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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What did you say? I couldn't hear you...

... the silence is deafening. 

The Pearlies and I parted company on Tuesday.  As much as the noise made me grit my teeth (Kay's hubby said, on Sunday during fencing maneuvers, "what equipment is your neighbor running?"  To which I answered, "Those are the Guineas." - Need I say more?), the final straw came when they decided to gang up on Marie-Claire.  She is my rescued chicken, an older girl with a funny gait due to being raised and confined to a plastic tub in someones living room.  She has worked her way - painfully, at times - up from the very bottom of the pecking order to somewhere closer to the middle.  Somewhere where the rest of the girls ignore her and let her be-bop around unmolested.  Enter the ill-tempered Guineas.  Last week, I caught them cornering her and pecking her head bloody.  That explained why she was loathe to leave the nesting box and was getting pretty skinny.  I had to act as her body guard in the morning and evening, making sure she got food and water, and then delivering her to the safety of the nesting box.  Enough already, as they say on Longuyland. 

A very nice young woman who lives with her husband and daughter on 150 tick-infested acres an hour north of me, came down and we had a Guinea rodeo.  It was ... interesting.  I have the scars to prove it. 

The chickens, who have been clinging to the perimeter of the yard to avoid the dreaded Guineas, raced back and forth and did little feathered versions of the Happy Dance.

I hope the Pearlies enjoy their new home - lots and lots of wide open spaces.  I should have offered their new family my hearing protectors.

25 comments:

  1. Good riddance, eh? You could have stealthily (stealthfully??) hidden them in Jane and the Ice Man's camper when they came to visit. No, wait. I guess you can't do anything stealthily with guineas.

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    1. Mama Pea - I did offer to donate my guineas to Jane. I'm not sure why she didn't jump at the chance....she is much nice and much more patient than I. And you are so right - there is NOTHING stealthy about guineas.

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  2. Enjoy the peace and quiet, hope they took any leftover ticks with them.

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    1. TL - I can guarantee that there is not one solitary tick in the chicken yard. Everywhere else? Like, where we walk? They didn't touch it. They were like ill-tempered chickens and it's all my fault.

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  3. Susan,

    I hear guineas can be a royal pain in the a$$.
    Your chickens must be doing a major send off dance to the guineas.

    The continous sound of machines running are no longer right?

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    1. Sandy - You know, as frustrating as they were, I actually miss their little nekkid heads and big dark eyes. The change in the mood in the chicken yard is quite remarkable. They don't have to wait to eat until the Gs were finished. No one is losing feathers. However, we still have the dump trucks, chain saws, lumber trucks and pickups with exhaust system malfunctions. So it's never quiet in "my" country!

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  4. I KNOW your pain--for I, too, had the guinea experience. But mine did not fare as well as yours. I would tell the tale, but it would only serve to illustrate how much nicer of a person YOU are............

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    1. Sue - I definitely had a love/hate relationship with them. The people who know me best were amazed at how long the coexistence lasted. Of course, Melanie did witness me at one of my 'lower' moments... :O

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  5. You know, I may have thought about warning you when you first lamented on (and on) about getting guineas. But then thought it's just best if everyone learns first hand. My neighbors said the chickens would exit the coop every morning "as if somebody were flinging them out like an all star pitcher throwing a curve ball". The chickens were so afraid of the guineas that they wanted out of the coop they shared with them the nanosecond the barn doors opened.

    I think guineas are the only barnyard critter I have no desire, whatsoever, to keep here.

    At least your brief foray into guinea keeping kept us amused for a while!

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    1. Carolyn - I do believe you DID warn me. But I was in LALALALALA mode, wherein I can't hear a damn thing that is not in total agreement with my present (at that moment) temporarily insane-ness. That is such an apt description of my mornings! It was also how I managed to trap said guineas in the coop while the chickens managed their escape. I will try to find something else that will keep y'all amused...hm...emus?

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  6. Susan - the bucket I saw sailing through the yard could have easily been picked up by a sudden gust of wing.....at least that's what I told myself.....

    Glad they found a home....

    See you Sunday!

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    1. Melanie - Right! That's what it was! I should point out that it was a non-lethal plastic bucket....

      See you Sunday!

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  7. Oh my goodness, what an adventure. I always feel badly for the hen at the bottom of the pecking order. At least the guineas found a good home.

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    1. Leigh - Yes, poor Marie-Claire has had a rough go of it. But she is the poster child for "plucky". I just love her.

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  8. haha! Bummer. We just got 5 guineas last month because the ticks here are SO bad this year! I am trying to brainstorm something to keep them in for 6 weeks when they are big enough down by the Octopus tree in the lower pasture, AWAY from the yard. If not, they will be someone's lunch. :)

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    1. Petey - Oh, good luck getting them to do anything YOU want. They are perverse. But do they ever have good eyesight! No stranger, tumbleweed, animal, friend, foe, vehicle, plastic bag, or any other object will be able to sneak up on you when they're around.

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  9. I have the same fears with my chickens. We are getting 5 new chicken this summer. I have one chicken ( We Saved) that has a clipped beck and is blind in one eye. She was a little mean when I got her.( I am betting she felt threaten by the other birds.) But they all get along now. So I am not sure what to expect when we get the new ones.

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    1. Michelle - It may be what she needs to boost her position. Usually, the newbies are at the bottom and the previous bottom-ranker gets to pick on them! I hope that is how it works out for your girl.

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  10. This gives new meaning to the term "pecking order" for me!

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  11. You have firmly reinforced my intention to NEVER, EVER, EVER have guineas! I am glad you found them a nice home though. :)

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    1. Candy - I promise to remind you of what to expect if you ever forget and publically say you're getting some!

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  12. I used to want Guineas but you and Jane have convinced me otherwise!

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    1. Erin - Jane is the Guinea Whisperer! Honestly! I was going on and on about how noisy they were and all they did around her is little peepy-cooey sounds. She's much better with them than I. It would be a great way to PO your neighbors, in case that's what you'd like to do. :)

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  13. I too had guineas. They bullied the chickens and the noise went from dawn til dusk ... I rounded them up one night and stuffed them in sacks and artfully blended them with my sister's guinea flock some 15km away. Just out of hearing range.

    She says the only reason the species survives in the wild is because the predators are scared they'll catch "dumb" if they eat them.

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