These frenetic balls of fluff, Guinea Fowl keets, will grow into pest-eating machines by the time they are released on Suffolk County Community College’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead next March.
The new brood — about 30 in all — will eat ants, spiders, weed seeds, and ticks, among other insects and pests, when grown and roaming the Riverhead campus.
Suffolk has had guinea fowl on the Eastern Campus for many years. The new group of keets will grow up to replace a mob of fowl whose numbers have dwindled due to predation and age.
About Guinea Fowl:
• Young Guinea Fowl are called keets, and a group of guinea fowl is called a mob
• Guinea Fowl are a social species, living in flocks of up to 25 birds that roost communally
• The Guinea Fowl has a long history of domestication for consumption of its eggs and meat and, more recently it has been used for pest control, such as to control the tick population to curb the spread of lyme disease
• Guinea Fowl are generally terrestrial. They are prone to run rather than fly when alarmed, but are agile and powerful flyers that can hover and fly backwards if necessary.
Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay explained that using the Guinea Fowl to control pests is best.
“Natural pest control is less expensive than buying and applying pesticides, and it’s safer for our students, faculty, staff, the natural wildlife and the environment,” President McKay said.
Suffolk’s Eastern Campus is situated in Suffolk’s Pine Barrens and home to red fox, deer, wild turkeys, raccoons and other indigenous species.
Source: Suffolk County Community College
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