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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Diamonds are a girl's best friend? I beg to differ!

It's PEARLS that are a girl's best friend.  Especially, if the girl has had two dogs down with Lyme's in less than four months.  Meet the Pearls (as in Guinea keets):

They are camera-shy.  I had to creep up on them.

The Pearls are the talk of the flock.
In one of my more spectacularly action-packed weekends, I managed to squeeze in an oil change (and a little diagnostic work on the old girl - the Ford, not me) in Vermont; then a looooong drive down an hour southeast of Albany to pick up the six Guinea keets; then an equally looooong drive back north to toss them into their new digs, then I raced into the house to put together some hors d'oeuvres to take to a neighbor's.  Then back to close everyone up and collapse - oops!  I forgot to grill the chicken breasts for Sunday's lunch in Vermont with my cousin from Florida !  I collapsed into bed around 10:30.

There are times when being the obedient daughter chafes.  I mean it chafes something awful!  However, I just talcum powder my attitude and put my big girl pants on and get it done.  My mother decided that having a Cobb salad would be just the ticket for lunch.  Which means....I get all the bits and bobs done at home and then drive the 30 minutes north to assemble it.  And pick up a pie while I'm at it.  Nothing against my cousin - who I like very much, as well as his latest "this is THE one" girlfriend - but I would have loved nothing more than to sit in my new-to-me-chair-and-a-half and read.  If the cats would make some room for me, that is.

I know this is going to come back to bite me, but the keets put on the most charming little concert all the way north - burbles and whirrs and peeps.  They kept it up the entire trip.  Of course, we all know that, when puberty hits, it will be screeching of the  fire-alarm-man-the-battlestations type!

23 comments:

  1. I drank a lot when I had guineas.

    Just saying......

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    1. Oh, that's good news! Now I'll have an excuse!

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  2. Glad you finally got some guineas! I'll have to live my guinea-dreams via your blog though; I've been pretty much convinced that they will take over the hen house and torture/harass the chickens so I'll leave them off the livestock list.
    Looking forward to YOUR future guinea/chicken drama though :)

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    1. That is why they will have separate digs - besides, the guineas will not be hanging around with anyone - they seem to have minds (what there is of it) of their own. I'm trying to train them early. As if.

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  3. I never new about guineas...and how loud they are. My husband hates them. I guess they do some good though to keep things away with how aggressive they are.

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    1. Yes, I am hoping I can stand the racket. We have a bumper crop of ticks, beetles and countless other creepy-crawlies, so they better get cracking! Of course, not for a while, as they are only about 8-10 weeks old...

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  4. I don't know much about guineas. The only thing I've heard is that they are good watch "dogs". Be sure to post lots about them, ok?? Should be interesting!
    ~~Lori

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    1. Lori, I will post everything that's printable...so far, they are terrified of me and still making little burbling noises. I have warned the neighbors.

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  5. Hope your baking your "I am sorry about that' cookies now. You may need them;) Already 8-10 weeks old? Are you going to leave them in for a loooong time? Cause I believe they have imprinted on their old home and as soon as you leave them out that is where they will be heading. Yep one hour away. I would recommend at least 6 weeks in their own run to re-imprint. And dont let the naysayers scare you. I swear after that first year they get much better. Mine are on a schedule and will come right back to the coop at the same time everyday. Of course while their out...well that is another story :)

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    1. Jane, what would I do without you? I intended to leave them in their coop (with a view) for at least three weeks, then let them out in their little run - with netting on the top and all small holes plugged - for another three weeks. My aim was to let them grow large enough to have a running chance against predators. But now -- they'll head "home"??? Good grief.

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  6. I love the picture of your hens checking out "the new guys!" :)
    I found Jane's comment most interesting, I'm always learning something new about Guineas and more reasons to avoid them! Yikes!

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    1. Yes, they are just riveted. Of course, they get bored and go off looking for other things to do within a couple of minutes. Jane is our resident expert on Guineas. I will probably be the example of what not to do.

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  7. I've been tempted, one critter I haven't had yet, daughter has some. But then sanity sets in, I think I have all I can handle now days, but seriously thinking about getting 5 or 6 chickens again, hens no roosters.

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    1. While I would highly recommend the chickens, the jury is out on Guineas. I tend to love all things poultry, so we will see.

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  8. And we get Guineas because..................?????

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    1. Ticks, Sylvie, ticks. You probably don't have them in Maine....

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  9. The amount of ticks they eat will make it worthwhile, I hope LOL!!! Hate those nasty things!

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    1. Would those be guineas or ticks, under "nasty things"...LOL! I am hoping they also include Japanese beetles in their diet. If so, I will gladly wear my hearing protectors and call them the Dear Pearls.

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  10. I would love to get guineas to depopulate some of the ticks around here, but I am afraid the ranch family would kill me. THey already have to deal with the occassional barking of the Maremmas...luckily since they have no borders, they can confront predators directly so there is a lot less barking than with dogs that are fenced in!

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    1. You are probably right - and it pays to be on their good side! Besides, Maremmas only bark when there's something to bark at - which is all good.

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  11. I've had three batches of guineas over the years. I love them. Admittedly, my neighbors do not share that love, but my partner tolerates them just fine and enjoys their antics almost as much as I do. I'll try and do a post on my blog about my two remaining guinea cocks, Rob & Bob, sometime this week.
    A few thoughts:
    1) It's true about the long imprinting period. When I got my first batch, I bought a book called "Gardening with Guineas." it's opinionated, but very helpful, and explains a lot of the specific differences between guineas and other more common types of farm poultry. I think there's also a website/forum with the same name.
    2) Guineas can be predator bait, because their range is so much bigger than that of chickens. I lost all of my guinea hens in my most recent batch to something that waited at the far side of their daily round and picked them off one or two at a time. That said, if you can get them to survive past 2 years, they might successfully "scold away" predators. Last week they heckled a young coyote until it ran back into the woods.
    3) We have a LOT of ticks in our part of Southern Maine, but I've only found one or two on me all summer, thanks to our guineas and chickens. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my guineas?

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  12. (I am so far behind on reading your blog. Nothing personal, Sweezie, I'm just BE-hind! In so many ways!)

    The verdict seems to be out on Hooray Guineas! or No Way Guineas!, doesn't it? Chicken Mama, who like you loves all things foul, had guineas a few years back. They drove her nuts (their screeching) to the extent that she got rid of them.

    But if they rid the homestead of ticks and other bad bugs, I say, "Aw, sweet Little Pearls, nice Little Pearls."

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