There may be no keets this year

Ugh, it’s always awful logging in and seeing how long it’s been since I last posted.  Almost a whole month!!! I will try harder!

It’s been an action packed month though.  Major personal changes, and a whole lot of dental work.

The toothache I’ve been “toughing out” (not a recommended course of action) for months, outlasting the waiting period for my dental coverage, needed a root canal, so that finally happened this week, sweet relief!! but there’s more to do.

There are five new chicks, little baby Cheeks’!, to two moms, Velvet and Ghost, who insisted they were determined to have babies, and they are scampering around, little fuzz nuggets.  The “old chicks” are half-grown now, and they fight with me every night for their right to sleep in the tree.

The keets are all gone, unfortunately.  They lasted only a few days and disappeared over three.  The hen would hide somewhere at night with them, going to bed early.  Of course, there isn’t really an option to interfere with that, and then one day there were two missing, the next day down to five, and the next day, down to one.  The first two losses I thought were her negligence, but no, it is likely a fox.  Why wouldn’t it harm her?  Why only a couple at a time?  At any rate, there’s something in the woods.

When there was one keet left, I kept it alive for several days.  Evening time, I had to capture it (peeping bloody murder, getting rushed by the adult guineas), and then carry it into the greenhouse.  I’ve never gotten the guineas in bed for the night so fast.  All of them surged in behind me, bristling, I dropped the keet off in the peppers, and then locked them all in.

Then I had to go back in again and again as it got dark,  to knock mom down from the perch where she tried to roost with the grownups instead of taking care of her baby.  Eventually she would stop flying up and settle down in the tomatoes with it.  Then one evening there was no keet left at night to grab.  Sad.

The other two hens that were setting also came in (I only knew of one for sure, the other white one who would show up to wolf down some food and then leave again).  She rejoined the flock keetless.

The last hen, whom I hadn’t known was out setting, was much more vocal near the end.  She would howl every morning and night, so I knew roughly where she was nesting, and I’d see her boyfriend heading out there some nights to sit with her instead of going to bed in the GH.  In the morning she’d be yelling before I released the others, and they would go out in that direction, to visit, I’m sure.

Then one night this week I heard her shriek in the night, and I stumbled out, shouting and getting all scratched up thrashing the weeds, until I felt like a crazy person in the foggy silence.  In the morning she was waiting outside the GH for her friends.   I’m glad she was unharmed, but no keets from her either.  I can only assume her nest was raided and she narrowly escaped.

If only they would be so accommodating as to nest in the GH, or take over a coop.   It seems unbelievable now that one ever nested in the skycoop; they are so wild and insistent on doing it their way, as ill-adapted as their ways are.

2 thoughts on “There may be no keets this year”

  1. Sounds like an owl, a small one by the way it leaves the moms alone. I’m so sorry for your losses. Maybe there’s evidence in your property in the form of owl pellets?

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