Myra likes finches and she keeps them in an aviary. She found that her aviary attracted outdoor, stray and feral cats. Unsurprising is a word that comes to mind. The cats were frightening the finches. They were climbing over the aviary. Some where dying of shock. Nature was taking its course and Myra did not like it.
She tried all manner of methods to keep the cats away. She thought about adopting a dog but she did not know much about dogs.
A friend of hers, who is also a bird breeder, recommended guineafowl as a deterrent. The guineafowl is a bird so how can another bird protect birds from cats? Well, they can.
Myra bought a pair of “guineas” as she calls them. They were inexpensive. They more or less take care of themselves and are cheap to feed. After introducing them to her backyard over a period of a day she let them roam freely within it.
Myra was half expecting to find a mass of feathers and two deceased guineas lying in her backyard the next morning but instead, within about one hour after sunset, she heard her guineafowls cry out their usual alarm call as a cat approached her aviary.
The guineafowls barked at the cat and then chased him across the yard. The cat disappeared over the fence. The guineafowls kept on barking at the cat until they were sure he was gone. After a few hours another cat turned up and he got the same treatment. This happened all night and it kept Myra awake.
The guineafowls had a good rest the next day and after a few disturbed nights silence befell her home because the cats had learned their lesson and decided to stay away.
Occasionally a cat will still attempt to get into Myra’s backyard but the guineafowls keep up their routine and attack. They turned out to be a wonderful cat deterrent. The finches in the aviary don’t mind the activity.
I wonder if this information will help the many people who dislike neighbour’s cat entering their yard. Of course, you have to except that you will have a guinea fowl in your yard permanently and you have to look after him/her but if you dislike cats you might well like birds and this is one bird that isn’t afraid of the domestic cat, quite the opposite. You’ll also have to accept that your neighbor might not like the presence of guineafowls in your yard. You don’t want a row with the neighbors.
The guineafowl is native to Africa. It is eaten in Georgia, USA and in some parts of Central and Northern Europe.