By Brian Angevine and
Illustrated by Tara
are funny birds kind of like a short chicken or a small turkey. We like to
watch them as the scurry around looking for bugs and seeds on the ground. Their
squawk is so loud it might hurt your ears and they really make a fuss when a
stranger is near. We keep them here because they eat ticks which might bite us
and scare away poisonous snakes like copperheads and rattlesnakes.
are tough birds when they stay with the flock, but when one is alone it might
get eaten by dogs or coyotes. Hawks and owls might steal a guinea if it gets
too far from the group. So it is a good idea for guineas to stay together in a
trouble is that guineas sometimes pick on one of the smaller birds or one of a
different color. Most of our guineas are colored like pearl gray. We have one
white one that is very little. It does not seem to be getting big very fast and
might always be the smallest one in the flock. Three of the birds are purple
which makes them look much darker than the pearl gray ones.
some reason the biggest pearl guineas don’t like the smallest purple one. They
chase her away from all the food and try to make him leave the flock. She has
to run away from the big bullies all the time. We hope that some other animal
does not catch her and she tries to stay close enough to be protected by the
big birds also chase one of the small pearl gray guineas. Maybe there is
something wrong with the smaller birds. Sometimes animals try to chase away the
weakest member of the group because they don’t want it around. They want all
the food for themselves and want to get rid of the smallest, weakest bird. Or
sometimes they chase away a sick animal so it won’t make the rest of the group
are sometimes mean like that too. Have you ever been chased away by someone
bigger than you? It doesn’t feel very good. Maybe when you get bigger people
will be nicer to you.
can we teach the guineas to be nice to the three birds they don’t like? Would
it help to feed the smaller birds someplace by themselves until they get big
enough to stay with the flock? Do you think if they were the same color as the
other birds they would be liked more?
that the big birds don’t like one of the smaller birds that is the same color.
The big birds accept the other big birds that are a different color. Why do you
think they don’t like the small purple guinea and the small gray guinea? They
seem to like the small white guinea but not the others.
would be safer if they all liked each other and stayed together. The guineas
would all get bigger and stronger if they shared all of their food and helped
the smaller ones find better food.
the guineas will get along better someday. Maybe people will get along better
some day. People and guineas need to be nice to each other.