Guinea Hen count – five, four, three, thirty-two, thirty-four…….

We inherited some “free range” guinea hens when we bought our new farm. For those of you who haven’t met these charming creatures, here’s a little information (courtesy mostly of Wikipedia):

They resemble partridges (hmm… we do have a pear tree – could be an interesting holiday card idea! Wonder how I get one to fly up into the tree?!). They are great at eating bugs – and are known as “gleanies” in the UK. And they’re sort of a built in alarm system as they get very noisy when bothered. I have heard that you either really like them or really don’t. So far, I’m in the first camp.

We were told there were five in residence. We only ever saw four. Then, one day, only three. A few days ago our Border Collie, Mobi, flushed them from the border garden. I went to investigate  – and found a nest of 32 eggs! And, we now seem to be back to two pairs (they are said to mate for life so I was glad to see the fourth one re-appear).

If you look closely in the center of the following photo, you can see one of them sitting on the nest.

They lay their eggs in a communal nest. I think two of them were sitting on the nest before Mobi startled them. There is no way they can hatch all these but I have food and special water ready in case they do.

Mobi seems to feel it is his job to move them around. They protest strongly against this – squawking noisily and flying up into trees or onto the fence.

"No sheep here yet so this thing will have to do to practice my herding skills"

Luckily they can get over fences Mobi can’t.

"Hey, where'd they go?!"

Fortunately, he isn’t scaring them off  – they kept returning to the nest area.

And, they keep adding eggs to the nest. Today, I counted 34 or 35. Crazy birds.

We should know soon if there will be any chicks out of all this!

"Safest place to keep away from that crazy dog - glad he's not here fulltime!"

Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 5:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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