The temperature dropped to 27 degrees just as the weatherman predicted it would. I had made all the necessary precautions…
- Heat lamps for the chickens
- Plugged in heating base for the water fount
- Covered my little citrus trees and my precious succulents from California
- Hung the winter drapes
I was ready, “Bring it!” I boasted…
But what neither the weatherman nor I could have predicted was the hungry owl that would come in the night and steal away with one of my Guinea hens. The chilling thing was that I heard the geese honking furiously last night at about 1:00 AM, and I should have known something was wrong! Though I doubt there was little I could have done about it. Owls, like hawks, gotta eat, and so it was that last night I lost another Guinea but to an owl this time.
The curious thing about Guineas is that they refuse to roost anywhere but up in a tree, which is fine if it is fully leaved. But, when fall and the wind have stripped it bare it just doesn’t make sense, but then guineas have no sense.
Things Guineas are most likely to do:
- If left by your fowl friends on the other side of the fence, then you run back and forth for hours crying till your little feet have run a track in the dirt. You could fly over the same way you got in, but this will never occur to you.
- Run in terror from a little white fluffy Cockerel who is easily less than half your size.
- Screech out “WEE-choo, WEE-choo, WEE-choo, WEE-choo, at the top of your annoying little voice… all day. Every day. Until the husband of the owner of the ugly, little, brainless, feathered fowl turns to you and says: “I HATE THOSE NASTY BIRDS!” Whereupon you remind him that he was tick free this summer and he acquiesces.
- Come rain, wind, or freezing temperatures, you will roost in the trees to be eaten by a large bird.
So now I have a choice to make. Let them take their chances or put them in the freezer for dinners this winter. I can order more in spring for tick control and I know it will make the husband happy, if only temporarily, that I got rid of them. What would you do?
~ Epitaph For a Guinea ~
If I Only Had a Brain
(with apologies to the original author)
I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain.
And the dirt I’d be scratchin’ while
my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain.
I’d unravel every riddle for obtaining any viddles,
In sunshine or in rain.
With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’
I could be another chicken
If I only had a brain.
Oh, I would go inside to sleep at night,
I wouldn’t have to fear of Owls in flight,
And then I’d live to see another day!
I would not be just a nothin’ my head all full of stuffin’
My heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be a ding-a-derry,
If I only had a brain.
Lyrics Kingdom（http://www.poplyrics.n et）
Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Guinea_Fowl.JPG
18 thoughts on “If they only had a brain”
🙂 Nice Story Lynda. Im thinking that all those Wee-Choo noises would drive me insane, and Id quickly have a freezer full. Like you said you can order more in the spring.
Thanks for your input. Ugly and annoying as they are, it is still hard to decide about them. But then, if I let the Owls and Hawks eat them, then I have thrown away my investment, have I not?
This year could be tough call,as it sounds like you didnt plan on eating them ? Next year , when you buy them just have it in your head that these ones are for the freezer, and you egg layers are the keepers ?
You could go for a nice long hike with your dogs , and leave a note for Bob (?) .. by the time you return … all done ??
No I didn’t really. As for “preparing them for the kitchen” that job is strictly left to me. Bob said he only wants to see them (all poultry) on his plate after the job is done! He has slowly softened his heart to the chickens, and was getting to like the geese (till recent events!) but gets quite upset when I “do the deed” in his presence. 😛
Heh. We had chickens on the farm where I grew up, so I know *exactly* what you are talking about.
Because owls strike while flying, one option might be to hang a fishing net (or w/e) around the tree they roost in.
I would, but it’s a 25 foot tall maple and I can’t reach that high! LOL!
I was wondering about that … will they roost on a piece of a tree in a shed ??
I think they would, but I will have to train them to do it as young birds. I believe next year I will raise/brood them in a cage in the chicken run, then they will get the idea, maybe.
Do all guinea’s look like this one?
I think the noise would drive me insane and I would end up wringing a few necks. Having done that – might as well not waste them and so off to the freezer they would go.
No, there is a beautiful variety with blue streaks in its black feathers… A real stunner! However, the article an them also said they were mean as He!!. 😀
This made me laugh like a drain – I had a bantam rooster who would insist on roosting high up in a tree every night, and every morning at 2.00am he would start crowing – nearly drove me insane. The kids refused to stay until I got rid of him, i eventually `gave` him away – I sincerely hated that bird ! A friend of mine has guinea fowls – they do look good wandering across her lawn she says ??
My in-laws have a few guineas, and they actually like the noise they make. Go figure… The picture of the guinea makes me think of the televangelists wife, what was her name?
If you butcher your own chickens, do you ever sell them, or is it for your own meals? I’ve been looking to buy more local products and I’ve been able to find beef and pork, but so far no luck with chickens.
Have a great Sunday,
By the way, I went into the Hartlex antique mall the other day – it is HUGE!
I just remembered the name of the televangelist you were referring to…
It was Tammy Faye Baker. Poor woman, to be remembered as a Guinea Hen! Personally, I think the Guinea has prettier eyelashes, don’t you?
What a great shot! I hope it won’t offend you to say that she looks like a cartoon character! I’m afraid I have no experience to help you with your very difficult decision but whatever you decide to do, I hope you take some more photos of them.
Won’t offend me a bit. Although, I need to be up front about the picture not being mine! My Guineas are just too camera shy! I can get some distance shots maybe and then zoom in and crop? As for this photo, well I thought just putting the url would be sufficient, but apparently not. LOL! You are not the first person to think the photo was mine.
Ooops! It is my observation skills that are lacking. Strange how one’s eyes can skip over things.
This cracked me flat up Lynda! I’m down to one guinea. I like the sound of them! I don’t know if I’ll get more or not. It’s almost like getting them knowing they’ll disappear. Hope all is well with you!
Good morning Lynda,
I’d love to get together sometime and meet. Thank you for offering so sell some of your chicken, I’d love to be able to one get away from the store bought chicken. I’ve been buying our eggs at the Harvest feed mill, but I am always glad to find out where else to get things locally.
Have a great day!