Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Guinea's New Digs

Happy 09/09/09. I don't know why I find that a cool thing but I do. That out of the way, it seems like I have been away from blogland for ages. We are on our second vacation. I know that sounds strange but in nursing it is very difficult to get 2 weeks together. It has to do with seniority, school vacation days, etc.... I like it either way. We have been so busy working on the farm. The only trips we take are to Home Depot, Walmart and Tractor Supply. We have gone into high gear getting ready for winter. With the cooler days there is a constant reminder of winter soon to come. The guineas are growing and we have only lost one. That was when they first arrived. Maybe we are getting the hang of this. I certainly hope so. The guineas have outgrown their brooder. They still have room to roam but no flying space. They can't develop their wings in the brooder.

We have the room that the white Cornish X roosters were in before they went to the freezer. It will make a great guinea home until they are big enough to move in with the hens in the regular coop. At that time we will bring in the 2 hen and 1 tom turkeys from their summer home outside and they will have this new space separate from the chickens. The other turkeys will go into the freezer. (I am having sad thoughts about that. I have fallen in love with the turkeys. At least we get to keep 3.) After several comments on the blog from the wise ones, and reading more info we think we have made the wise decision to keep the turkeys and chickens separate. There seems to be research from both sides. Some say absolutely no they have to be kept separate, others seem to have raised the two together successfully for years. We don't want to take the chance in loosing turkeys to black head disease. We hauled several wheelbarrows of old dirty shavings out into the chicken yard. The hens had a blast scratching the piles flat. We wanted to start fresh for the ladies and gents (guineas). After all the shavings were out we spread lime over the area to kill anything left behind on the concrete. The temporary inside wall is ok for summer just not good for keeping winter cold out. Now this will be a permanent area in the barn.

We ripped out the old wall.

Put up a new wall which will add a dead air space for insulation and cut a door. The guineas will stay in until they are much bigger. The door is there so when the turkeys come in for winter they will be able to go out into their own yard.

My daughter Sue came up from New Hampshire to spend the weekend and she got into the fun by spreading the new shavings. Also know as free labor. She loves coming to the farm and hanging out with the animals. With us too, but she loves the animals.

Then it was time to start moving the guineas.

Ted was handing them to me 1 by 1 so we didn't loose any. They really love to fly.

Their first time out and about. They are still afraid of us and run like we are predators but they have so much fun being out in the big space.

One of the pearls flew to the top of the net that separates them from the hens.

They walk together in a flock and do everything as a unit. It didn't take long for them to discover their water. I grew up with the regular grey and black spotted guineas. The assorted kinds are so beautiful. My mother loves guineas and the noise they make.

They finally settle down and take a nap.
The guineas are happy in their new home. We added a heat lamp for the cooler nights. It says off during the day. In the evening we turn on the overhead light and give them white millet seed as a bedtime snack. We are attempting to train the guineas to return to the coop at night. The seed is suppose to be one of their favorite treats. Research is ongoing. We pull blades of grass and grass with seeds to put in their coop. Hopefully by next spring they will be out in the green fields eating grass seed and bugs to their hearts content. We have more projects to post on the next blog event. However, the computer is having issues. You know that aunt who is loony as a bed bug but no one wants to be rude and just call her crazy. She has issues. Well, the computer is in the shop getting an attitude adjustment. I'm on Alex's laptop right now. I kinda like it. Hmmm...... We hope everyone is well and happy. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

1 comment:

Beverly said...

Your guineas are lovely....and what a lot of work you are accomplishing on your "vacation"!! Oh, you reminded me....winter is coming, isn't it?