I feel like a complete idiot,but it's not entirely my fault! If it was I would take full blame, instead I blame my idioticalness on the nice gentleman who owns one of the farm feed and seed stores in our town.
About a year ago, my husband Billy went to the feed and seed store to get a couple of more chickens. He came back home with a few Rhode Island Reds, and a couple of Barred Rock. In addition to the chicks, he also had 2 baby Guinea Fowls. It was my first time ever seeing a Guinea, and my first time ever hearing about a Guinea. I asked him what in the world were they good for. He said "they will eat bugs, and keep the bug population down". I just looked at him, "ohhh kay" I said. He then said, "when they grow up they will also act as watch dogs and let you know when someone comes up". Honestly, I have dogs for that, but if he wanted these strange looking little babies then I was not one to argue.
A few days later, a friend of ours came over, and saw the little guinea babies. He knew what they were the instant he saw them. He then started telling me how his parents and grandparents raised Guineas when he was a little boy, and how they would eat bugs out of the yard, and even "bark" when somebody pulled in the driveway.
As time went by, the little Guineas took up with one of the Barred Rock Hens and they always stayed by her side,everywhere she went. I guess they thought she was their Mom, and why wouldn't they? The markings were quite similar. A few months later one of the guineas decided to fly. He or She flew directly over the dog pen, where the dog leaped in midair, caught it...and well, yea..
After the loss of guinea number 1, Guinea number 2 continued to follow its adopted mother everywhere, never leaving her side. Each day, that damn guinea grew uglier and uglier. I asked my husband would it always look so prehistoric? He then replied "Why don't you go look them up on the internet?"
In other words..he didn't have a clue! I learned, yes, they would always look like some leftovers from the prehistoric ages. I also learned they could be quite loud, good bug eaters..but I don't recall the web saying anything about them being "good watch dogs".
One Morning, I was sleeping in, and the most awful noise brought me right out of my slumber! It was the most loudest, horrible, noise Ive ever heard, just outside my window. I rolled out of bed, pulled the curtain back, to see the Guinea under my window. I ran outside, to find Billy standing by the shed laughing like crazy. Surely this thing wouldn't make this noise all the time. Billy assured me he wouldn't. I should have known NOT to believe him as the Guinea proved him wrong. The Guinea makes this strange noise all day long! However, I have grown used to it now.
A month or two ago, I went to the feed and seed store myself for some tomato plants. I asked the owner was my Guinea suppose to make this God awful sounding noise daily. He laughed and said "you must have a jack"
"No, I have a guinea" I said.
"Yea, but you have a cock" he said.
"WHAT??!!" I asked shockingly.
I swear he rolled his eyes, then said "you have a male guinea, often called cocks or jacks. And yes they will make alot of noise. You could try getting him a female but even then they will still be quite loud"
There was no way I was going to get my cock whom I named Jack, a mate!
Every morning, me or my husband go out and collect the eggs from the chickens. The last few weeks, Ive been getting these really small eggs, much smaller than the chickens. A friend of ours gave us a few chickens a few weeks ago because he didnt want them any longer. We are notorious for taking in stray animals, so of course we took the unwanted chickens. I just thought that one of the newly adopted chickens must be nervous or something, and just laying premature eggs. When I brought this up to Billy at the dinner table, I thought he was going to spew his food. "chickens do not have premature eggs Kelly" he said laughing hysterically.
I just shrugged my shoulders, of course he was right.
Today, as I gathered up the eggs, I had another small egg. I decided I would turn to the internet and see why one chicken keeps laying this abnormal looking egg. I couldn't find much of anything at all, and closed the lid to my laptop when suddenly a wave of curiosity came over me. I opened the lid to my laptop and searched Guinea Fowl. I then found this website:http://www.guineafowl.com/fritsfarm/guineas/eggs/ and it showed me the difference in a female and male guineas, as well as what guinea eggs look like. The female and male both looked the same to me..but the eggs........
I ran to the refrigerator and grabbed one of my abnormal eggs, and ran back to my laptop and compared the eggs. I immediately picked up the phone called my husband at work screaming "Your cock is not named Jack, but Jacquelynn!"
After a brief moment of silence from his part, I had to explain my recent discovery.
Billy asked "Can you eat Guinea eggs?"
My reply was "I hope so, you've been eating them in just about everything I've baked, plus your fried egg sandwiches."
Annoying as Jaquelyn can be sometimes,she is fairly interesting. She still hangs pretty close to the Barred Rock hen, and often times she just goes her own way. When the chickens return in the evening to their coop, Jaquelyn likes to stay out a little later and returns after dark actually. She really doesn't bother much, and she doesn't tear up my flower and herb beds. Her feathers are actually very beautiful with a lavender purple that runs down her neck, fading to a purplish grey over her body, with beautiful white polka dots all over. Although her head is quite ugly. She does look like something from the prehistoric times, or even close to a Buzzard or Vulcher. Her head is pretty much featherless, but along the top of her neck is just a few spriglets of fine feathers. She has some kind of pointed looking thing on her head, which makes it look like she has a horn,not even sure what that thing is called. Today I did run across a website stating that Guinea's will alert you when predators are around, making excellent barnyard dogs. Jacquelyn really doesn't alert us too much when we have human visitors, but she has alerted us when the neighbors dog up the street came running through our yard. When we let the chickens and Guinea out of the coop, she takes off running, then flying just above the ground, with her loud call just before landing a few feet ahead. Despite her loudness, she really isn't so bad, but I still don't think I will get her a mate.
These photos aren't the best. Its kinda hard for me getting a good picture of Jacquelyn, she's hardly ever still nor does she let me get close enough for a good shot. Normally, her eggs do not have the speckles on them like the one in the picture. No matter how hard I scrubbed the egg, I couldn't remove the speckles.
One other thing about Guinea eggs...the shell is much stronger than that of chicken eggs. They are really hard to crack. Also Guinea eggs hold a lot of yolk.