Originating in Africa, the helmeted guinea (Numida meleagris) is the most common of the 6 species of guinea fowl, and the only one in Australia.
Guineas are well renowned as watch dogs and guards, warning of intruders or visitors with their shrill staccato cry (only the hens have the come-back or buck-wheat call) and for chattering boisterously throughout the day.
Guineas are an organic form of insect control and will feed on a variety of insects including crickets, grasshoppers and bugs, with farmers and horse breeders noting lack of ticks or other insect pests where Guineas roam, and they are similarly suited in the orchard. Their noise is a deterrent for snakes, which they will also harass given half the chance.
koljash obtained Guineas in March 2014 from Olson Game Birds, established in 1968 and the largest game fowl farm in Australia. Once they have settled in, we look forward to watching them do their guinea-thing!
Guinea fowl are quite spectacularly marked, with feathers often prized for fly fishing, and by others with artistic interests.
below: guineas are comical characters, and commonly referred to as 'scooter chooks'.
left: guinea eggs are an unusual shape, but deliciously creamy in flavour