We first decided to add guinea hens to our flock last summer, and I wrote about some of the reasons we did so in our Post “First Line of Defense – Guinea Fowl”. One reason I didn’t list was unexpected for us, and it has turned out to be the most important one – they are very entertaining! While they can be a lot of work – they are messy when raising them in the brooder, impossible to catch, and some evenings they can be difficult about going into the coop (my hubby is best at that job, they will often follow him right in); we feel they’re worth it. Not only do they do their jobs of alerting us to predators and eating bugs, they are fun! I recently said that I had a few stories to tell about these crazy birds, so I wanted to start a series of some of those different tales.
Story 2 – Boys Will Be Boys
The male guinea fowl know how to put on a show; their antics can be so amusing. I’ve mentioned that our lone female, Henrietta, is busy being an adult, laying eggs and sitting on her nest. The boys, especially her mate, Pumpkin Pied, have been spending most of their days now keeping an eye on her nest and protecting the area. There are times, however, when they just want to be young, wild, and free, and that can get a bit out of control. It starts with the two white boys, Prince and Whitey, chasing each other around. Sometimes Harry or Pumpkin get involved too, and you’ll see Harry try to in the video below.
So now not only do we have birds flying around and fighting outside, I’ve got a dog running from doors to windows, yipping and crying, because he wants out! It gets a bit crazy, as you can imagine! In the photos below, the white boys had been playing right after we’d had a lot of rain, and you can see how dirty they got! I swear, they are just like little boys!
Those boys have another little game they play, and we’re still trying to figure out what it’s about. They sometimes hunch down, get into kind of a huddle, and push against each other. Sometimes it will escalate into jumping on top of each other, but mostly they just move around in that odd position. It really is hysterical; and you can see just some of the reasons we enjoy these birds so much (I am going to try to get a video of that silliness too).
As a follow-up to Story 1 about Harry Who and the loss of his love, we’ve had an interesting turn of events this last week. While all of the boys keep an eye on the nest, Pumpkin was always the closest one to it, and he was often standing by the nest even when the others had gone off to eat or play. Now, oddly, Harry seems to have taken over that role! He is often the one closest to the nest, and the one who is there while the others aren’t. It was my impression that the guineas would mate for life, but now I’m starting to wonder if Harry is taking over for Pumpkin as Henrietta’s beau and protector!
Perhaps Henrietta decided Harry’s more serious personality is better suited for being a father. We’ll keep you posted, so stay tuned! I plan to tell the whole story of Henrietta’s nesting, but I’m just waiting to see how it all plays out. If she’s going to hatch any eggs it should be soon. Will she hatch eggs? Will she raise her young (most information I’ve read says guineas are not good mothers and their young may not survive)? Will we step in and get the keets and raise them in a brooder until we can – hopefully – sell them? Will we even be able to catch them?
Stay tuned for Story 3 to find all that out!
Sand spring Chesapeakes says
Ohhhh I hope she gets to hatch some eggs! Sam needs more babies.
We’ll update you on that soon!
Jodi Stone says
I would be so nervous, watching those boys and their antics. Is there a way to know for sure that they are playing? It almost looked to me like they were fighting. Then add the frantic dog, and I’d be growing grapes on my property and learning how to make wine. 🙂
Can’t wait to hear how the nesting saga continues.
They are actually fighting sometimes, and we have broken them up when that happens. But they always seem to stop and no one is worse for wear.
The grapes are a good idea though!!! 🙂
I love these little guys! I’m so glad you share their entertaining stories with us, too!
We’re so glad you enjoy them!!
What characters! I wouldn’t think they’d be such excellent watch birds – but my uneducated guess was wrong.
Sometimes they’re TOO good at their watch bird duties – that will be another story!
Bell Fur Zoo says
Dat seems very entertaining. We would be like Luke and jumping from window to window hoping Mama would let me outside 🙂
Matt & Matilda
Luke seems to think that one of these days I’ll actually let him out (wrong!). 🙂
M. K. Clinton says
It will be exciting if she can hatch her eggs. Those boys do a guinea version of zoomies and playing. Hopefully, they don’t get too rowdy.
Oh, you’re so right, that is guinea zoomies!!
Ellen Pilch says
Never a dull moment 🙂 They are very pretty too.
In spite of their funny-looking heads, they really are pretty birds. 🙂
The Island Cats says
We think those guinea hens are as entertaining as us cats. That’s good new for Harry! We hope it works out for him and Henrietta.
Unfortunately, it didn’t, but that’s a story for another day. Harry is doing fine though!
Brian Frum says
That sure seems pretty entertaining and I’m glad to see Harry is up to something different!
Harry seems to be back to being just one of the boys now, and seems pretty happy these days.
LLB in Our Backyard says
Whew…Such a bunch of cuties, but what a bunch of work too!!
So true!! 🙂
Wow, that’s a lot of activity and entertainment from a few birds. Poor Luke, it must drive him crazy. Hopefully Henrietta will hatch her eggs and you’ll be able to wrangle up the little ones.
Yes, poor Luke just wants to play, but his play is a little too rough for the birds!
Monika & Sam 🐾 says
They sure can entertain and I’m sure their antics get Luke all amped up. Nobody wants to sit on the sidelines when there’s fun going on!
He gets extra upset if we go outside when it’s happening; he thinks we’re going to join the fun without him! LOL
Shadow's and Ducky's Mom says
They certainly are fun to watch in your videos! Maybe Henrietta feels sorry for Harry since he lost his love?
As for Luke going nuts watching the guineas…Ducky would go ballistic, and her barking would drive a saint up a wall.
Luke does this really high-pitched yipping that pierces your ears! LOL (plus he put a hole in one of the screens in his excitement, Dad wasn’t too happy about that!)
Katie always had a thing for chickens. She did actually grab one at puppy school which was really embarrassing. That was back in Germany. The rest of us have never had any interest in chickens, but we don’t have any in the yard, that might make a difference. Hope they don’t fight too much.
No, those fights only happen every so often. Sometimes they just chase each other around with no fighting. 🙂
Cricket had no interest in the birds either. She could be right out in the yard with them.
they are amazing… thanks to you for giving them a stage, so all people can see what fabulous entertainers they are ;O)
I love sharing their antics with everyone!