These two guineas are dating. Or bonded for life; I can’t tell what stage they are at. Probably post-commitment ceremony somewhere on the continuum, maybe still honeymoon. It’s been nearly two months.
Here they are running away from the paparazziand seen here jumping out of the bath after privacy invaded:
You wouldn’t know that these are the tamest guineas I’ve ever had and let me get quite close. It’s been hard to get a picture of them together, although they are ALWAYS together. They are never farther apart than a table for two, unless I walk between them, and they can wander pretty distantly from the other guineas (dates). I haven’t noticed any of the others paired off yet.
It’s funny because when these guineas (Galahad-raised) were juveniles, they gave the white guineas such a hard time because they were different. Bullying, rejecting – I considered separating them. But now, she’s exotic.
Cheeks has been having chaperoned outings. I carry her out with me and set her down near where I’m working, in the field or the garden, and she moseys around, scratching and eating.
She loves it. What I expected, was that after a couple of hours, she’d be tired, and willing and ready to be scooped up and carried home for a drink. I’ve handled her daily for months. She’s as tame as a chicken could possibly be.No. Oh, no no no. No! Not yet! Try to grab her and she hits the gas. Can’t catch me! I’m a wild animal! She can lead me on a proper merry chase, even with her lame foot. When you do catch her though, she’s totally fine with being picked up. The thrill is in the chase.I only look placid.
Today she got a supervised date. (A very brief date). Speed date, even. The rooster saw her from a distance, and barreled towards her, and saved his dancing for the afterglow.
She’s been looking forward to a date, based on how loud she shouts through the window when the roosters come to the yard. And she didn’t make him chase. Now all her gorgeous eggs won’t go to waste, and I’ll get some little Cheekslings.She also got some time with Perchick, which was adorable. They spent nearly an hour together. Perchick and Cheeks are the same age, possibly nestmates,and they behaved exactly like they recognized each other and fell in step like old times.
It’s so interesting and touching to see chickens form alliances and bonds. Sometimes it makes sense when birds hang out together (birds of a feather), sometimes I forced the issue, but most of the time it’s organic, and often odd.I would never have called this one. Sidewinder and Apples’ chick.This is so unlikely. Sidewinder is a VERY low chicken. I can say with certainty that she’s the lowest. She’s kind of a mess, with a butchered beak, therefore wicked underbite-not good for self-defense or settling arguments, bad feet, and she doesn’t do herself any favours because she’s always cringing subserviently around, so badly that she approaches things sideways (hence, Sidewinder). She’s kind of a sad subject, but she’s awfully hardy, outliving some of her peers. I’ve always liked her because she’s sweet, and tried to help her, but there’s not much one can do for a case of self-esteem that dire. She’s in a jacket because to go with her other problems, she just molted. But now, she’s got a friend, or a pet, or a Little Sister. I don’t know what’s at the root of their relationship, but they are an inseparable pair. That little chick is an independent minded one. It left its Silkie momma behind early, and not only did it move out of Silkieland, choosing not to sleep in their coop anymore, but it moved into a big coop on its own (well, maybe Stepmom helped with that). I’ve got birds nearly grown that won’t go in a coop on their own at night (if their mommas don’t teach them young, it’s a real struggle).
Sidewinder’s a different bird now too. I’ve never seen her head up so high, and she also moved coops. She’s got someone to look after now. Purpose! Adorable!!