Tag Archives: cock

Galahad is step-fathering the new keets

The bee swarm denouement can wait – this is too cute.

So, also yesterday, I picked up ten beautiful little guinea babies! Keets are crazy cute, with their orange puffin beaks and long necks.  They were almost completely silent on the drive home.  Birds seem to like car rides, if not the transitions and banging doors.

I was looking forward to Galahad‘s reaction to them, but I got home at bedtime.   G hopped right up to his perch, and I installed the keets in a vacant chickery, slowly tipping their traveling boxes to the side (scuffle scuffle) and opening the ends.  They didn’t come out.

In the morning they were quiet.  Galahad hopped outside as usual.

Then the babies came out of their box and started singing their little car alarm sounds, and he went nuts.  He was streaking around the greenhouse, stopping, listening, peering, running back and forth.   I hear them!  Where are they?!  I was doing all the morning feeding,  shifting, and watering, and I left the door ajar for him to get back in if he wanted.  He did.  It seems louder at this end.Warmer. Warmer…Found’em!They’re a month old, and they are a selection of colours!  “Normals” – pearl grey, white, and buff.

I left him there chatting.  They would car alarm, and he’d talk, and they’d quiet.  I checked on him later- did he want to stay in the greenhouse?  Yes, definitely. 

The keets were cute, relaxed.  A content guinea is a quiet guinea, and they were all piled up roosting on top of their box.

Then came lunch time.  I moved their lid askew to feed them, and left it that way, and when I came back later, uhoh.  Ghost town.What do we have here?

I thought it was extra quiet in here. 

The keets had liberated themselves (should’ve known, guineas are mad escape artists) to get to their new Daddy.  G was struttin’ around, tall and as proud as if he hatched them, and they’re all scuttling along behind him, happy as clams, digging under the vines.  They are used to a jungle.  So adorable!

Lock up time, there was one little keet scurrying around the door.  I don’t know how it leaked out, but I opened the door and it shot inside and showed me where the rest were.  They were buried under a pepper plant, and I could just see Galahad’s black and white speckled wing and hear him cooing.   I can’t be sure if he was sitting on them, but he was settling in on the ground with them.

Wow.

I figured he would assume parenting the little birds, but this exceeds my expectations.  I planned to keep them in the chickery a couple days, then let them stay in the GH with Galahad until they learned they lived there, but this is great!

He’s such a treasure, and since his habits are going to be reproduced 10 times now, it’s a good thing he’s got such great qualities.  He’s unconcerned about me; he lets me get quite close, and doesn’t screech when I show up (my husband is sure to get the treatment though).  He comes in every night, which is keeping him alive.  He’s quiet, not too much of a yeller.  He’s down with the chickens.  When he doesn’t have his own kind, he makes friends.  But he’s sure happy to have his own kind!  Finally, someone who can run just as fast.

I figured they couldn’t do too much damage in the GH now the plants are all too big to kill, seeing as guineas are only moderately destructive.  Chickens are very destructive with all that scratching.   But I did mean to harvest all the low tomatoes and eggplants before letting them out of the chickery, because I imagined eleven taste tests.  As it was, they only broke one young tomatillo (it’s not dead), trampled the lemon balm (so what, it’s a mint) and perhaps have damaged some  watermelon  vines (we’ll see).

Now that I don’t have a shadow of a doubt that he’ll bring them back in every night, I can let them go outside soon, if they don’t handle that liberation themselves too, like one already did.

He’s eying the high hanging fruit

 

 

 

When the rooster didn’t crow

HW just happened to remind me “remember when the rooster didn’t crow?  Because he was a beta rooster?”.  He’s right!  The big rooster learned to crow after he arrived here, when he suddenly had to “man up” to his promotion to big cock on the block.

Now, he is deafening!  He puts his whole considerable body into it, and throws his voice like a shotput.  When he hops up on top of the coop, perfectly ear level to me, and delivers a cannon while I’m in the greenhouse, oh it makes my head ring!  I can’t imagine sitting in a small, echoing box with him firing off multiple volleys, every morning.  Maybe all the hens are hearing impaired.

Actually, he was probably a  delta rooster, very low in his flock of origin, voiceless.  I’m a big fan of secondary roosters, and promoting them.  They’re so nice, appropriately frightened of people, and so appreciative of the job, it seems.  They take it seriously and do it well.

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I was commenting on the cocks of both flocks being both so good, it’s a shame they are aging and will soon need to be replaced.  The red rooster lost all his accent feathers from his tail last year and they haven’t come back.  Aging.  And rooster choosing is dicey.  A bad rooster can be a real dick.  We are blessed with good rooster fortune on both sides of the haybales at the moment.

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HW said “No… roosters can be really old and still be good roosters.  You know, like in Chicken Run, the rooster’s a beat up old veteran.”

Me: That’s an animated feature!  You can’t base your livestock knowledge on a cartoon!

HW:  Yeah, but it’s a cartoon based in truth!

This may have gone on a bit longer.  It is a very good movie.

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This pic is overexpsed but it's so funny with the hen peeking out from behind his tail.
This pic is overexposed but it’s so funny with the hen peeking out from behind his tail.