal and add to their comedic, slapdash looking appearance.
Guinea Fowl originate from Africa. They are used for food, eggs, and for plumage. They also are featured in African folk tales as well as Greek mythology. These birds bring me a lot of joy and are a privilege to keep. I hope if you are a farmsteader or ever become one that you have a chance to live with Guinea Fowl.