Thursday, August 10, 2006

More noise coming up!

Since we are down to two guineas, a cock and a hen, we need to get our population back up before someone (a coyote, for instance) takes one and leaves us with no way of breeding more.

Fortunately, Paul found out where the guinea hen is laying eggs. I found eight of them there, plus one in the chicken coop.

Also fortunately, there was a grouchy black australorp hen in the box where the cats are supposed to sleep. She wants to hatch some eggs, and won't let the cats interfere with that project.

It's a match made in heaven.

So I grabbed the nine eggs and put them into one of the dog houses that we use for broody hens. I put a bunch of hay in it first, but you get the picture. Then, I plopped miss grouchy on the eggs and shut her in.

The next day, she was sitting tight on the eggs. She's happy as you please, but you can't tell it by looking at her. To reach in and pet her is to get pecked. She's actually a bit more aggressive than any of the other broodies we have had (but still far from some of the battle axes that I have seen before).

It takes guinea eggs something like 26-28 days to hatch, so we should have some new keets somewhere around September 4-6.

Keets are adventurous little snots. They seem to want to commit suicide for the first few days. Since they can actually go through chicken wire, they are quite good at escaping into the wild dangerous world while the mother hen is stuck in the pen and pitches a hissy fit.

Soon, though, they learn to come to the cluck cluck of the hen. Within a week, any that have survived are likely to make it to adulthood. Once they get past the first week, they are quite hardy.

They are cute little things, with chipmunk-striped heads. That's a far cry from the dinosaur heads that they end up with once they grow up.

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