There’s the guinea keets this morning, practicing perching on the feet of the guinea sky-coop. They grow by the day.
HW has raised the issue of what happens when all these guineas grow up. Case in point, when they start hollering about something, it’s “How do you think 20 of those are going to sound?”, and “What happens when all those guineas decide to sleep on top of the coop?” and the most difficult: “So, if you had two hens this year and they had 16 babies, then what happens next year when all those hens are grown up, and they have….how many babies are they gonna have?”
Over and over, all I get to see is lots of little guineas vanishing into the brush.This morning, they were under the chicken’s coop before I opened it.
They have little wings of their own now, and they are at least doubled in size from when they hatched. Still with Big Bird orange feet and beaks.
I can’t believe one hen can cover them at night, and I think of her when it pours cats and dogs at night, resolutely making herself into a tent. In the morning, all the chicks are dry.
They still move en masse, attended constantly by all five adults. They get superlative parenting.
They aren’t quite as terrified of us, and I got closer today than ever before. Now they leave when I come around, rather than flee. Not quite as much of a panic. And the adults show their suspicion but are more tolerant.
I even got a chance to count them! and there are definitely 16, so that means that little spinaround chick made it. I’m glad:)
The guinea hen was sitting on her eggs! But was she setting? Or just laying an egg?
If it´s the former, there might be a couple chicks in there, because of the hen who lays in there (cuckoo, cuckoo!)
The two boys were on the roof, raising hell. Screaming in a way that drew me to check if anything was wrong. Crazy raise-the-roof-alarm yelling.
She´s sitting on eggs! She´s sitting on eggs! She´s sitting on eggs! Sitting on eggs! On eggs! On eggs! ON EGGS! EGGS! EGGS!
Really, all the yelling about it seems maladaptive.
There she is in there, sitting on some eggs.
(She wasn´t setting, just laying one, probably).
Good, I need time to put a chick fence on the door. I didn´t think that through – a coop five feet off the ground – what if she hatches her chicks in there? They´ll fall out. I´ll have to block them in for a few days until they can do a controlled landing/flutter.
There can no longer be more procrastinating; the guinea house has to be moved out of the greenhouse, so I have to finish it. It needs a roof.
The guineas have been faithfully roosting on top of it since I built it, and I gave up completely on plan A of training the birds to go in at night. For them, there is no in, only the highest possible perching point.
Well, that´s over now. I put a roof on it. I made an extra door perch, so they hopefully they will learn to creep into the house from the perch.
I had some help from carpenter chicken:
I´m totally helping. Can I poop on this for you?
Can´t put things down for a second.
Then, dusk fell, and the guineas came home to find that their house had been reno´d while they were gone. Extreme Makeover: Guinea Coop.
They went straight to the top; sat on the roof.
I hope they decide a roof is a pretty great idea once they are outside, and it rains.
I thought this hen was about to expire. She spent a couple days hunched up in the greenhouse (no neck), with her eyes half closed. When hens get like that they aren´t feeling well. Sometimes they pull through it, sometimes they die. This hen is very old. She could be six or seven years old. She retired from doing eggs some time ago. But it seems she´s pulling through, and has decided to camp at a higher altitude today. Her neck is getting longer too.
I haven´t planted anything out in the GH yet, so the doors are open for the various fowl to come and go. Mostly they don´t go in there unless it rains; they are reveling in playing outside and have had enough of the greenhouse.
A guinea update – on the first night of freedom the new pair came back to the greenhouse! The second night, they were all up on the guinea house together- adorable! They don´t spend the day together – they travel in two separate packs all day, but they´re cool. They know where they live. The three-pack has a favorite spot by the trail, where the hen nestles down into the leaves under a little tree. I think she´s laying eggs, but not yet broody. She didn´t pick a very secret spot.