I became a mom again on Tuesday....to 11 baby guinea fowl! Baby guineas are called "keets", and there is no way to identify their sex until they get older. I still don't know how to tell males from females, other than by their call. Females have two distinct sounds, and males just make one sound. They are fairly noisy birds, but at this stage they just peep. They sound a little bit like the peeper frogs we get in Nova Scotia in the spring.
I held one up so you can see how small they are. Our neighbour's hen hatched them on Monday and then she gathered them up to give to us (the neighbour, not the hen!)
Right now their home is a big box with a heat lamp to keep them really warm. It's important for them not to get wet or cold. When they are about 6 weeks old, they are old enough to go "free range" but they'll be cooped up here for the fall and winter and we'll release them in the spring. If it's anything like this year, the local fox family will be well fed.
We got our first batch of guineas shortly after moving here, on the advice of the local people. The theory is that they eat ticks, but I'm not too sure about that. In the summer, I can go down to the coop and pick 25 ticks off the chicken wire around the coop....I think I catch more ticks than the guineas. But I don't eat them (neither the ticks nor the guineas).
So, despite the fact that I didn't think I really wanted any more of them, we now have 11 keets. Oh yes....and we still have Frank. The one lonely male left from our batch of ten that we started with this year. Frank is going to be a little surprised in a few weeks to get 11 roommates!