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Guineas for Gardens? Options
Frosty
#1 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2009 5:17:35 AM
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Admit it, don't they just look cute running around with the onion plants hanging from their little beaks like a stogie?  Plant extra for them?  

Ok, I'll be nice and quit laughing...

In my experience (others may be different), they left my plants alone once they were well rooted and growing.  For the corn, I ran 2' high poultry wire around it and for the most part they stayed out.  Even though they could have easily flown over, they didn't.  Maybe too much effort for what they would get?  I do know that we had very few ticks for a few years after I had the guineas!  I need to get more...  

Calendula
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2009 2:46:37 PM
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Yes they do look cute with the onion hanging out of their mouths.. It might have even saved their little lives.. My other half was fairly upset when he saw them digging in the onions he just transplanted...   I don't know what was funnier.. His squawking at the guineas, waving his arms around to shoo them away from his onions, or the guineas with their onions hanging defiantly...

We did end up planting extra last night.. in a different "hidden" spot.. Hopefully they won't find them... i guess in the battle against bugs that eat my garden veggies & guineas, i'm willing to sacrifice a couple onions for the team.

We're getting chicken wire tonight for the corn.. if it doesn't work I know where you can get a couple more guinea hens.. before my other half eats them..



Frosty
#3 Posted : Friday, June 12, 2009 9:16:59 AM
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Did you heard me laughing?  I had to laugh at your description... They went after dh's onions after he planted them, too.  Don't know what it is about onions?  Don't have guineas right now, but the little wild birds were pulling them out this year! 

Hoping that the chicken wire works for you!!! 

Calendula
#4 Posted : Friday, June 19, 2009 3:34:43 PM
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I've figured it out.. The guineas are helping with the onions.. the ones that survived the guineas are looking better then the ones last year. maybe they know something i don't

Now if only i can focus the guineas on my potato bugs, life would be perfect.

Frosty
#5 Posted : Friday, June 19, 2009 8:34:56 PM
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Potato bugs... now you need turkeys!  I watched my turkeys go down the row picking off the potato bugs.  And when they are running loose the grasshopper population drops, too.  Go down the road just a little and there were hoppers everywhere, but very few here.  They sampled a few veggies, but not enough to make dh mad. 

Calendula
#6 Posted : Monday, June 29, 2009 10:38:11 PM
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Turkeys eh? I don't know if my subdivison will allow it.. I only get away with the guineas b/c they eat ticks and their almost cute, but turkeys.. nah i think the Mucky-Mucks would throw a fit... Although my Father-in-law did just get a new batch of turkeys...We do have a lot of potato bugs...No I'd better not..

Frosty
#7 Posted : Thursday, July 09, 2009 3:38:10 AM
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If you got some heritage turkeys... some of them are really beautiful!  Bourbon Reds, Royal Palms, Narrigansett, Black Spanish, Chocolate, Jersey Buff, Lavander, Blue Slate...  Then deny knowing that they were turkeys   Or get some bronze and say they must be wild!  They can be incredibly curious, follow you around.  My neighbors got a kick out of mine when they went over to visit.  And they really are terrific grasshopper control, too.  Though they do looove grapes!  I have to lock mine up when the grapes are ripening.  We have a few apple trees, every year a bunch of apples drop and get big bruises, then they attract yellow jackets.  Last year, the turkeys ate all of the apples that dropped, so we didn't have yellow jackets collecting.  (Who knows, goofy birds were probably eating them, too!)

Just watch the guineas if anyone locally has bee hives, I have heard of them hanging out in front of hives and picking off the bees when they come and go.  What kind of turkeys did your father in law get?  I have a new group coming in, White Hollands, Regal Reds, and Bourbon Reds.  Plus I have a group of Broad Breasted Bronze that came in somewhere around June 18th.  So I'll have about 32 of the little buggers.  My addiction... Poultry.     

zukario
#8 Posted : Monday, August 23, 2010 6:10:49 AM
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It really interest me that turkey could help to get rid of these potato bugs instead to cause harm to these plants.

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Calendula
#9 Posted : Monday, August 23, 2010 6:10:49 AM
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For my birthday this year my brother was kind enough to get me three Guinea hens to help me in my garden..And i thank them for it.. except when they eat my freshly planted onions, corn and brussel sprouts... Any ideas on keeping them away from the food i want to grow, but still allowing them to roam in my yard & garden? Will they stop wanting to eat these things once they've gotten a little bigger? 

I'm a new guinea hen owner.. Any advice, tips or tricks would be appreciated

Arachne
#10 Posted : Tuesday, June 18, 2013 1:42:49 AM
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 1

Just found this awesome site, and immediately it opened to the page with two of my favorite subjects; chickens and the guinea fowl. Though right now I am again dealing with serious illness, we are also again back in the country and if things work out I will again be the proud happy momma to a large brood of both. I admit it; I am addicted. I would like to think I learned a few things along the way and hope to become a regular here once my health issues are dealt with, atleast; thats the focus. (last 'round in the hospital, when I came out of surgery and woke up, they were calling me "the chicken lady". will explain maybe, another time). Anyhow; I have been blessed to be able to raise free range birds for many years. I know the difference between a store bought egg and a fresh one with my eyes closed. Aside from how healthy and happy my birds always were, they were an awesome help in controling every single insect and the SNAKES and MICE as well. If your guineas are dining in your garden, someone must have shown them theirs snacks to be had. Never let them taste your tomatoes or other pretty colored "things" you would like to have for your own table and they will usually always just come thru, tilling the soil, adding some errr...fertilizer and going after every bug that was foolish enough to be within their reach. It is true about the bees though. My experience was different; we were not raising honeybees. We had moved into an old, long time empty farmstead and we had major underground white-face hornets. Those are ornery, mean hurtful buggers!! Underground and tunneling arond the house enough to find them inside. (found out the former owner got swarmed in her bedroom). Our guineas would kind of lounge around the holes in the ground in a circle, chattering away as ONLY guineas can do *G* and they'd pick off those hornets whether they were trying to get into their lair or out of it. I would always know if they'd found a snake. ALOT of loud discussion and stomping..and it'd be dead. Ticks and japanese beetles became non-existant when I finally got to let my first raised keets out when they were old enough.  I raised keets. Hardest part is finding where the nests would be hidden since they do NOT lay their eggs in your typical nesting boxes as the chickens did for us. They will wait till their is a pile of them and I do mean a PILE and then you wont be able to find the one who decided to go broody, cause she will stay outside with her pile of eggs, truly in harms way since any predator can and will have at her if they find her. My chickens were mostly rescues and later found out I had some of the more..desired ones. I just collected their eggs and feathers. I do NOT eat them. I never had to use an incubator for hatching my chicks. I guess I was blessed with enough hens to want to go broody, so I swiftly learned to mark the eggs under the broody hen with an X in pencil (no markers please!!) I did this because sometimes, other hens would jump into the broodys box when she would take her wee outing for water and feed, and add an egg. I would do my best to just keep the eggs I knew I wanted to hatch at a cool temp and wait till I had about 18 or so and with their mark, put them all into a nesting box (I used milk crates nailed to the barn wall, fruit baskets; recyle!)..and the broody ones would be on them within hours. 21 days later; chicks. There is a reason they call them "broody"; you really dont want to mess around with a new mom. If you dont want to end up with roosters; heres a wee tip that I have proved over and over is truth; only use the more rounded eggs for hatching. If its got the round end and the more pointed end; thats going to be a young rooster. An elderly farmer taught me that, I thought he was just teasing me, my first attempts had it so 13 banty rooster youngin's needed re-homed. After he taught me that; I had no more roosters beyond my big Barred Rock and I did keep to Bantams. It worked out because I had the room and they each had their own "harem" of ladies to tend to. If a hawk was sighted, the roosters would round up their hens and run them from bushes, to bushes; all the way back up to the barn and the safety of the farmdogs. Save those egg shells too!! Wash them out after enjoying the eggs; set them to dry and you can either crunch them down with something heavy and put them out in the garden or lay them on a cookie sheet in a low heat oven for about an hour. They will be very brittle; crunch them well cause if they still resemble the original form; you will develop egg eating chickens, but as wee bits of eggs shell; it is a nutritious snack for the flock and your own eggs will have nice, thick shells from the added calicum. (you wont go thru as much oyster shells either, especially free range). I know of NO downside to raising guinea and chickens. My Barred Rocks and Rhose Island Reds produced double-yolk eggs for me and they paid for their own feed with my egg route. (local bakery, all the ladies in the library and and many knew to stop by for the best brown eggs around). I sure didnt mean to make this into a chapter, told you I am a guinea and chicken addict..and when I saw about the garden worries I wanted to assure that they are after the bugs and as long as they dont recognize something you fed as food, in your own garden; they seldom will go after anything but bugs. I bet their were bugs on the onions and the pulling up and running off was as odd to the bird, as any bug I have encountered..and wow; you can find some pretty weird looking bugs in the deep country!! enjoy those birds. (and please; coop them in at night; they like to fly UP into the rafters of a building. Do not think they are safe in the trees; owls will make a nice meal of your pretty, funny guinea. Not so much fun to find THAT in the morning..or a missing bird.) Gardening with Guineas is an excellent book, I highly reccomend it. (Jeanne Ferguson, carried by Mother Earth News, of course!) My name is Cindy, and I am addicted to guineas and chickens. *waves*

Marteen
#11 Posted : Monday, August 12, 2013 5:59:08 AM
Rank: Member

Posts: 10

No doubt it's a big issue indeed and we need to find out a better solution of these things as soon as possible. I think you need to concern with an axpert about this matter which is a better way for you in this situation.What you think about it..

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