Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's all about the hens

We arrived home last week to find one of the hens on top of the coop. (S)he was squawking up a storm, marching back and forth across the roof. It was late in the day, and I think she was lodging a very verbal complaint about the lack of food service at the farm. To our knowledge, this was the first time one of the hens got on top of the roof (and believe me, they leave evidence behind whenever they go somewhere).Our guinea hen adventures continued this weekend when we released the second batch of keets. Bets were on about how long it would take the second batch to leave the coop. (the first batch of 3 hens waited three days before they decided to brave the big outdoors).

DIL and Miss M were visiting for the weekend, and DIL's bet was that they would all come out the day we opened up the doors. John and I both thought it would take longer. It turns out that DIL was right.Here they are, all exploring together. The 3 larger hens are in the lead at this point, with the 6 smaller ones following.You can't really tell by the photo, but the larger birds are starting to grow wattles and they now have bumps on the top of their heads...I'm not sure what the bumps are going to grow into.We found it to be all rather exciting and watched them for quite a while.Our little ones are MUCH more adventurous. Not only did they come out of the coop, they flew all over the place.We were excited to see this little one on the railing.And then this little one got on the top of the coop (it took 6 weeks before the larger hens did that!)And later in the day, here are not one...but two of the little ones in the trees. John thinks I'm crazy, but I'm quite attached to my guineas. I'll likely be devasted when we start losing them to predators (or maybe our own dogs). Now when I go out to feed them in the evening I have 9 of them all waiting for me at the top of the hill. They all follow me down to the coop to be fed. They'll all be quite disappointed next spring when their free meal deal stops and they have to eat up all the bugs they find on their own!

And, to prove that it's really not all about the guinea hens...Isn't this view spectacular? That's our backyard!

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