Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Speaking of Guineas

Turns out that guineas are much better parents than I've been led to believe.  The most recently hatched keets have done very well.  Eleven out of twenty hatched successfully.  After I moved them all to the coop, thinking they'd be safer there, I could see that the babies were able to get through the chicken wire.  And they did go through.  I thought that would be OK since they always just popped right back inside, not wanting to be far from their mother.  In fact, they usually stayed right under their mother.  But, I was wrong about them being safer.  When I checked on them one morning a few days after putting them in the coop, four of them were missing, including the little grey one that I wanted to keep.  I suspect that they popped through the chicken wire at an inopportune time and the cat or some other critter grabbed them up.  There were a couple of others still out.  They had gotten confused and were trying to follow another guinea around.  I decided that they had a better chance of survival if I just let them all out and the mother could at least try to protect them.

She has done far better than I did at protecting them.  She hasn't lost one since they've been out and roaming all over the farm.  The guinea in the above picture is the mate.  They mostly hang out in pairs.  The mother and keets are behind him in the tall grass.  You can see the mother's head poking up.

There she is with her little brood of seven.  They follow her closely.

Most of the time, directly under her.

She doesn't look very attentive, but she is.  If anything comes near them, she will puff up, charge, and peck if she gets a chance.  She gave a curious goat a good peck yesterday because it came a little too close to the babies.  I suspect that Ginger and Harry have been warned in a similar manner because they leave the babies alone.

She roams all over the property with them.  I'm glad to see that she periodically brings them back to the coop.

She shows them the way in.

They all tumble in, have a little drink from their waterer and peck around for a little hen scratch.

I need to find homes for them before they get much bigger.  I hate to take them away from her and it will be a challenge.  But, if I don't get rid of them.  I'm going to be overrun with guineas.  I have a hen sitting on 28 eggs right now.  They should hatch in a few weeks if left undisturbed.

1 comment:

April said...

Maybe you should wait until they aren't so close to her anymore and start to venture out..I would assume that means they are ready to go out into the big, bad world?