about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

guinea fowl - real and steel



I saw the guinea fowl sculptures in a nursery and it was love at first sight.  I knew guinea fowl came from Africa, and that kangaroos made from recycled steel would be more appropriate. Too bad. Emotion over-ruled logic.  I bought them, and they've lived happily in the front garden for over ten years now.



I've since learned that guinea fowl live in lots of other gardens in Australia. An organic gardener living in a rural area, told me they keep a large flock of guinea fowl because they are so useful.

Guinea fowl kill snakes, insect pests and rodents. They are valued for their eggs and their meat. Their eggs are smaller and heavier than hens' eggs, have a hard shell and taste slightly gamey. They lay them all over the place.



There aren't any snakes in my garden, but I wish my guinea fowl would eat the rats.


guinea fowl in organic garden near Ballarat



22 comments:

  1. Lovely birds but also the sculptures of the guinea fowls are beautiful!

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    1. thanks Jenneke, I do love having some interesting sculptures among the plants.

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  2. Your steel Guinea Fowl has weathered well for over 10yrs. A beautiful bird. We have the Partridge, in our woods and they are hunted for their meat.
    Thanks for sharing

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    1. Hi Thel, Yes it has lasted well. I wonder if they make partridges out of steel as well?

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  3. similar to the little kingfisher which used to stand on our jetty - tho ours has suffered some in the weather. Guinea fowl leave beautiful spotted feathers. We have a new neighbour with a wire and bead sheep which grazes his front lawn. Thru the Christmas season each day we passed Sheep had a different accessory. Red ribbon bow, Santa hat ...
    Now I'm dreaming of a metal or bead antelope for the Karoo Koppie. Still looking.

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    1. It must be exciting to start with a new garden - good luck with your hunt for the antelope ... good idea to give the guinea fowl different accessories. One of the children has a piece of string around its neck, to distinguish it from its sibling. but nothing so fancy as your neighbour's sheep.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this...I would love to get a few of them for our organic garden too (the real ones). Can't wait!

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    1. Hi Mrs B, look forward to hearing how you get on with this.

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  5. I have a couple of birds that are similar, made out of machine parts, a heron and an avocet. I never knew that Guinea fowl had such a varied diet, I think we could all do with one or two to rid our gardens of any nasties!

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    1. yes Pauline, the metal ones are decorative but mostly (lol) don't help rid our gardens of pests.

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  6. Oh I would love some to take care of my voles...love your metal ones.

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  7. I love your metal guinea fowl.. I never knew the real ones ate rodents! I have nominated you as one of my five bloggers for the Liebster Award here. No pressure to participate, just a bit of fun!

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    1. Amy, thanks for thinking of me, will participate, have already started thinking about the answers to the questions.

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  8. I could very well find room for guinea fowl like these ones in my garden.

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    1. dear Alastair, I recommend them - the real and the not-so-real.

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  9. Your guinea fowl sculptures are lovely. Are they the size of real ones? Unbelievable that guinea fowl kill snakes. Small snakes? Do snakes eat rats? Happy New Year Sue.

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    1. thanks Denise, happy new year to you. according to Wikipedia: 'these large birds measure from 40–71 cm (16–28 inches) in length, and weigh 700–1600 grams'. I think they kill any size snakes. So far as I know rats and mice are a primary food source for snakes.

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  10. I would have fallen in love too! They are lovely !

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  11. Thank you for finding me Sue so that I could then find you. I love your metal Guinea Fowl - I have an echidna (metal) but he is suffering badly in the weather. I think I'd like to have Guinea Fown loose in the garden, especially as we have snakes and rats here. As a child I grew up with peafowl wandering the farm and I really like the idea of animals running free. We have an acre but we also have a busy road, so I'll need to give it some serious thought.

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  12. I'll be interested to hear what you decide, Carol. Roadkill is all too common and a horrible sight.

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