Horsey Therapist

Monday, July 17, 2006

Happy surprise

I thought the fox got them. The guinea cock had been sticking close to his hen mate, and she had been sitting on a clutch of eggs at the edge of the hay field, before it was cut. One day no guineas and a bare pile of eggs -- nobody setting. The next day, our second guinea hen was on the eggs.

I grieved the loss of the breeding pair of pearl guineas, feeling ambivalent about the welfare of the fox who eats too often from our farm yard, then netted and moved the hen, her mate, and the eggs into an empty stall in the barn. The hen no longer sat on the eggs and after a few days I released the pair into the barn yard much to their delight.

This morning I heard some loud calling from over near the run in shed in the horse paddock. Then I noticed it was the puh-track of a guinea hen. Huh? I thought all the guineas were in the coop overnight. They were! That means this is the other hen! What do you suppose she's making all that racket about?

I go over to see and surprise, surprise! There she is with her mate and about a dozen keets! I am so darned impressed with Mother Nature! Not that it is unusual for the guinea hen to sit and hatch her eggs, but for the two adults to survive around here in their vulnerable condition, ie, sitting -- shall we say, like a sitting duck? (Sorry for that one.) An easy target for the fox who has shown much bravado (bravada?) in the past trotting through the paddock like she owns it.

RNB and I talked about whether to net and move them inside, or not.

We decided to let them be. There is no rain in the forecast, perhaps the biggest threat to the survival of the keets. And certainly growing up out there is "natural" not to mention less work for us. We still have a stall full of chicks -- 27 I think?


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