On Wednesday the 7th March 2018 I journeyed to Elsthorpe in central Hawkes Bay to pick up the latest River Valley employees.

I had been planning on employing a bunch of these guys for quite some time, even though some well meaning people had tried to dissuade me on the grounds of observed behavioural issues.

I was not to be dissuaded!

The journey home was uneventful, with little communication from the newcomers other than the odd chirrup emanating from the cardboard boxes on the back seat of the truck.

They were younger and smaller than what I had anticipated. Because of this, upon arrival back at River Valley Stables there had to be some modifications to their assigned living quarters. These quarters will be extended as the newcomers grow.

Eventually, for better or worse they will be given free rein to travel over the property where ever the spirit or curiosity leads them.

I have been warned, not only by various people, but also in articles online.

These staff will be NOISY I was told.

On the plus side I have convinced myself, these guys and girls have been employed for a job. This is why they are here.

Their Job Description includes the following:

Security – make a lot of noise if anything untoward happens or if strangers are spotted. (Evidently a lot of noise is made even if familiar people are spotted or occurrences happen).

De-sensitive the trekking horses – this one should be a breeze for this crew. I’m not saying that the initial reaction from the horses will be totally positive, but hey, after a while it will be one more thing that these horses won’t spook about.

Clean up insects around the paddocks – this does seem to be a particular forte and is like an added bonus.

Additional Bonuses

Talking of bonuses, this crew is also quite infamous for also terrifying the neighbours and their horses. In order to keep good community relations, we hope this will not be a regular occurrence.

Bio diversity – it seems to be a scientific fact that a broader community is a healthier community. However the downside of that is what if the newcomers bring bad disruptive habits with them? In this case this seems highly likely. Also, each new species also brings about 9 other hitch hiking species with them. Who knows what uninvited guests may also turn up!

So Who Is This Gang?

This gang is a small flock of some eleven Guinea Fowl. These slightly odd birds should manage the key items in the Job Description with ease, and also provide us with some humour.

Guinea fowl are famous for either being very bright (unlikely) or quite stupid (much more likely). In fact a flock is often described as a group of birds with many bodies and one brain.

As the birds grow and develop, staying behind a fence for a while, then being given full reign of the place, I feel sure that they will entertain us, make us laugh, and also frustrate us.

I’m looking forward to it.

To learn more about what we are doing to sustain and bring life back to the land, have a look at this blog post.

Brian Megaw

Guinea fowl amongst grass at River Valley Stables

Guinea Fowl enjoying their first day outside a cage at River Valley Stables