Newest Additions to Riley’s Ranch: Guinea Hens

31 Baby Guineas are the latest additions to Riley’s Ranch.

The young (called “keets”) are very small at birth, and very cute as you can see:

 

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A Few Guinea Fowl Facts:

Adult guinea fowl are insect eating machines! They are native to Africa, and have a long history of domestication. They mate for life. In the UK they were usually known as “gleanies”. The adults will grow to  16–28 inches in length, and weigh 1.5-3.5 pounds.  They will have free range on the farm,  eating up all the bugs they can find, including  lice, worms, ants, flies, spiders, and ticks. They run together like a school of fish, darting this way and that around the farm.

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Even the babies can catch and eat flies.  David has been scooping up flies with the pool skimmer where they are unfortunately gathered out in the pasture near Belle’s food bowl and dropping them into the barn stall where the  little ones are staying. They jump on those things faster than a duck on a June bug, and after a mad dash of about 10 seconds, all the flies are gobbled up.  David has them hooked at an early age on this yummy treat kind of like a crack dealer so they will be the ultimate fly control system for the farm when they grow up. One example  of our sustainable farming philosophy: pest control done the organic  way.

These interesting and noisy and watchful birds are also territorial and will “guard” the property with loud yelps when strangers or danger is perceived.

Cutie pies at a young age, yes!

Not so much, though, as adults. Check out this close up of a face only a mother could love :-)

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