Friday, February 23, 2007

What's For Dinner?

Roast guinea, guinea cacciatore, stewed guinea, guinea pot pie, barbecued guinea, guinea sausage, guinea teriyaki, moo goo guinea gai pan, guinea casserole, guinea fricassee, guinea gumbo, deep-fried guinea, guinea a la king, guinea on a stick........drool....slobber.......

Oh, excuse me, I was just daydreaming.

Did I mention that guinea is on the menu?
We haven't set an execution date yet, but their days are numbered. The complaints have been pouring in from the neighbors (well, okay, it was just one complaint from one neighbor, but still...), the roosters have been pecked beyond their dignity and (my) endurance, the dog across the street is being driven to distraction (and he's already one taco short of a combination plate), and to top it off, I even saw a squirrel covering its ears one especially clamorous afternoon.

Top Ten Reasons for Destroying and Devouring Guineas:

10.....They are complete idiots. They actually run toward the things they fear, including large dogs and pickup trucks traveling 40 mph down the road.

9.....They have a psychotic grudge against my roosters. I love my roosters. I first found it amusing when I looked out one morning to see a tribe of brainless heathens chasing them as they raced around and around the yard. And then Braveheart showed up at the back door absolutely dripping with blood from lacerations on his comb. I don't have a problem with the barnyard pecking order per se, but this is gratuitous violence.....terrorism in my opinion. Like I said, I love my roosters.


8.....Their lunacy is contagious. When they are outdoors, I literally have to sneak out of the yard to take a walk. Picture, if you will, an unwitting pied-piper followed by this cantering entourage of screeching squawking two-legged rocket scientists. I've actually had to trot around the barn a few times to get them off my trail. They're worse than a pack of bloodhounds. I'm sure I've been, at the very least, snickered at by strangers and passers by. Not to mention my neighbors. I am tempted to adopt a paper bag as a replacement for my usual headwear.


7.......They have got to be the lowest life forms in the bird world, or any other world, for that matter. Honestly, if they could perform a mind meld, they could not formulate a single brain cell. I have seen them more times than I can count on two hands running alongside a fence back and forth, back and forth, screaming their lungs out to get to the other side. "So what?" you ask. Um, the fence in question is about the height of my daughter's kneecap, that's all. My very short daughter.


6......When we first got chicks to raise it was with the intention of butchering some and keeping some for layers. Well, we ended up deciding against that when we became attached to them and their individual personalities and truly enjoyed having our little flock roaming around the yard. I knew I had not formed that same affectionate connection to the guineas when a stranger showed up at our door one evening with an apologetic look on his face confessing that he had run over one of our chickens. He explained that he had slowed down to allow the flock to cross the road, but as he started up again, they suddenly turned on one of their own and chased it right under his wheels. After my initial dismay, I realized that it couldn't have been a chicken. MY CHICKENS AREN'T HOMICIDAL MANIACS! I thanked him for letting us know, then let out a whoop! Yeah! One down, fourteen to go!


5.....They taste good.


4.....Though I've never actually eaten one, that's what I've heard.


3.....They. Never. Shut. Up. Our barn is about a hundred feet from the house. If you're ever in the kitchen at say 1:00 or 2:00 or 4:00 in the morning or whenever, you can still hear them, the alarm clock that never ever stops beeping. I've heard what good *watch dogs* they make. Oh my, yes. If you are ever in danger of being attacked by a falling acorn or a leaf or a worm crawling by, they will certainly warn you. And warn you. And warn you. They scream when they're hungry, they scream when they're being fed, they scream when they see you, they scream when you walk away, they scream and they scream and they scream and they scream and.......well, you get the picture.


2.....They haven't even started laying eggs yet. And when they do, they're half the size of chicken eggs. That's when you can find them. They like to hide their eggs. And they don't even make good mothers. Must be those homicidal tendencies.


1.....What was I thinking? (Please, no creative answers!)


Despite my rantings and ravings, I must admit that owning guineas has taught me a few things. (Just a second, I'm sure I can come up with something redeemable from this experience.) Well, I did learn that I am capable. And I did learn that they can be trained to come when I call, and to go into the coop at night. I even built a pen for them of my own design. Hopefully I can share my knowledge with someone who is interested in tormenting themselves......er, I mean raising guineas.
Please don't think me a hard-hearted, ruthless, cold-blooded murderer. Most of this post was in jest, though we really are planning on a butchering day sometime soon when the weather becomes a bit more temperate. We would like to keep a couple of the guineas around for entertainment value. No, truly, it will be for the reason we originally bought them, and that is their voracious appetite for ticks, a problem that is epidemic in New England. The only decision is whether to keep males, females, or one of each!


8 Comments:

Blogger TNfarmgirl said...

Emily,
Oh, how I can identify! What a great early morning chuckle! Let me know what they taste like - I think my flock is up to about 30!
Love in Jesus!
Cheri

7:04 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

I so related to everything in this post and I only have 3! Chatty Cathy NEVER shuts up. She screams and screams and I am in the house with everything I can think of turned on to drown her out and can still hear her. I am so glad I am not alone in going crazy from guineas. LOL

6:38 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Hi Emily,
Very funny post! I too can relate. In fact with our first try at guineas I ended up shooting a pair that kept making a ruckus outside our backdoor in the wee hours of the morning.

Russ

1:52 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

When's dinner?

1:36 AM  
Blogger Marci said...

Hee hee hee.... Thanks for the laugh. I have truly missed your humor. I would not keep a male and female unless you want all this torture... I mean fun all over again.

Thanks for brightening my day!!!!

11:30 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

I so enjoy your humor. You should definitely keep at least one male and one female. Probably a trio.

As good as guineas are bound to taste, you will decide you love love love to eat them. You'll become a real guinea PIG (ba dump bump) and you'll want more.

Yes, I can see the future, why do you ask?

1:48 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Cheri,
~Groan~ I can't imagine. How in the world do you manage with that many without ending up in a rubber room? :)

Peggy,
It's almost impossible to hold a conversation outdoors with their constant interruptions. They just can't help getting under your feet and putting their two cents in. I think maybe we guinea owners should start our own support group!

Russ,
Speaking of shooting, I was sorely tempted this week when I let them out of the coop and they immediately began attacking my beloved roosters. "That's it - where's the gun?!!!" Lucky for them I haven't learned to use it yet.

Tracey,
Thanks for stopping by....I'll be over for a visit at your blog soon. Dinner will be on as soon as the snow melts and we get up the nerve to grab the first victim!

Marci,
Honestly, I don't think it matters what pair I keep. They haven't even begun breeding yet, and chances of any surviving their lamebrained parenting skills are pretty slim. You certainly won't catch me sticking any eggs in an incubator!

Leslie,
Ha! Humor is my secret weapon! :) About my future.....please oh please tell me it's nice and quiet. :)

10:53 PM  
Blogger Karisa said...

Wow! I can agree with the loudness of the birds. I would add that they are capable of eliciting a darker and more vile reaction than paranoia, however. They can drive a perfectly serene, peaceful girl into a brooding homicidal plotter. I admit it. On more than one occasion I have tried to come up with an inconspicuous way to dispose of a very loud, persistant guinea that won't stop stalking me. But the more you try to chse them away the louder they get, and the closer they watch you later.

I cannot relate to the murderous guinea trait. Our guineas may be loud and obnoxious, but they care for their own and do not hurt the chickens at all. They chase a hen now and againt but never peck.

Good luck catching the blasted birds. :P

10:19 AM  

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