Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guinea Graduation

Today our two surviving guinea keets made the transition from the brooder on the back porch to the chicken coop in the barn. It's lighter, and they have some exposure to their fellow poultry. Though they've grown quite a bit since their first days here, they're still quite a bit smaller than the chickens and must be protected from the hens in a segregated enclosure. The hens will bully them, literally to death, if allowed.

But after several more weeks, these guys will be able to fend for themselves, and defend themselves from menacing pecks. Hopefully, the chickens will uneventfully fold the guineas into their community - or at least ignore them.

I'll consider it a success if the little dears don't just fly away when the day comes to release them as free-rangers. Guineas are strange birds, much less domestic than chickens, and quite self-possessed.

5 comments:

  1. Awww, holding back tears - such big kids they are now! :) I hope they don't fly away either!

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  2. Can you clip their wings? Sorry...city sister. *;)

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  3. Well, you *can* clip their wings, but then they're vulnerable to predators. Freedom - it's a double-edged sword, isn't it?

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  4. Dang, you have mean chickens. Ours are quite friendly. They always follow me around the yard, and a couple even let you pick them up (of course, they know I usually have food). And when we had our new volunteer (have you met Henry?) they don't really bother him, even though he's probably a quarter of their size.

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  5. Ken - they're not mean to ME, just to birds who are "other." And smaller. I think your banty rooster gets away with it because he's, well, a man. And FAST. You haven't lived until you've tried to care for a group of homicidal, cannibalistic hens. It's gross.

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