Saturday, May 21, 2011

poor bug never stood a chance..

 The keets (Guinea fowl babies) are wild ones.  In their tiny noggin resides an even smaller mind. A few are already trying to fly (they are 2 1/2 weeks old).  The shift from complete sleep - read they sprawl out like a drunken fraternity after a big bash- to I MUST FLYYYYYY! Throwing their fuzzy semi-feathered selves inches into the air.. clear across the I-Wish-I-had-a-bigger-box brooder smack into the pile of chicks.

 If you get chicks.. and get the galvanized feeder.. get the lid that makes them poke their heads through to eat. Otherwise these kids will just hang in the food container. 

 The keets will also lay in the container and scoot themselves along like a duck in water kicking feed everywhere. They have a strong need to scratch the bedding too.. and creating a pine shaving Pompeii where the baby chicks get buried alive. 

 Then a keet will find a dark pine shaving. All hell breaks loose. It's head pops up above the crowd as it scans for a safe location.. meanwhile the chicks (who could have cared less until the keet got excited) now are looking.. PARANOIA! You can not have my precious! Flee to safety!

 So the keet then runs laps around the box with minions in tow. Minions.. who are just following.. but not sure why..   About the 4th lap the keet sees the packaging tape, that is reinforcing the box, sparkle. Oh Shiny! Shaving dropped and now the random box pecking begins.

 Well.. a bug fell in today. The chickens looked at it.. it moved.. the chicks ran for cover. The keets moved in and pounced. Real treasure! By the 4th lap it stopped, swallowed the bug and box pecking resumed.

 The keet fleet are the tall ones in the back. I seriously can't wait for them to be able to go outside and snack on some ticks. I got 10 of them on me today (thankfully none attached.. but I still have the heebie jeebies.) I wasn't even in tall grass! I was planting 30 eggplants in the garden!

 Sadly.. we did have our first loss today too, a very tiny barred rock. It was much smaller than the others but wasn't quite right. So far the rest seem ok *knock on wood*.  


  1. Ah yes, the ticks are out in our area as well...we have been pulling them off the dog daily. Good thing you are raising Guinea birds, I have heard that they are excellent at controlling the insect population. Have you raised them with chickens before and if so do they get along with each other as adults?

  2. I have not raised chickens or guineas before.. but yes, they do get along. Although guinea fly.. and they fly very well. They have a strong need to return to the roost which is why it is easier to get young ones who grew up in an area to stay vs trying to get older ones to learn their new home. They also like to lay their eggs in a location they choose and not a nest box, a communal nest.

    Guineas are voracious tick and bug eaters. They also are known to go after snakes. The rattlers out here are also out. (Most of the ticks I have found so far are lone star and dog ticks.)

    So what have you been up to Mr. H? Busy time of the year!

  3. Guinea roosters will also live together in perfect harmony until you introduce hens.... Then all mayhem breaks loose.

    Trust me on this :)

  4. Wow! You are one busy Momma hen! They sure are cute! I'll get chicks in time... one project at a time! Guinea hens are sooo funny to watch! They'd be too noisy in the city from what I've read, though tick eating sounds great for us, remember last year with our Happy's tick extravaganza?