Four weeks ago today, I arrived home with a poorly taped cardboard lawnmower box carrying 15 guineas and 4 Muscovy ducks from Gardienne Wings near Sumerduck, Virginia. Val was fantastic walking me through the research and purchase, but it was one of those moments similar to grocery shopping while hungry – you’re susceptible to every visual opportunity. And holding just one of them, in all its cuteness, completely disintegrates any ability you may have had to make rational decisions.
The guineas were in the plan all along as a last-ditch effort to rid the place of so many ticks. Having gone through the nightmare of lyme disease last year, I knew that something had to be done. Spraying the property wasn’t a solution that we were comfortable with – partly due to the bees and partly due to our close proximity to the wetlands and feeder streams of the Rappahannock River. Old wives tales tell stories of guineas eating their weight in ticks, relentlessly foraging in packs across several acres. The trick is homing them to their new location and putting up with their constant squawking!
And since the guineas would be the work animals, the ducks would come home as pets. So far, they are keeping the guineas in line and being the cute companions that I had hoped for. It won’t be too much longer before the double in size and really rule the roost!