No doubt about it, I have a love/hate relationship with feathered creatures.
Love: eagles, hawks, blue jays, goldfinches, cardinals, robins, crows, and even butt-ugly turkey vultures
Like: chickens, who deserve their own category because I was terrified of roosters as a very little kid, didn't like the chickens as a bigger kid, and now as an adult cannot wait to move where I can have some chickens (Sophie, Ruby, Rose, and the Fluffy Red Hens, I hope to find some as fine as you!).
Love to hate: guineas
My mother's poor guineas have been fodder for my foul fowl jokes for years now. These days, there is only one guinea at Grandma's house, but he/she is still enough to inspire many wiseass cracks about inviting the guinea to Thanksgiving dinner and letting the guinea be a parking stop for the lawn mower. Okay, before anyone gets miffed at my jokes, remember, they are jokes.
Don't breathe a word of this to my mother, but I almost like that silly guinea. Almost. My dislike of these goofy birds began quite a few years ago. I am not the bravest person in the world, and in fact have been called such things as a chickensh**, 'fraidycat, etc., with good reason. Well, the guineas used to like to roost on a scaffolding outside my mom and dad's huge living room. Pop had been using the scaffolding while he worked on the outside of the house, and the guineas kept it warm for him at night for some reason known only to their little bird brains. I, however, did not realize this. Hellooooooooo, remember me, the 'fraidycat? Yep, the guard guineas started cackling about something in the middle of the night, and it startled me right out of a deep sleep on the couch. From then on, the guineas were on my bad list, quite possibly because seeing them reminded me of my well-deserved reputation of being afraid of even the tiniest noise in the night.
Well, the scaffolding/guinea roost has long been dismantled, only one guinea has survived various disasters, and I think I kinda like that sucker.
Yep, I like that sucker now, but I don't see the jokes and wisecracks stopping any time soon. Seriously. Can you tell what that crazy bird is doing in this picture? Fighting his shadow. He obviously seriously believes that "other" guinea is a threat. This makes me wonder how the five brain cells not involved in this behavior are sustaining his breathing, heartbeat, etc., all by themselves, LOL. Goofy darn bird. Walked right past that basement window and his reflection in it, but was instantly ready to fight his shadow. Maybe I'll name the guinea Don Quixote? Hey, it could be shortened to D.Q., which of course could lead to lots of snarky little digs about Dairy Queen's barbecue, fried foods, and why not-- guinea dogs instead of hot dogs. *snort* Sorry. Told you the jokes likely would continue, even though that guinea has grown on me. If anything happens to this last guinea, I'll be asking my mother when she's going to get some more, I know it.
Geez, there are actually lots of things to like about guineas. Those faces are so ugly that they are cute. Their feathers are magnificently patterned (try clicking on the pic to see the fine details and marvel at the way that pattern of dots is carried so perfectly across separate barbs). Not only are they fun to watch, but guineas are also great for ridding your yard of ticks and maybe even cutting down on mosquitos. If you like fresh eggs and can find where your guinea hen has hidden her nest, you can also have guinea eggs for eating.
If you've followed those last two links, you've discovered Jeannette Ferguson's online guinea farm at www.guineafowl.com. Scroll down to the bottom of that home page for lots of guinea stuff. Myself, I just clicked on the Guineas in Residential Areas page and visited some city guineas. I also learned that guineas are fascinated with their own mugs-- if you want to train them to stay away from your porch railing, then lure them to the chicken pen railing with a strategically placed mirror for admiring their own good looks :)
Hope you enjoyed your visit with the guinea today! See ya tomorrow :)