The finished tunnelhouse, good for at least another 20 years.
Zeppelin receding skyward.
At this stage, the ends of the plastic were rolled around battens which were tacked on to the end-frames and temporary tarpaulins were used to close in the ends. That’s when the three-dayold structure withstood its first test, a full broadside of a nor’ west gale gusting to more than 70 knots (130kph). It was a big wind, taking out a 50 year old rowan tree at my Dad’s place on the same day.
You can spend a lot on security alarms and cameras, but you still won’t beat the goofy guinea fowl for its 24-7, no-fail warning system.
Talk to owners of guinea fowl and they’ll tell you these birds are crazy. You can lavish your love and attention on them from the moment they hatch, but they’ll still be about as friendly as a half-tame cat and throw out that same warning call when you approach – even at a regular feeding time – and it’s one hell of a warning.
They’re the type of bird that doesn’t appreciate fences either so if you’re going to choose to include guinea fowl on your block, it pays to have your neighbours onside with their calling, wandering natures, and/or live a distance away.
The good thing is the noise isn’t like a crowing rooster at 4am, but it is a loud, very effective warning if a guinea fowl spots an intruder. Which may be at 4am.
Guinea fowl have been known to scare off cats, ferrets, weasels and even hawks, so they are an ideal bird to have integrated into your chicken flock as guardians. Probably the only common predator a guinea fowl can’t take on is a dog.
You’ll want to get at least two guinea fowl, up to six to start with, so you always have your own pest eradication team on patrol.
Guinea fowl don’t feed in quite the same way as chickens. They like a good dust bath, but they won’t dig up garden or lawn to create one, although they will take advantage of open soil. Generally they tend to be heads down, bums up, searching for anything that moves, be it snails, slugs, caterpillars, beetles, ants, cockroaches, fleas, crickets or best of all, ticks, mice and small rats.
They’re also happy feasting on seeds and weeds, so you get a great all-round death-to-pests service in the one bird.