Saturday, June 4, 2011

Monster Update - Monster, Meet Andy

Andy the scarecrow

The monster that's killing our guineas is still out there, hunting them at nighttime.  Randy has spent most nights in the past week sleeping outside, shotgun at the ready.  It only attacked once when Randy was out waiting for it, and that was the first night he was outside, and he wasn't ready.  But he's ready, now.

The monster enters the hunt area silently, attacks the guineas in the pine tree, they are chased out and fly blindly into the night.  Guineas can't see in the dark.  Sometimes the guineas land in another tree, sometimes they land on the ground.  Then the monster attacks them on the ground, over and over.  They fly all over the fields, but the guineas land on the ground.  The monster attacks them again and again, leaving guinea feathers in many spots in the fields.  Sometimes the guineas fly up to our front door.  The guineas put up a fight.  Finally the guineas are killed.  At the various attack and kill spots many feathers are ripped out, and many feathers are broken in half.  The monster is strong, bigger than a guinea.  Then the guinea body is taken away.  Gone to the monster lair to feed the baby monsters.  We have not yet found the monster lair, but are actively looking.

And now it has stopped attacking when Randy's out there hunting it, watching over the pine tree.  One night this past week Randy was exhausted and came in at 1AM to sleep in a normal bed, and the monster attacked and killed one of the guineas after he came in.  Since then no one else has died.  We are down to 3 guineas - 2 are a coral blue mated pair, and the white guinea male.  There isn't a flock anymore, they don't travel in a flock or hang out together.  The white boy is always separated from the pair, often the white boy disappears all day, just to return to sleep.  The mated pair are always off doing their married couple things - he makes her a nest every morning, she lays an egg, then they walk around together, he feeds her.  They are still living in guinea bliss, not paying attention to the fact that there's a monster hunting them at night.  Maybe they are making the most of their time together?  The white boy is miserable, when he is around he often spends his days afraid to leave the protection of the pine tree.  He screams all the time.  We are sure he survived an attack and now is scared to death.  Poor Boy.

Because the monster has excellent night vision, we made a scarecrow to put outside only at nighttime.  I named the scarecrow Andy.  Last night Randy let his brother Andy take his hunting duty, and Randy was able to sleep.  I went out and sat with Andy from 1AM to 2AM to assist if needed.  All the guineas lived through the night on Andy's first night guarding them. 


The 2 surviving coral blue guineas


CeeCee said...

Goodness, what an ordeal! I sure wish you could find out (and kill) what is eating your guineas. But of course, you do too! Andy seems to be doing his job.

Farm Girl said...

I am so sorry about all of your guineas. I do wish you would find what the monster is, heck, I would shoot it and I have never shot anything in my life. I love Andy!! I hope he helps you guys to get some good sleep. It must be a Great Horned owl don't you think, because he is able to hunt them while they are in the trees?

Gail said...

I am so sorry you have not killed the monster. What a great idea to invite Andy to help.

We, too, are experiencing, chicken invasions with murder. We now believe it to be coyotes.

Dad used to catch owls or other winged predators by setting a tall post with a trap chained on top. An owl will light in the highest place first(the pole) to observe and snap! you have him.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Go Andy . . . keep at it and do a good job so Randy can get some good sleep.

I like Gail's idea of setting a trap on a tall pole!

Linda said...

Hope the get the monster soon!

Chai Chai said...

A night time scarecrow - brilliant! I like the idea of a trap or net as shooting may prove difficult in the darkness. Good luck and keep us informed.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Oh, your poor Guineas, is your flock down to just three? Would leaving a radio going at night help the situation any? Here's hoping scary Andy does the trick, might you be able to trap the culprit and then relocate him/her. Good luck, hope you both get a good night's sleep soon!

Knatolee said...

I'm sorry you have lost so many of your beautiful guineas... so upsetting for all of you!! :(

Country Girl said...

Do you keep a light on your scarecrow? Andy? Named after anyone I know? Ha Ha! What if you kept a light on the front porch lit and left some kind of plywood shelter out there (or near by) that the guineas could run into that a bigger owl (or what ever) couldn't easily get into. If it was lit the guineas could see it. Just brain storming here! ~

Robin said...

Wow it sure has taken out most of your flock. That has to be so incredibly frustrating. I hope Andy helps.

Razzberry Corner said...

CeeCee - so far Andy is doing a GREAT job!

Farm Girl - Thanks. Yes, we also think it's a GHO. But we're hoping he moved on to another hunting area now!

Gail - I'm sorry about the coyotes. It's hard for us to erect a high pole because we have so very man tall, tall trees all around. There's no way we can put up a pole that high! there's just so many places where an owl or other large bird can land.

CAGrammy - Andy's been doing great work - no guinea deaths since his arrival!

Linda - thanks, me too!!

Chai Chai - I'll keep you informed when we have some news!

Julie - a radio is a great idea! Thank you!!!

Nat - it is so very sad to lose all the guineas. And sad to see the remaining ones scared.

Barb - You know, I didn't even think about your A when I named the scarecrow! I was just trying to make the name similar to "Randy" since it was supposed to look like Randy and was wearing his clothes and taking his place on monster watch! Lol, that's funny. You'll have to tell A that we have a scarecrow named after him!

Robin - Yes, frustrating is a good word for it. Mostly it makes me angry and sad for the guineas. And frustrating because I don't know what else to do, other than sit up all night. When Randy's not outside at night I try to get up in the middle of the night and check on the guineas, just in case the monster is out there watching them. I'm hoping my arrival with a flashlight will make it leave or think twice if it's out there. None of us are getting much sleep these days.


Ken and Mary of Fancy Fibers Farm said...

We're so sorry to here about your guineas. We admire you so for going to such lengths to save them. Good on you, as we say here in Texas. Folks around here have problems with coyotes, but our LGDs keep them away from our flock. Also, the radio idea is often used here to keep coyotes away from outbuildings. Especially talk radio or religious programming. We so much wanted to raise guineas and had a dozen keets. All was well until we released them. Our LGD, used to chickens, determined they were threats and started attacking them. After we lost a few, we locked them away and found them new homes. Anyway, we love your blog and will keep checking in.

Lilla said...

This just makes me very sad. I am sorry you have lost so many guineas to a predator. I would be a nervous wreck about the whole thing! I hope Andy is able to keep the remaining three safe, and the predator is caught or moves on before the keets are old enough to venture out. Mother Nature can certainly be cruel, can't she?