Monday, September 24, 2012

New guinea keets

Only two guinea hens remain from the six guinea keets DS received from a neighbor almost two years ago.  Without a guinea cock, all their egg-sitting this summer was for naught.  But they're still here and don't wander too far so I wanted to add to the flock while these two are still around to show the new guys how to survive. (I hope!)  Plus, I kept imagining how sad the lone guinea would be if something happened to the other one.  Too anthropomorphic?  Maybe, but I really like having guineas--they're excellent at bug patrol and extremely entertaining, too.

This past weekend I went to the monthly poultry swap held in the Harrisonburg Tractor Supply parking lot and came home with guinea keets: 9 three-months-old adolescents and 14 two-days-old keets--all pearl greys.  The older ones are in the chick brooder pen for now while the little ones are in a dog crate set under a table on the front porch.  DH lined the crate's walls with cardboard and hung the heat lamp in one end.  I spend half the day running outside to "check" on them--nothing's ever wrong, I just can't resist watching them. 

They're so young that when they fall asleep, they almost fall.  They drop right where they stand and, unless another keet runs over them, they'll stay like that till they've had their short nap.  Then it's back up and going. 

Two of the older keets escaped from their pen--it has flight netting over the top so I think they squeezed out where the door doesn't fit tight against the frame.  We keep a bungee cord stretched tight over a piece of chicken wire used to bridge the gap, but the bungee wasn't fastened so there was an opening just waiting for a determined guinea keet or two.  DS found the escapees when he went out this evening to close them up.  They were hanging around trying to figure out how to get back inside so we took advantage of that desire and used an old window screen to trap them, returning them to the brooder house with the other keets for the night.