Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guinea Surprise

We had a very eventful, guinea-filled weekend! Remember the photo of the broody guinea I showed you here? I was pretty sure her eggs weren't going to develop because I had seen her off the nest quite a bit and it has been getting really chilly at night lately. Well, I came home Friday and found this.


Every single one of her eggs had hatched! The keets all looked to be doing great and I was so excited when I saw them. Discovering unexpected babies in the middle of your back yard is quite the adrenaline rush. It was for me, anyway! However, we aren't really in the market for more guineas. We still have 13 of the original flock, plus 15 of their offspring (see them hatching here) and now these too? But one look at them and I knew we could make room for more.

 
With the temps getting close to freezing every night here now, we thought it would be best to bring the keets inside under a heat lamp. We marched out back to snatch up the keets, and the mom came at us! If you've never encountered a new guinea mama, it is quite shocking how aggressive they can be.

Guinea mom and dad protecting their babies.

We had to come back again armed with a rake and trash can (don't ask) and managed to get most of the keets gathered up. We decided to let the mama keep a few because we felt bad about stealing her babies and she wasn't letting us near them anyway. As of this morning three of the ones with the mama are still alive and following her around everywhere, so hopefully they make it. The 11 that we brought inside are doing really well and growing so fast. Luckily we have 20 acres so at least they have plenty of room to spread out!

~Tammy

Shared with Farmgirl FridayFarm Girl Blog Fest, Farm Photo FridayCamera CrittersWeekly Top ShotSimple & JoyfulYour Sunday BestBackyard Farming Connection HopOutdoor WednesdayEat Make Grow, Rural Thursday

47 comments:

  1. The keets are soooo cute! I hope the ones mama kept do well! :)

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  2. I wish we did not live so far away! I would buy some from you, if you were interested in selling some. We want to add keets to our farm. A friend had offered us some earlier this fall, but they never worked out. Oh well, maybe next year I will finally add some keets and heritage turkeys.

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  3. Oh my goodness, the keets are adorable!

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  4. Oh my...they are so cute!Glad to hear that they are doing well. Happy Halloween!!

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  5. They are so cute! Your post made me laugh at the idea of the rake and garbage can. Ya do what ya have to do!
    Farmhouse hugs,
    Cindy

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  6. Oh my.. they are darling.. Hopefully they will be safe with mama..
    Take care...

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  7. Oh my gosh, they are SO precious! You got a sweet treat for Halloween!

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  8. How adorable! We had a few guineas growing up on the farm. They make fantastic watch dogs (nothing gets past a guinea that they don't sound off the alarm) Happy Halloween! (skipping in from the ~blog hop~)

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  9. Oh, they are so cute. I would have had to keep them too!

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  10. Well this post started my day off with a smile! Thanks for sharing such a great post and such great pictures!

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  11. What an excititng discovery. The keets are cute! Hope all goes well with raising them.

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  12. OMG! Aren't they ever so cute!!...Christine

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  13. How cute! I love watching hatches, it is always amazing to see! I had chickens hatch on Easter morning one year, that was truly a pleasant surprise. My problem hatching chickens and button quail was that I didn't really have the space for them and didn't look forward to giving them away after they hatched. I eventually found homes for all of them, but miss having chickens around. Hopefully someday soon I wall have some acreage!
    ~Rob

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  14. Oh that has to be the most adorable photo I have seen in quite awhile.
    Glad that you have most of them safe and glad the Mother still has some to look after. It would be very hard to keep track of that many. B

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  15. Oh for cuteness! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a sweet note.
    Have a nice weekend!
    moni

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  16. Oh my! They are so cute! Good that you have plenty of room to accommodate this new flock!

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  17. Oh my goodness how sweet! Of course you decided to keep them!

    I thought I had added your blog to my reading list a few weeks ago and wondered why you weren't posting, but were commenting on mine! lol Well, you are added now and I'm going to follow on Pinterest too :-)

    Was it my imagination or did I see you on Brenda's new blog?

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  18. Cutest photo I've seen in a long time! What a gift! (Photo of rake and trash can? Please?)

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  19. wow! they are adorable ~ keeping you busy ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

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  20. Oh my, how cute are those!!! One sweet family.

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  21. Oh my goodness! They are so adorable!

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  22. Very cute! Thanks for sharing your surprise with us all...I've heard of them but have never seen them before. Hope they all grow up and happy and hearty! :)

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  23. I have one lone guinea left (a female that hangs out with the chickens now.) Our guineas never set on their eggs, but I did hatch a few under some unsuspecting geese one year. I'd love to have more, but it's not in the budget unless I can find some locally.

    I love this post. :)

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  24. Oh wow, your guinea babies are so cute. Adorable photos. What a neat bird to see, thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

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  25. Damn, I had no idea how cute they were! Love them :)

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  26. oh my goodness, they are adorable :) I would have had the adrenaline rush too. so exciting!! :) glad they will have so much room to spread out! xxo

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  27. Oh my- what an amazing thing to stumble upon.

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  28. Your photos are amazing and so is your lifestyle.

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  29. They are soo adorable! Nice to find!

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  30. SO amazingly sweet! Little downy puffs... Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot #55!

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  31. Wonderful photos, and I had no idea the moms can be so aggressive!

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  32. Awwwwwww - they're soooooo cute!!! Absolutely adorable. How fun.

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  33. Hello! I’m stopping in to invite you to join us at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-7-country-craft.html

    I hope to see you there!
    Cheers!
    Kathy
    The Chicken Chick

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  34. I can't believe that every single one of them hatched! We've had plenty of cute chicks over the years, but those keets are adorable! I love farm surprises like that. Too bad no one got a photo of you collecting those keets. I do things as a farmer that I never could have invisioned myself doing, and I (mostly) love it. Can't say I've resorted to a trash can, yet.

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  35. Que preciosidad ,tienes un blog lindo, te sigo,bs.

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  36. Tammy they are so cute!! What a wonderful discovery. Wish I could take some off your hands! I just laughed at the trash can...I can imagine mom and dad were very upset! That was a good idea to leave her a few.

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  37. What a great find! And a great photo!

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  38. Oh dear Lord. You're right. irresistible!

    So, i wonder about guineas - they're somewhat wild, yes? so if a hen hatches her own keets- how will you end up harvesting them? hunting them? my husband thinks i'm crazy to want guineas, but they're too cool. i'd love your insight!

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    1. Hi Miranda! Guineas are wild; very different from chickens. You can keep guineas in an enclosed run if you wish, but we let ours free range because the reason why we got them in the first place was to eat ticks - we had a huge tick problem out here when we first moved. You can check out these posts for more info on the guineas - http://www.ourneckofthewoods.net/2011/12/guineas-part-i.html
      http://www.ourneckofthewoods.net/2012/01/guineas-part-ii.html

      We have been talking about how to deal with the guinea population in the future if they keep reproducing like this. My husband says he may eventually want to harvest some for meat, but as long as they stay spread out on our 20 acres I don't think it'll be a big issue. We will just have to wait and see!

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    2. Interesting... i will def read those posts. they make a roucause, yes? i'm fine with that. ha. yes ticks, fleas and other nasties. but i would want to harvest them for meat, so i'm curious how to do that with wildish hens. Also there are tons of coyotes and pumas in our area...

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    3. Oh yeah, they are incredibly loud at first. Like you can't even be outside! But after a while they quiet down and only get loud if there is a threat around. They are great "watchdogs." My husband was planning on just using a gun to harvest them. You can get pretty close to them once they get to know you, but they just won't let you catch or hold them. They are really great at flying and only one of mine has been killed by a predator (it was a hen sitting on a nest far away from the flock).

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  39. Hi Tammy, had Guineas fowl on the farm when I was a boy and really enjoyed having them around. We kept ours with the free range chickens. They stayed with the chickens in the winter and went free range again in spring. They are really interesting creatures. We also had them for meat. They taste a little gamey but are a good meat source, they have a blueish skin but don't let that scare you off. They are easy to catch if you local and catch them at night. That's when the predators get them as well.

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    1. Oh, I also love the keets, they are so cute.

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