Wednesday, March 14, 2012

There Be Monsters.....

Last night 4 Guinea Hens decided to sleep in the pine trees instead of in the safety of the coop. This is not the first time this has happened around here.

When the Commander went outside this morning at 0530 to water the sheep he found the remains of a headless guinea.

For the last week or so in the woods surrounding the house we have been hearing owls calling back and forth to one another, I think that is what got our unfortunate guinea. I found these huge footprints in the snow around the coop area this morning. They look like guinea tracks but these were much larger.

The poor guinea must have put up a pretty good fight as there were feathers everywhere. The Commander spotted one of the surviving guineas by the woodshed this morning while it was still dark but he couldn't catch it. Guineas are horribly night blind and are easy prey once discovered in the dark. The guinea by the woodshed was lucky as it must have flown to the security light by the garage to enable it to see for its escape.

While the Commander was out walking around he heard at least three owls calling each other so I took a flashlight out into the yard and made as much racket with the dogs as I could. I wasn't just concerned about the owls, I was also worried about prowling fox!

Sunday morning I spotted a huge black fox trotting behind the goat barn. I didn't have time to get my trusty 12 gauge but I'll be ready for him next time he is on the prowl around here.

From the looks of the tracks I think more than I owl was tramping around on the ground last night. The other two guineas showed up at dawn and were desperate to get into the coop area. They must have flown blindly from their tree perches and hid in the underbrush. Whatever happened last night caused all Guineas to tuck themselves away safely in the coop tonight well before the chickens retired for the evening. Some lessons are learned the hard way.


  1. Oh, no! Now that it's dark again in the morning, I have to open the coop doors early before I go to work. The mornings I hear owls calling my heart comes up in my throat. I'm sorry for your guineas, but yes, sometimes they have to learn the hard way.

  2. It is a dangerous place out there without protection.

  3. Mary Ann - The time change has made things harder that is for sure. The odd thing about Guineas is that they can be brilliant and dim at the same time.

    Teresa - Agreed, especially around here. I have seen the following prowling the property; wolves, coyotes, eagles, bears, badgers, bobcats, hawks, skunks, and stray dogs and cats!

  4. After our fun with the coyotes, they've returned in broad daylight again after not getting the message the first time, sometimes you just can't risk your animals, and have to take matters into your own hands. It's difficult. I'm sorry for the loss of your Guineas. Glad they went into the coop.

  5. Luckybunny - We only have a few night time coyotes, I don't know how you handle them wandering around in the day time.