I do not recall what I had for lunch so I sure don’t remember what prompted us to start raising Guinea Fowl. It may have been because a teacher that I worked with told me about them. I think they should all come fitted with a dunce cap but they fit right in. In my opinion the chicken is more intelligent although how I came to that determination I cannot honestly answer. For those of you that can give me instances of chicken intelligence I can give examples where it is notable only by it's absence.
We replenish with a new flock almost every year and this one has lasted well. Seven remain of about 12 after a year. We actually purchased 24 but half disappeared two nights after the release. They are probably another flock somewhere now but they seem to do best when they eat, and they had to find their own food after they left. Seven remaining of twelve is the gold standard for our farm.
I never give up on seeing them again. After hurricane Rita we lost a bunch. Our turkeys all died but the Guineas started showing up after the wind died down and most returned within two weeks. I have no idea how far they were blown. About the same time I became convinced that the Pooh Bear was developing a taste for Guinea Fowl. She was crafty and I couldn't prove it but if I had it to do over again she would have spent her final time with us on a tether.
We have stopped trying to find eggs and hatch them. We purchased our last flock from Ideal Poultry (on line or in Cameron Texas) and it was much easier. Perhaps our last flocks had evolved into car dive bombers. Good to break the chain.
The area in which Guineas excel over others is the elimination of fleas and ticks. We got our first flock of guineas about 5 years ago. We put them in a cage with a light outside our kitchen window and it was great entertainment. The bugs came to the light and the little keets fought for the bugs. I do not know what Jeff Foxworthy might say about it but it's pretty good entertainment.
When this flock was released there were two dogs that developed a taste for guinea hens and we lost a couple before we got that under control. The neighbors daughter told me that her dad actually cooked one that their dog had killed and she thought that was gross.
They roam an area of perhaps 20 acres. Only five of those acres belong to us so we don’t get the full benefit. We had to educate the neighbors on why they had a sudden shortage of bug bites before they stopped being annoyed. Now I think my neighbors enjoy being able to sit outside at night and are very aware of where the credit is due.