Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Air Raid Warning

We have one guinea hen.  Thank goodness.  Guinea hens make more noise than all the other farm animals put together.  I'm not sure if my guinea hen perceives a threat or if it's just bored, but the guinea starts its squeaky door "eeh er" sound and calls over and over and over for up to half an hour!  You can hear it here.

Why do I keep such an annoying bird? 

Guinea hens are known for their excellent tick control abilities.  Also, they have the prettiest spotted plumage, and it's difficult to see in these pictures, but guineas have these strange growths on their heads and look positively prehistoric.  

But the absolute best reason for having a guinea hen is for their air raid calls.  

Yesterday, I was working in the high tunnel and the guinea hen started a very loud buzzing/screeching sound - a sound it only makes in times of high danger.  I bolted out of the high tunnel and saw a red-tailed hawk just flying up from the trees after it had tried to swoop down on the chickens.  That buzzing/screeching acted as an air raid warning!  You can hear it here but imagine it much, much louder!  

I pictured how the attack would look in an old time cartoon - the guinea hen would be cranking up the air raid warning and the chickens would be putting on their little metal air raid hats and running helter skelter for cover!  

I don't know if the guinea hen's noise scared off the hawk, but I didn't  lose any chickens yesterday!


  1. I'm still debating guineas. We have muscovey ducks and they are supposed to eat ticks too.

  2. I wish I had a pond for ducks. The guineas are entertaining, but very, very noisy!