Friday, August 24, 2012

Update on My Guineas


My guineas are finally doing something useful: sending out an alarm when some animal or person not usually in our yard approaches.  One night they began the alarm, the sound of which is hard to describe, and I looked out to see a deer walking up the neighbor's driveway.  The deer laid back its ears and looked nervously at the guineas, and as far as I know, went somewhere besides my yard for its dinner.

The guineas are not, as I had planned, roaming the yard and eating ticks.  They want to live with the chickens and won't use the nice home my husband built for them.    I only have two of the original six guineas left; a blacksnake killed three and one hung itself on a protruding nail inside the guinea house.

Mr. Cuteypants, the lavender guinea I rescued from the mouth of a blacksnake, described in this post.

The two guineas, Mr. Cuteypants and "the other one." My six-year-old daughter named Mr. Cuteypants.
Pearl Guinea, about 3 months old.  His/her (don't know yet) wattles will become bright red as he/she matures.
The guineas roost on the roof of the chicken tractor.  They are wild and won't let me catch them.  I guess they are safer on the roof of the chicken tractor than they would be in a tree; at least they are inside the electronet fencing.  Last night, some critter killed one of my laying hens, a Buff Orpington, and Mr. Cuteypants was missing.

We decided that the same critter that got the Buff Orpington did not get Mr. Cuteypants because there were no Mr. Cuteypants feathers all over the pen, unlike the snow flurry of Buff Orpington feathers.  It appears that the critter dug under the electronet fencing in some soft ground and entered the chicken tractor through some loose wire.  I moved the chickens this morning into a secure pen, and will make fortifications to the chicken tractor and I will move the fencing before I put them back.  The other guinea called for Mr. Cuteypants, and eventually he returned, unharmed.  

5 comments:

  1. Hi Mary Ann, If some critter wants chicken for dinner, they usually figure a way. Who would guess they would defy the electric fence! Good luck with Mr. Cutey Pants and the other.

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    1. And you know it's funny, almost everyone who has ever known anything about keeping guineas has concluded their comments with "Good luck!" I think I understand why now... :)

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  2. Yes, they can be persistent! I am thankful that the Buff Orpington was the first chicken I have lost since first getting chickens about 18 months ago. Thanks for reading!

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  3. I enjoy your column! I'm a local Blythewood resident. We hope to have our chicken coop built in the next few months - our first ever fall garden is in the ground. Look forward to reading your blog!
    Christy
    http://www.ourhomesteadhaven.com

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  4. Thank you for reading, and I love your blog! Wonderful photos and writing!

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