Saturday, August 23, 2008
"way back in July"... I went to visit my friend Laura on her beautiful farm... she has two new puppies and asked me to come out and get them started with some obedience. As I pulled into her place, I noticed a large flock of "guinea hens", there were many colors and a good number of them. I had been thinking about guinea hens for our farm.. I have been told that they are wonderful at keeping the ticks downs, and are good "guard birds"... but I have also been told that they are very loud and somewhat aggressive. So, when I had finished up with the puppies, I asked Laura about her "hens". She gave me alot of information on them and is quite fond of them. I told her that I had been thinking about them.
Each time I went out to the farm, I would look for the guineas and one time Laura took me to see a mother and her "keets" (as the babies are called) and told me more about them. The more I learned, the more I knew that we would "one day" have a few guineas. About three weeks ago, Laura told me that she had yet another hen sitting on a nest, and she asked me if I would be interested in taking this hen and her keets when they hatched. I was thrilled and told her I would love to have them.
Laura called me this week, the keets had hatched and I could come and get them and the mom as soon as we were ready. So, today, Ed and I went out to the farm to collect our "new family". The mother bird was already locked in a crate, but the babies ... six in all... were running about the garden. Laura and her husband, and her friend Rebecca.... Ed and I were all looking about the garden on the hunt for keets. They're tiny and know how to hide, so it took us about an hour to track them all down. Then we had to get Mom into the crate with the babies, she did get away from us (and guineas can fly) so we spent another hour getting a hold of her.... Rebecca finally caught her in a net, and with all the "birdies" in one crate we headed for home. On the way, Ed and I talked about what stall might be the best for the new family. You need to keep in them in for a long while so they will call it their home. We have four stalls done, but I really didn't want to "tie up" a horse stall... so we took a look at the other stall which is built but not done, and decided that this would be a good place for them.
In his usual way, Ed made this stall as comfortable and as easy as possible for me and the guineas. He built a great door and closed in the stall openings with chicken wire. It's a great place for them, with lots of room and good sunlight. We got the keet food that Laura had recommended, and put a little shavings on the floor and a bit of hay, and of course water.
I also left the crate there for them, and just removed
the door so they can use it as a nesting box if they so choose. and when we left for the evening, the Mother guinea hen and the little keets were all tucked in safe and sound. I had hoped I could get a good picture of the keets, but they had a busy day, and I didn't want to bother them. But here is the mother bird (her babies are all cuddled under her) and she seems pretty happy.
I wonder what Annabelle will think when she comes in tonite..one thing for sure, she won't want to mess with this bird!!!!