Saturday, August 13, 2011

Guinea Keets Go Free

Today is the day!!!  Are we ready?
Today is the day that the 12 teenage guinea keets go free to be adult guineas. 
We have a rather large chicken pen, and the keets were raised by the chickens in the chicken pen and in the chicken coops.  The 3 adult guineas, the parents and aunt and uncles of the keets, live free and wild.  And now the keets will be free, too, to live as guineas.

Of course the keets don't understand.
They want to be chickens, living in the confines of the chicken pen and coops.  They have to be shown what it's like to be a free guinea, roaming free over the fields, eating bugs, sleeping in the pine tree.  They have so much to learn, so much a head of them.  And their future begins today.  With one small step out of the chicken pen.

Here we go...
First we had to round up all the guinea keets.  The easiest way to do that was to confine them in the coop.

They didn't like being captured in the coop.  They knew something was up.

We rounded up the adult guineas - we wanted them to see the keets going free, to guide them, to show them what it's like to be a guinea.
We had to find the adult guineas.  There they are, way out in the field.

We rounded them up to the chicken pen area.  Of course it rained this morning and the grass was all wet.  Today was supposed to be mowing day, so the grass is tall, too.

And then we let the small guineas out of the coop into the chicken pen that we used as a mama and baby chicken pen.  It's separate from the main chicken pen.  The keets were cautious about this new area.
The chickens watch the keets intently from their side of the fence.

The adult guineas on the outside (left) watch the keets inside the pen.

And then we let the keets loose to be with the adult guineas.  Of course the keets wanted only to return to the safety of the chicken pen.  The chickens gathered on the inside of the fence, worried about their comrades on the outside.

Hopefully everyone does well as the keets transition to being adult guineas.
In these videos the keets are only thinking of returning to the chicken pen.  It should be an interesting day today! 
Hopefully soon the guinea keets realize they are not chickens, and they start enjoying their freedom.
Today starts a whole new life for our keets!


Gail said...

I hope all goes well. This will be a big adjustment. If they don't roost tonight, will you let them in so no predators will catch them?

Razzberry Corner said...

Gail - oh, yes, for sure. We've been putting the keets outside every night in a tree which is inside the enclosed chicken pen so they get used to sleeping outside. The like to be in the tree at night, and that tree is directly below the big pine tree where the adults guineas sleep. Hopefully they'll see the adults and follow them. If they don't roost in a tree we'll herd them back inside the pen, and start the whole process over tomorrow!

Carolyn said...

LOVE the action photos of the keets "running for the hills" when you tried to get them out of their enclosure!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

How brave of you . . . I still don't understand why they need to sleep outside of the pen? Do they just get along better in the wild?

John Going Gently said...

I hope they all remain safe

Razzberry Corner said...

CR - its tough to get clear photos of guineas because they're always running somewhere!

CAGrammy - we got guineas to eat ticks and other bugs around the property. We want them to be free. If they were confined to the chicken coop and pen, well, we wouldn't need guineas.

John - me too! Thanks!

Chai Chai said...

I want a coop like yours! I am going to use some of your ideas with my guineas.

Razzberry Corner said...

Chai Chai - you have your hands full with all your keets!! Good luck!

Robin said...

Yeah! Time for the keets to be all grown up. :)

missthesea said...

Good luck guineas!!

Carla said...

How'd they do their first night? I hope they get the hang of it soon.

Knatolee said...

Hope they have lots of fun exploring!

You sure you don't want me to smuggle some ducklings across the border for you? ;)

Benita said...

Okay, younguns, it's time to get off your keet-sters and get to work.

And make sure your write to your adopted mamas once in a while to let them know you're okay, will ya?

Did that help?

Unknown said...

I have found one of these in our field. Are they wild or does it belong to someone?