Friday, August 28, 2009

We Are Teenagers Now

Remember just 4 weeks ago when the guinea chicks arrived.....just hatched and so very tiny? Well, here they are one month later. They have grown like weeds and already have a youthful version of their "buckwheat" call. Two dozen of the original 30 remain. (We had an unfortunate escape attempt a couple of weeks ago and lost a few to the woods!)
I have started them on their training regimen now. Each evening the light in their house goes on for an hour and they are given a yummy treat of white millet (reported to be a favorite amongst guineas). Shortly thereafter, they climb their roosting ladder and fall asleep for the night. I am hoping that learning this evening routine will encourage their nightly return to the house to roost after they are let out to free range during the day. This is several months away from now, but I don't think it is ever too early to start to train them to this pattern. If all goes well, we may be able to keep these sweet birds from becoming owl prey in the future.

It seems like so much of life on the farm is trial and error....hopefully this trial will have a happy ending!

1 comment:

  1. That is how we tried to train our 6 guineas and it almost worked, every night they came back right at dusk for their *candy*. But not all of them could find the fenced in area's door, to get into the coop they had to walk into the fenced in area first!

    Two of them were soo dumb! There it was a big opening, but they kept going round and round the fence, it was a circle, an old trampoline frame we turned into a fenced in area.

    So their buddies were eating the all the candy up! That is what we called the millet. And these 2 duh guineas would go round and round, I think they would of done that all night.

    I had my dog Daphne chase them in and she usually got it right or if not I would have to get the hubby and we would shoo them in. It was a really big pain every night to do that. He did not appreciate getting called away from his prime time television. HA!

    We only had 6 guineas. It was the summer of 2006. Fox, raccoons, and other bad critters got them. Well most of them. One who had a birth defective leg broke his other leg and he could not survive. And one died because he wanted out of the chicken house so bad he broke his neck on a window trying to get out. And the last one went out one day and never came back. It made me so sad.

    Now we have 11 chickens, 5 Ameraucanas 1 of them is a beautiful rooster who we want to get rid of, he molests the chickens so bad, and then there are 2 Austrolarps, 2 Rhode Island Reds, and 1 White Plymouth Rock. Lost the other one to a raccoon.

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