Okay. I know it’s been a while. Okay, a long while! But now that I have managed to pull myself out of hibernation (I wish!) I’ll get busy posting again. Daily life seems to take over everything and before you know it, it’s time to crawl back into bed.
I’m trying really really hard to enjoy what I hope is the last snowfall of the winter. We have been blessed with this winter wonderland that just won’t go away! It starts to melt and you catch a glimpse of green grass trying to peek out and then WHAM! You get dumped on all over again. Sigh. I’m so looking forward to spring. But I must admit, it is beautiful. As long as you can enjoy it from inside the house with a hot cup of tea. The birds don’t seem to mind the cold weather. I’ve never seen this many cardinals, bluejays, doves, bluebirds, and all kinds of other little birds. They have an all-you-can-eat buffet in the pasture. Whatever the ducks and chickens leave behind, they get to enjoy. And the cardinals really like the bush next to my office window. I get to take pretty pictures of them all day long! Even when it’s too cold outside for the ducks, the birds are eating away! Lucky little birds!
Aside from the weather, we’ve had some guinea grief. We bought 6 guinea keets back in September of last year. They were raised in the chicken coop with our 13 hens. Everybody got along great, the guineas would even curl up underneath the hens’ wings at night to sleep. But all good things must come to an end. One day last month the guineas turned evil. Really evil. They would gang up on the Golden Buff hens and attack them. Not just pecking order, I’m the boss type of attack. This was fight to the death. Poor girls! We tried feeding the guineas more protein (raw deer meat) since they do require a higher percentage of protein than chickens. No luck. We started chasing the guineas out of the pasture. They flew back in. We separated the chickens and guineas. The guineas were now sleeping in the barn and the chickens were locked in the coop (fenced in area) all day. Very unhappy chickens. I did some research and found out other people have had problems with guineas attacking their hens once they hit the reproductive age. And they really don’t like red chickens. Go figure. I guess they are more “wild” than the other poultry and play by a different set of rules. They do much better in larger groups of their own kind. Plus I found out that they can mate with my hens. Yep, we could have little guickens running around. They would be sterile, but still. So we did what we had to do. At least for us. We butchered them. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my guineas. Their obnoxious “buckwheat” all day long, how they would fly out and come up to the porch to stare at themselves in the glass (they love to admire themselves, very egotistical birds), how they would follow you around whenever you were out in the yard working. They were our babies and we raised them into these creatures that they had become. We could have rehomed them, but there’s a good chance they would have tried to fly back home here. Or they may have attacked someone else’s hens. Nope. They are now in the freezer. Except one. We popped him into the smoker and enjoyed some smoked guinea. Light meat, sort of like a cross between chicken and turkey. And for all of you out there that think that I’m being cruel… do you really have any idea of where your meat comes from and how it is being raised and treated? Unless you don’t eat meat. That chicken sandwich you pick up at the drive-thru used to be a live chicken (at least a small part of it did!) and it wasn’t allowed to run around and pick bugs out of the grass and enjoy the sunshine. Watch the movie Earthlings. A very good documentary on Netflix. You’ll never look at meat the same way. So anyway. We gave our birds a good life and they gave us a good meal. They died humanely and not in vain.
Okay, so we lost 6 guineas. But we also gained a dozen (or so) Muscovy ducks, 2 Toulouse geese (a mating pair), and a couple of parakeets for in the house. Spring is around the corner – I saw a groundhog playing in the yard! Time for some ducklings and baby geese?!