The boys puff up their chests in an attempt to look bigger and stronger. Soon after they engage in a light-hearted wrestling match to show off as the girls wander by, who pretend to not notice. The boys, with so much testosterone flowing through their veins, do not know what to do with their intense sexual frustration so a real fight breaks out and gets ugly before a friend steps in to break it up; both boys retreat, looking sullen and pissed off. The girls trot off giggling loudly at the ridiculous spectacle, but secretly, they are enjoying the attention.
One would think that I have been hanging out at the local junior high/high school here in Aiken, but the truth is, I have been witnessing the awkward and comical coming of age of the guinea fowl. It is like a car accident …..I want to avert my eyes, but I just can’t.
As soon as I open their coop in the morning the males start chasing and grinding on the females. I know the males have a secret desire that the females will go all Miley Cyrus on them and twerk wildly against them, but the females just squawk loudly and outrun them, all the while looking disgusted by their shenanigans. The rejection doesn’t seem to register because the males are right back at it minutes later.
The chasing and grinding keeps up until the flock makes it to the fenced-in chicken coop where my prized egg producers reside. My laying chickens are all variations of beautiful: some raven black with green tinted features, some black and white striped, some a beautiful shade of chestnut with white accents and the others are a mustard yellow with a hint of orange. And my pretty girls find the guinea heinous; I guess you could say they are the “popular” girls who only date the stars of the football team.
The male guineas have taken to stopping abruptly at the fence and then attempt a masculine swagger accompanied with a squawk, as if to entice the pretty girls to notice. I’m pretty certain they are saying, “hey girls, wanna party”, but it comes out sounding pathetic and desperate. My pretty girls look on in horror, “We only date hot guys; even acknowledging you dudes would be social suicide”. Dejected, the male guineas proceed to carry on chasing the female guineas. But don’t think the female guineas didn’t notice the despicable display, so the males are punished with a fierce nip on the side of their ugly thin necks. “How dare they think they can come running back to us after that humiliation in front of the cool girls”. The females then trot off in a pack, leaving the hormonally challenged males to run in circles taunting one another, until another fight breaks out.
Ummmm, hello guinea fowl, you have completely lost your focus here. You are supposed to spend your days with your beaks to the ground, searching out pests in my fields, not recreating an episode of Dawson’s Creek. Farming is serious business and raging pubescent hormones were not in the plan. And to be perfectly honest, it is grossing me out. So how about we move through this phase in a timely fashion…..and no, I will not buy booze or cigarettes for you either.