Uncle Nigel Takes Charge

Nigel the Guinea Fowl

Nigel the Guinea Fowl

I’ve been feeling neglectful of Nigel the Guinea Fowl. After his heroic screeching at the fox that planned to eat chicken for lunch, I thought that maybe I was unfair to treat him like a hen and wondered if he was lonely and missing a little guinea fowl company. Things came to a head when Bill told me that Nigel was going caravanning at the weekend. Visions of Nigel the Guinea Fowl hitching a ride on top of a caravan, in search of new friends and maybe even a new home were quickly dispelled when I realised that Bill was talking about someone else, but it spurred me to action

A few weeks later three guinea fowl were duly collected and slipped into the hen house. The brown hen (definitely at the top of the pecking order) was outraged. She sat on the rafters squawking at the new arrivals for a good half an hour, while they cowered below on the perch and Nigel the Guinea Fowl peered anxiously from behind a beam.

guinea fowl in the garden

For the first few days, the new guineas stayed in the hen house when everyone else left to busy themselves for the day, but I noticed that Nigel the Guinea Fowl moved from his customary night post to perch beside the new arrivals. Eventually, the young guineas plucked up courage to follow Nigel outside and now they follow him around everywhere. Always at a run. Sometimes in panicked flight. Quite often, they just run up and down the fence, forgetting that they can fly. Guinea fowl have very small brains.

ducklings

ducklings July

Do you remember the ducklings that hatched? Amazingly, they’re still alive.

ducks

ducks September

They’re enormous now and a bit of a mixed batch. I’m especially pleased that my brown duck and white Aylesbury duck managed to pass on their genes before they were eaten by a fox.

Nick and hens

As my hens are a bit depleted after the fox attacks, I’ve put a cockerel with them, in the hope that come spring, he’ll do his bit and we’ll get some chicks. Quite frankly Nick is a complete wuss, despite looking quite majestic, and runs away at the least provocation. Maybe by spring he’ll take command of his harem rather than trailing around behind his ladies as he does at the moment.

And by spring, I suspect that Nigel may switch from uncle to suitor.

15 thoughts on “Uncle Nigel Takes Charge

  1. Jane says:

    The ducks are just beautiful! We fell rather in love with some Indian Runners at the recent show but I think they’re not really practical for a regular backyard. I’m glad your Nigel is no longer a Nigel-No-Friends. We’re currently waiting on a chicken to go broody so we can hatch some spring chicks.

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  2. Pat Machin says:

    So our hero, Nigel, now has a harem. It’s a bit like the hero slaying the dragon and getting the Princess as a reward!

    I’m amazed that all your ducklings survived. They lead such perilous lives when they are little.

    It’s lovely to share your adventures.

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  3. Garden Correspondent says:

    What a lot of avian activity! I have always dreamed of a few Guinean fowl for the garden…
    I’m glad your ducks’ legacy lives on in spite of the foxes. We don’t get foxes here – our attacks are more likely to come from birds of prey.

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  4. andreamynard says:

    Love the idea of Nigel going caravanning. He reminds me of the old guinea that lived here before us, semi-wild in the garden, and making me feel like getting some more. Heard guinea eggs are good, do you eat them?

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  5. rusty duck says:

    I used to love living with farm birds. They are such characters and you get so wrapped up in the events of their lives. Or at least I did.
    More little beaks to feed come next Spring!

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  6. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    What a lovely post! I love the idea of Nigel taking off for a lively weekend in a caravan! Wonder whether he plays very loud music from open windows as he speeds down the motorway! Perhaps not! He seems rather more civilsed than a mad boy racer! Glad he’s got some friends, though you never know, they might teach him to let his hair down and have all-night parties in the hen house! E x

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