Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

The sort of thing you might find on the internet

The Guinea fowl is near to supplanting the Turkey as the major bird for the traditional British Christmas Dinner. Consequently it is tempting for the Smallholder or owner of an allotment to start breeding this profitable and easily bred bird.

It is an unlikely combination but if you should be a beekeeper AND a breeder of Guinea fowl you should be aware of the potential dangers. Unlike most domestic birds, rather than avoiding stinging insects, the Guinea fowl will search them out as a preferred food. The number of such insects they eat under normal circumstances is small and should not cause any concern. However, if they were to be kept in an apiary or even in the same enclosure as honey bee hives, there are several problems which might arise.

The obvious difficulty would be the loss of bees for the beekeeper. The birds will stand by the hive entrance picking off the bees either as they leave the hive or as they return from foraging. A hungry Guinea fowl will take as many as three hundred bees in a day. However, this is not the most serious problem.

Whilst the birds flourish on a diet of insects, their unusual digestive system in some way extracts the poison from the bee sting and this is absorbed into the flesh of the Guinea fowl. At best this imparts a rather unpleasant taste to the meat which has been described as similar to rancid peanuts, at worst it can cause mental problems if much of the meat is consumed.

In a recent court case in France (Marcel du Brec v Agelastes) du Brec was awarded F10,000 when it was proved to the court’s satisfaction that the affected meat from the Guinea fowl had caused an obscure form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder whereby Marcel du Brec was unable to walk past a Gendarme without falling to his knees and banging his head on the pavement.

The best advice for beekeepers is not to breed Guinea fowl. A very satisfactory alternative is the European Grey Partridge which although smaller, produces a very tasty Christmas meal. The Partridge will not eat honey bees. Their dislike of the insect is so great that they have been known to stand in pairs on the hive landing board, flapping their wings to either kill the bees or at least to prevent them returning to the hive.

How many times did you say it before you realised you were being gullible !?

Did you believe the blog !!??

Comment from John on King Island
Rhonda and I, being the fools that we are, tried various ways of saying gullible with a Pommie accent to try and make it sound like oranges without success .............  until we read the fine print that is- Yes Arthur - we're gullible! Thank you. 

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