Friday, June 23, 2006

Ten Days and Counting

The keets are now ten days old and about the size of the average day old chick. Their wing feathers are growing longer and they are running and leaping as they flap about, almost reaching to the top third of the bin. A wire cover will soon be in order.
We are making progress with our socialization skills! I can slowly (very important) place my hand down into the bin and rub my fingers together softly without causing a full scale panic fest. The bravest few will come running over and begin scratching and pecking at my palm, climbing right aboard in their enthusiasm. Curiosity and flock mentality dictate that the others must imitate the behavior of their brood mates. Whither one goest, the remainder will soon follow. While my hand is becoming a familiar visitor to their little habitat, they haven't quite seemed to make the connection between it and the rest of my body; if I attempt to make any other movements, they race off squawking to the nearest corner and huddle in mass hysteria as you can see below.
Today I caused quite the stir. A three-ring circus in fact. In the distorted world view of a guinea, any foreign (unfamiliar) object is regarded with immediate suspicion which then progresses to outright fear and ultimately abject terror. All this within the space of a couple seconds. Witness the introduction of a harmless stick innocently inserted into their brooder this morning for a roost. Watch as the keets react as though introduced to a fully grown boa constrictor. See their efforts to meld into the plastic sides of the bin in an attempt to escape. Listen as I groan heavily in disgust. Aaaaaargh.
Alas, we have experienced the tragic side of life with our guineas as well as the comic. We lost one of our frail brood the other day. She was undoubtedly the runt, about half the size of the other keets. Poor thing, she became weaker throughout the evening, so weak that she actually allowed me to pick her up without protesting, and snuggled into my hand to sleep. The next morning she cuddled up with her buddies to nap and never woke up again. I had named her Pipsqueak. Leave it to Anna-Rose to introduce a note of hilarity into the situation, though. When I solemnly explained what had happened, she matter-of-factly pronounced, "It was a dud."
We are now left with fifteen, ten to be sold (if I can find some unsuspecting victims) and thankfully they all appear to be strong and healthy albeit mentally unstable. (Sh! That's our little secret.)
And so our adventures continue. Stay tuned........

4 Comments:

Blogger Marci said...

I love your descriptive words and sense of humor. I am also glad you are enjoying them. Have fun.

10:17 PM  
Blogger mountainfirekeeper said...

Hi Emily!

Sorry to hear about the loss of Pipsqueak. But then again, I'm really impressed with your survival rate of your first chicks and remaining keets. Remember?? I predicted 80% survival would be good for a beginner.

I'm absolutely loving your stories about your poultry adventures. Thanks for you kind words about my garden reports! I'll make you a deal---I'll continue with my garden reports thru the season if you continue with your poultry reports??!!! O. K.???

Our gardens are growing soooooo fast that the pics that I posted are way obsolete. It seems that everything is growing an inch or two each day---especially the sunflowers!!!

Well, best wishes and may God continue to bless your efforts!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

You are easily the funniest blogger I read. It's been ages since I dropped by, and I see it's been ages since you posted. Hope you're just busy and that all is well. I've heard that keets are supremely stupid. Congratulations on raising some normal keets :)

2:59 PM  
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