Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Great Guinea Hunt

We bought some guineas last weekend at the poultry sale. Now, I have never had guineas and about the only thing I knew about these birds is that they were loud and good to eat. We got two mating pairs in the hopes that we will one day be able to put some of their offspring in the freezer. Well, I did get on the internet and find out as much as I could about these homely little birds and what I found was not promising. From what I read they are more prone to be wild and very skittish. They tend to be hard to teach to go back into the coop according to the writers unless trained from very young keets. Well, the writers were right everything they said has so far proven to be true. You see yesterday being the first beautiful day after 3 days of solid rain we let the guineas and the chickens out of the henhouse. Everybody was doing just fine and voraciously seeking the bugs in the yard. Because of all the rain our earthworms are very close to the surface of the ground making them easy targets for the chickens who were going wild over a particular spot. The dogs came around the corner of the house and the guineas went nuts, so our rhodesian ridgeback (being a sight hound) thought they wanted to play chase. After a couple of seconds and a severe reprimand the dog stopped his chase and with a very sheepish look on his face layed down to behave himself. As we looked around we saw no guineas! The chickens were still happily hunting earthworms and basically in a chicken frenzy over their new found gold mine. The guineas were nowhere to be seen. After a little hunting we did find the guineas in the woods behind our property. So the first guinea round-up of the day began. After half and hour of shooing guineas through the underbrush and around the trees we finally got them back into the yard where they spent the rest of the afternoon quietly hunting bugs. As the day started to close to an end it was time to put everyone back inside for the night so that they stayed safe and sound. Well, this time the chickens had moved to a new gold mine and the guineas were once again nowhere in sight. This time the dog was not at fault. I opened the door to the henhouse ans started to rattle the feed bag which always brings the rooster home and the hens dutifully followed. Now to find the guineas. We found them in the big barn that sits a good ways off from the henhouse. As we started to try to round them up and back home for the night well the roundup began and guess where they headed? you guessed it back into the woods! An hour later we had 3 of the guineas in the henhouse and one guinea was not to be found. So hopefully that guinea lived through the night and we will find him today. It was dark by the time we finally closed the henhouse door for the night. The rooster and hens had already found their perches and were hunkering down. We were tired and hungry, supper still had to be fixed. So guinea #4 was on his own for the night. I am not sure about these guineas. They are funny little birds and do have their benefits, but I am not sure I want to spend my days chasing guineas through the woods back home every evening. I know some people just leave them be and let them stay out. We have a pack of wild dogs that has taken over the property across the road from us, though and with those things hunting at night the guineas wouldn't last long. Our neighbor also has a dog that I have had to shoot with a pellet gun several times for chasing the horses so the guineas would provide great fun especially if the dog caught it. So guineas must for their own safety go into the henhouse at night. Now, how to I explain alll of this to the guineas?!

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