Ahh, remember these happy days?
Last summer we got some day-old Guinea keets and gave them to a broody hen Bella.
|Proud mama hen Bella with her new Guinea keet babies. Bella thought they were her chicks|
|Bella looks out for her keets. Leggy thought he was the Daddy ~ he was watching out for the keets, too|
|Keets integrated into the flock - they were so small!|
|Guinea in the pine tree|
It is with a heavy heart today that I say we lost a Guinea this week.
We had 8 light Guineas and 2 darker ones. Now only 7 light colored Guineas and the 2 darker ones are left. Every morning the Guineas start out in their huge pine tree overlooking the chicken coop. They sleep in the tree, at daybreak they fly down and eat the Guinea food we provide for them beside the chicken coop. In the wintertime we have been feeding them, as there's no grass or grain or bugs for them to find. After eating, they wander about the property, and in the late afternoon they return home to the feeding area beside the coop again. At dusk they all fly into their pine tree to sleep.
|Yum! There's some cracked corn in the bowl this morning!|
This week one didn't come home. Everyone else acted like nothing happened.
We have no idea what happened to the missing Guinea. We searched and searched all around for feathers, for an injured Guinea, for a broody Guinea, for any sign of what happened. Nothing. Previously we tried to let our chickens free-range over the property, but they were picked off by foxes. Where the fox grabbed a chicken and carried it away there was always a massive amount of feathers left behind. And a feather trail into the woods. But we found no Guinea feathers at all this time.
Maybe a Great Horned Owl took it away?? We have seen Great Horned Owls hunting our fields and we often hear their calls. I'd think a Barred Owl would be too small to carry away an entire Guinea. We have Barred Owls close, too, we can hear their wonderful hoots.
|Guineas digging holes and taking dirt baths under the bushes|
But you know, back when Boy Guinea was young, he disappeared for 3 months in the deep of winter, and then reappeared one happy day. He watched the chickens and Guineas from afar for about a week, and then he couldn't take it anymore and he joined back up with the flock again and quickly became the Guinea leader. I mean, he had experience, he had traveled the world and come back home. All the other Guineas thought he was awesome, he had such stories about his travels. They worshipped him and made him the flock leader. And he still is the leader. We never knew what happened to Boy Guinea during that time, we thought he was dead.
Maybe this missing Guinea is going away to do his sabbatical, maybe he's a male and that's what male Guineas do???
Maybe he'll return back in summer like nothing strange happened?