Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tales From the Dark Side

This post is rated: PG (poor guineas)....(some violence is implied)

Sadly, today's tale is not as light hearted as usual. We have had a few days of trying times. It's bad enough that Thursday and Friday morning's snow turned into rain that has continued non-stop for the past 3 days. But, also, during that time we lost several of our young guinea fowl. I had noticed lately that the old guineas were spending most of their day hanging out by the new guineas' house and yard. Then, on Thursday morning there seemed to be some aggression towards the new guineas. One of the older guineas was perched on top of the enclosed yard and trying his darnedest to get inside.
At that time it seemed he was only able to get himself tangled in the netting that we keep across the top of the pen. After freeing him, I didn't think too much more about it.

Later that night, when Hubbs went out to close everyone in for the night, he found the guineas terribly excited, flapping and flying all around their enclosure....causing quite a ruckus. He witnessed one of the older guineas escaping thru the roof of the pen followed by several of the younger ones. The rest were quite upset. A quick count revealed that 8 were missing. He returned home quite saddened.

The next morning, I was happy to find 4 of the missing guineas trying to get back into their pen. With a bit of herding, Becky and I were able to reclaim these 4 birds....the other four were never seen again.

After the guineas were back in their pen and fed and watered, I headed to the chickens.....only to find that one of my layers had been pulled head first thru the fence and was de-capitated. What a horrible sight. Well, I removed what was left of the carcass (before her cannibalistic sisters had their way with her...yes that is one of the traits of chickens that I detest).

Not the best morning......but the saying always applies...."Tomorrow will be better." Geez, I hope so!

Post Script: Hubbs and I have decided that perhaps a weasel was in part responsible for the melee in the guinea pen (not to mention the older guinea's presence).....and also for the chicken tragedy. We have started to lock the chickens up tight at night....not just their yard, as we had always done in the past.....but their henhouses are now secured at sundown.

Out-smarting nature.....a constant challenge on the farm.

Post Script: Tomorrow the Littles start swimming lessons, as the front pasture will soon be under water if this rain does not soon stop.

6 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about the guineas. We have finally started letting ours roost with the hens. We close up the hen house each evening. I agree, it is a constant battle to keep the girls and boys alive.
    Kelly

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  2. I'm sorry to hear about your guineas and your chicken. Hopefully locking them up at night will keep it from happening again. Poor littles, swimming lessons? We're pretty sick of all the rain here as well.

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  3. You sure are having your problems with your feathered friends..very sad..I wonder if the littles can swim??? Probably..but would they like it??? I actually see the sun and some blue sky..Yay

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  4. Hey Bev,

    Yep, sounds like a weasel...they are slinky things that can squeeze through the tiniest spaces.

    Sad but true....the chickens would just a soon eat one another than anything....just no civilized etiquette at all!! hehe

    Glad you are locking up the houses tightly at night....I had to finally pile heavy BIG rocks around my chicken house..the one that was attached to an old barn...the weasels and fox were digging out the soil and entering.

    It's cold here! Our first freeze is tonight for a low of 31..but the sun is trying to shine after a week of absence.

    Stay warm,
    Steph

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  5. Bev, I am sorry to hear about the loss. I am an animal lover by nature, and hate it when dear ones are lost to tragedy. I hope that your locking up the animals earlier, will help.

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  6. Beverly Sorry about your guineas and the hen.We have lost ALOT of hens this way too and it was racoons that were doing it.We thought it was a weasel till we caught the coons in the act one night.They can reach pretty far and are able to rip there heads right off.A few years ago we lost a hen that was in her own hutch with her chicks only one chick made it that night the coon got the rest just but grabing through the fence.Finally my boys had to hunt the racoons.They just would not leave the hens alone.So sorry again,Hugs,Jennifer

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