Guineas

Ohhh-kay… a few weeks ago Mr. Henhouse mentioned getting guinea chicks (keets) to help with pest control in the backyard. (They are phenomenal bug eaters!). And I love the idea and have been wanting to do this for awhile. But I said, “Wait! Love it, but we need to talk first.” I had reservations:

1) I’m unemployed right now. This is my 3rd lay-off in a row. We’re okay now, but what happens if we run into money issues?

2) Neighbors — Guineas are noisy. They like to talk. We have neighbors. While the lots are relatively large (generally between 3/4 of an acre and an acre), we still have neighbors to consider.

3) Neighbors — Guineas sometimes roam. They are fliers and there is a good possibility they will visit neighbor’s yards looking for bugs.

My keets!

However, with this, that, and the other thing, I forgot to follow up and got the dreaded “I’m picking up the keets tonight!” I bought myself a day so I could get them food, and this past Monday we picked up six beautiful keets. I do love them. Keets are TINY!

We put them in the big crate, thinking it is so hot, that with a lamp, they will be fine. Well, we lost one the next day. So we moved them to a smaller crate, thinking that maybe the little critter just got too cold. And I’m losing one now. Makes me sad. I know there’s usually a 20% attrition rate with chicks, but I don’t like it. And none of my chicks from the Tractor Supply Store (Brownie and Quintuplets) died. I suspect those girls were at least a week old while the keets were about 24 to 48 hours old.

I also don’t know how many females or males I have. Keets aren’t sexed. I believe it’s just not possible for guineas to be sexed until they are several weeks old. Fortunately, the males are not aggressive like roosters, so they all get along. And, guineas in general tend to be territorial so I will try teaching them their “territory.” We’ll see how that works. They can be very tame if socialized properly and can live with chickens, so they will be slightly packed in the coop, although that will work nicely in the cold weather.

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Keets in the smaller crate.

Speaking of weather… the weather here lately with incredibly loud and close lightening strikes. The hens are okay, but I’m sure they’re getting as tired of the rain as I am. But, it does save me watering the garden.

Ahh, the garden. Corn and peas are now in. Finishing up tomatillos, peppers, and luffa this weekend — weather willing. And then done. Just weeding, watering, and growing.

I’m testing the luffa. I’m not sure how well it will grow up here, but I thought I’d give it a try. The seeds sprouted right up and grew very well. The sprouts look very healthy. So, we’ll see what happens. If I get a big enough crop, I may even clean and sell them. Natural luffa is so much nicer than those plastic scrub pads people use in the shower now.

And I’ll close with a reference to my last post on bees. Here’s a link to cartoon on Far Left Side. Enjoy!

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