Archive for the ‘Guinea Hens’ Category

Same Baby Guineas – Different Camera…

May 30, 2011

Thanks to my husband and his shared enthusiasm about our new babies on the farm…

And his very cool professional camera…

Enjoy!

 

This is Sawyer, our dog, looking in at the babies :-)

 

The babies are so small!

 

 

 

She did it!!! Baby Guineas Appear…

May 29, 2011

Remember my Guinea who’s been sitting for so long?  Well, I had a “feeling” about today.

and I was right!!

I went out to check on her because the noises from the Guineas were different than they’d been in the last couple of days.

Dave had gone down to feed the pigs the scraps from lunch and I heard him calling the dogs.

I was so excited cuz as I came around the corner, there they all were!  Mom and her 15 babies!

If you’re counting the babies in the pictures – you’ll only get to 13.

That’s because 2 were having a really hard time keeping up and got left behind.  So Tori went down to scoop them up.

Look at that white one – would loved to have brought that one in with the others.  Those bright orange legs!  They’re so cute :-)

A male was with her and they wanted into the back pasture.  I opened the gate to let them through – all the while telling her what a great job she did and she was going to be such a terrific mom!

We’re all elated because we’ve never had anything like this happen on our farm.  It will be fun to watch how she takes care of all those babies and how they learn to fend for themselves.

We went back to where the nest was and there was a peeping sound…

Another one had hatched at some point and it was still wet.  Number 16!

We brought the 3 orphans inside and put them in the brood box.

Aren’t they adorable!?  And only hours old!

And by the way, yesterday, another mom got off her nest and we brought in a bunch of her eggs and put them in the incubator to see if we could hatch them out.

She did go back to her nest so we left 5 in there for her.

Why do I have the feeling in a month we may be overrun with Guineas!

And Where Would You Have Your Babies?? Nesting Guineas!

May 26, 2011

I started with 6 Guineas last spring.  On Christmas day, we noticed one was missing and I found a pile of feathers.

Christmas dinner for some fortunate animal.   So in the spirit of Christmas, I tried not to be too upset.

Now we had 5 Guineas running around the farm.  About a month ago, I noticed another one was missing and had a small panic – I really like my Guineas!  I didn’t find any feathers…and then it dawned on me – it’s Spring!!  Babies happen in Spring!

I found her hiding in my flowers…

Couple of days ago, I noticed another one was “missing.”   And today – I only saw 2 running around the farm!

There could only be one answer – 2 more of my Guineas were nesting somewhere…

Found this one on the side of the house – the cooler side, under a tree, in a clump of grass.

I’m guessing these last 2 are males.  They’re very protective of this particular female – maybe cuz she’s a little bit more exposed.

I got little too close when I was looking at her and she got up from the nest – she had a big bunch of eggs under her!

“Don’t worry about a thing dear.  You just sit there and I will take care of everything!”

“What?  You think you hear something?”

“No need to worry – it’s just Misty passin’ by.”

I’d heard this one squawk but I had a harder time spotting her.  Over beside the house – same side as the other one in the grass, there’s a small pile of lumber.

She’d tucked herself in between the pieces of wood.  Her head is covered but not her body.

She reminds me of little kids when they play hide and seek.  If you can’t see my face then you can’t see me!

And lastly, my first “disappearing” Guinea is still sitting in the flowers on the other side of the house.

Sitting time for Guineas is 26 – 28 days.  She should have babies next week if my calculations are correct.

And by the way – if you were a Guinea, which place would you choose to have your babies!?

Garden Walk – May 13, 2011

May 13, 2011

This year I tried something new with my cucumbers.  I’d seen in a book where the person had used a bed frame as a trellis.  Only it was a horizontal trellis.  This is a left-over bunk bed frame.

The idea is to get the plants to grow on top of the frame and the cucumbers, or whatever else you grow, will hang under the frame.  This will help with air circulation, mildew problems and keeping the fruit or vegetables cleaner.  And maybe I’ll see the cucumbers before they become baseball bat size!

I have lots of these on my plants…

And these…

But this is my favorite!!!

Ever grown Tomatillos?  They’re a staple in Mexican cuisine and wonderful in salsa!

The flowers remind me of Spanish dancers…

And the fruit or tomato comes wrapped in a paper sack.  They’re  wonderful to grow and by the looks of mine – we’re going to have an abundance this year :-)

And here’s the baby tomato we’re all familiar with.

Was glad to see this on the underside of one of the tomato leaves.  Know what it is?

It’s the egg of a Lacewing – a beneficial insect for the garden.  I love how they look like little balloons on the end of a string…

And I saw these on my tomato plants too.

This one plant has more than I like to see…

But between this Lady Bug and the Lacewing, they won’t be there long!

On the same leaf as the Lacewing egg, I also saw these…

And these…

Three different types of eggs on this one leaf.  I feel like there’s a major battle about to begin.  I know that insects lay eggs where they know there will be food.  I just want to know if these two are beneficials or not.  I left them on the leaf so I can check on them to see what emerges.

Okay, I’m thinking Sci-Fi….

And the alien is born!!!!   (the flower of a wild onion)

Did I tell you that one of my Guineas is setting?  I’m so excited, although I’ve heard they’re not great mothers…

She sure is beautiful and so far, very committed!  Hmmm- shouldn’t that one egg be tucked up underneath, Momma Guinea?

These were everywhere today in one part of my flower garden.

I believe this is the American Hover Fly and they are hugely beneficial!

Adult drinks nectar. The larva preys on aphids and larvae of scale insects.

Ahh, and the jury is out on this one!  Stink bug or Soldier bug?  One is good, the other is not…

It was on my Rue plant and I found it interesting that it was yellow underneath.  Don’t remember noticing this before…

The flowers on this plant are yellow and about the same size as this insect.

And one of my favorites!!  Found this Praying Mantis on the Lambs Ear.  Must feel like a giant feather bed!

This little guy was only about a 1/2″ long…

Ever look closely at all the little tiny flowers of the Yarrow plant?  They’re beautiful….

Thanks for sharing my walk with me :-)

Spring Garden – March ’11

March 27, 2011

I finally got to the beds in my garden this week for the final turning of the soil.

The interns were a big help.  The hen house floor was dug down about 6 inches and the dirt was added to the beds in the garden.

Then the soil was turned one last time and it was time to plant.

I put in Red cabbage, Green cabbage, collards, and lettuce.  I still had spinach and swiss chard that survived the winter.

My Guineas leave those other plants alone…

but not the cabbage!

With 7 acres of other plants and lots and lots of bugs, why must they hone in on my cabbage?

I have plans for these plants….Sauerkraut!

Won’t get much from plants that look like this….

At least those Guineas leave my flowers alone :)

Baby Guinea Hens are Called Keets

August 18, 2010

My first encounter with a Guinea Hen was when we lived in Watsonville, CA.  We hadn’t been in our home very long and one morning while I was sitting in the office working, I heard this horrendous noise outside.  It awakened the kids and we all went on a search to find out the source of this awful screeching.  Up in the tree out front was a Guinea Hen.  It was warning the world against something and doing so with gusto!  Such an odd bird but I was intrigued…

I tried chickens here in GA to keep bugs out of the garden.  They did a good job for the most part but they also enjoyed the occasional tomato, cantaloupe, lettuce… you get the idea.  Not only did they snack while they foraged for bugs, they also dug magnificent holes for dust baths anywhere that struck their fancy.

I’d started looking for alternative fowl to help out with bug patrol and thought I’d try raising some Guinea Hens.  I’d mentioned this to a friend of mine and she just happened to have 30 eggs in the incubator from a nest her guineas had abandoned.  Would I like a half dozen keets?  Of course!

I raised them with the meat chicks in our brood box.

Eventually they were big enough to be in their own pen.  I used the same design as the chicken tractor, only this one doesn’t move.  I put the pen under a tree and added roosting sticks to the inside.

I have loved observing these keets.  They are so different from the turkeys and chickens we’ve raised.  They stay bunched together all the time – no personal bubble for them!

They make the coolest noises and they have a lavender hue to their feathers.

They’re not quite as cute as when they were babies but I still like how they look.

My goal is to train them to come back to this pen at night so I can close the door to keep them safe.  During the day, they will have free reign of the farm eating all the bugs they want.

“Look everybody!  No head!!”

I’ve been told they act like watch dogs and sound the “alarm” when anything unusual is happening.  Poor things.  At this farm they’ll be sounding the alarm constantly!

They can fly if need be to get out of harm’s way… I’m hoping the dogs will leave them alone.

I’ve also been told they really like ticks and with the amount we’ve found this season, I’m glad they’ll be on the look out for those nasty bugs.

These guineas are still a bit young for me to let out.  A few more weeks and then I’ll let them out two at a time because I’ve been told they’ll come back “home” to where the rest of the group is hanging out.  I’ll keep you posted on how they progress!

Here’s a site I found helpful – http://www.guineafowl.com/fritsfarm/guineas/


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