Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Keets Can Fly!

Caught you!  Who knew guinea keets could fly at four weeks old!? 

Joe and I each bought five baby guineas from the farmers whose greenhouse we dismantled recently.  I wasn't planning on having guineas, but once Joe said he was getting some, and that they were only four dollars a piece, I couldn't resist.  Since they are still babies, they are living in a cage in the bathroom.  

My mom has been doing some research about guineas, and she tells me they are from Africa, eat insects, and can get along with chickens except during their mating season, when the males get aggressive with the roosters.  I've also heard that they are extremely hard to catch once they are out and about on their own, so I won't have to worry as much about predators eating them.  I also can't get my heart set on where they should roost, since they tend to make up their own mind about where to sleep.  

Since mom told me how wild they are, and encouraged me to work on taming them, I decided that I should spend some time holding them and getting them used to me.  So far, they practically bang their little faces off trying to fly into the cage when I come near.  It's giving me a complex.  But I didn't realize they could fly so well!  I opened the cage, tried to grab one, and it took off through the house!  

Oh, boy!  Ditto, my usually timid cat, thought this was the best thing since catnip, and went leaping through the air with claws extended trying to help me catch it.  I had to tackle him to the ground to keep him from snagging the fluttering bird, and only managed to catch the baby bird when it wedged its self between the bed and the wall.  Whew, too much excitement!  I was panting, the bird was panting, and the cat was panting and frazzled looking.  

Puck was un-impressed with our show.    

Maybe I shouldn't try holding them until they learn to like me a little better.  The farmer who sold them to us told Brandon that guineas could be tamed with millet.  I made a special trip to the co-op for millet seeds, but as far as I can tell, the keets don't really like them.  I had a little better luck with a cut up boiled egg, but they still don't trust me enough to eat it in my presence.  I think I'm going to take their food bowl away from them for a little while and see if hungry keets are more willing to take food from a stranger.  


Anonymous said...

Just try to keep them alive. Guineas are suicidal and crazy. They are great at staying alive as adults, but will take the (future) keets into the brush/woods and lose them en mass to predators and exposure. The ones I hatched under Audrey (the game hen) for Mom are still alive, but mainly because they were raised by a hen and think they're chickens. The ones she bought from a friend and have kept constantly in a large pen/cage are alive but wild. The established flock just roam the hills and even get out on the road to play dodge car. Still they eat ticks like crazy! I even hear that they keep coyotes away because of their hurtful, canine unfriendly cry.


rain said...

Suicidal and crazy, wild, in the road, bothering the neighbors, horrible noises - what have I done?!

Do you have the guineas that Audrey hatched?

Anonymous said...

No, I left it at Mom's as she is pleased to have ONE tame-ish Guinea. Also, Dan's allergic to Guinea eggs. Very weird, as nothing else I've ever found makes him upchuck. He's fine eating the meat. Regardless, it's something to think about in the future if you want tame-ish Guineas, have your chickens hatch and raise them.

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