Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not My Day

I took a lot of pictures today to try and help explain what has been going on around here with all the moving of chickens and keets. Unfortunately the power cord has been misplaced so when the camera ran out of juice the pictures became unaccessible - drat.

I decided to move mama hen and the unhatched eggs and surviving 12 keets to the space I had prepared in the sheep pen. When I picked her up I discovered two dead keets and one that seemed to be very weak - drat. The move went OK but the weak keet was later discovered dead, leaving 10 survivors. The extra (and now deceased) keet was probably the one that was partially hatched yesterday, I think the jostling it took in the move was its ultimate doom.

As I exited the sheep pen I noticed that the sheep had escaped the electric netting that was holding them in the backyard by sneaking under the deck stairs - drat. Attempts to get them back into the fenced area lead to disaster as Avalon decided to try and jump the net. She didn't quite make it and ended up tangled and strangling in the now twisted netting. I rushed to her side and my son helped me untangle her. Kia, Ava's mother, was in a full panic and jumped sky high over the net and began to baa loudly for her lamb. This rapidly brought on a barnyard orchestra of baaing sheep, bleating goats, screaming guineas, and a panicked Sara. As we freed Ava I could hear her struggling to breath and gurgling and when she was free of the net she just laid at my feet for several gut wrenching moments. Fortunately, once I took my hand off her she sat up and then bounced away to join her mother - whew!

Later in the day I noticed guinea mom dragging her 4 remaining keets through the woods to the back yard, this was a long haul. Fortunately for her she was joined by her mate and they slowly guided the babies along the journey. At one point guinea girl has managed to loose 3 of the keets, but between the two of them they managed to round everyone up and make it to the chicken coop! Now what, should I let them inside?

I decided to let them inside and it immediately turned into a disaster. Guinea girl and boy took an immediate dislike to the 5 teenaged keets who had spent the last two nights in the coop after being raised in the garage - drat. After several hours of watching the poor teens being constantly attacked I decided to go out and gather the 5 of them up for a move to safety.

Where could the 5 teens go to live? Sheep pen? Nope, all full with sheep and the hen and her brood. Goat pen? Nope, no way to contain them. Ram pen? Nope, they would certainly be trampled. I finally broke out a portable dog kennel and moved them to the screened gazebo on the deck. The roof of the gazebo was missing due to heavy snow last year so I covered it with some netting that I had in the garage, this should provide them with enough room to move around for a few days while I figure out what to do with them.

So that leaves guinea girl with 4 keets in the coop area, but of course they can't climb the ramp to get into the coop itself - drat. Once the teens were gone guinea boy got to work digging out what I think is a nest underneath the coop, I'm not sure how warm or safe this will be but it is a start. Hopefully tomorrow will provide fewer challenges.



  2. I certainly don't like those days. Hope tomorrow goes better.

  3. a tough day indeed. its a shuffle sometimes. can the teenages live in a coop/cage inside one of the pens?

    i know you'll work it out. the guineas will drag their babies everywhere (so do turkeys). its hard to keep everyone under control.

    deep breath, then onward and upward!

  4. Guineas! What a bunch of silly birds. Everything will be back to normal pretty soon!

  5. Drat, drat, drat --- I'm with you --- too much, but at least you have creative solutions and fast reactions!

  6. Shonya - I find it hard to believe that guineas in the wild are not extinct.

    Teresa - Today was much better, but that isn't saying much.

    OFG - I may need to find a new owner for the teen guineas. This is a real tough decision because of all the work I put in raising them inside the garage. I can't believe the little ones could make such a long journey, and why would their mama be so careless by making them force march through the woods at such a young age?

    Autumn - Crazy is normal here it seems.

    Lana - Desperation is a good motivator!