Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ninny Hens

Sometimes, especially in the winter,  guinea hens can be so frustrating.  The just don't have the winter savvy of the other poultry (of course they did come from tropical Africa) and they are  wilder and less herd-able than chickens.  Just now, when I went out to  do the chores, I discovered the wind had blown the coop door wide open. It is beautiful and sunny out, but with a bitterly cold wind. For some reason, three guineas had decided to go out into the cold today and were walking noisily through the yard, probably complaining about the cold.
Zinnie always helps me with the chores. It must be the border collie in her; she likes to keep the chickens  together in a group. The chickens oblige by gathering together and immediately dispersing as soon as she leaves.  Zinnie spotted the guineas in the snow and tried to herd them together, but they freaked out. Two flew onto the fence and one flew up into the crotch of a tree.
I put Zinnie in the house and walked up behind the two on the fence - they flew down to the ground and ran into the coop.  Then I got a long stick, walked around behind the tree and nudged that guinea on the butt with the stick, hoping he would fly down too.
Instead he flew way up higher into the tree. Aargh!
(I have terrible memories of four guineas hanging onto a wildly whipping tree branch through a blizzarding night, and ultimately falling out of the tree frozen. Three of them died.)
I scattered some  cracked corn on the ground, hoping he sees it and comes down to eat or just return to the coop. Probably my best strategy is to not go out until he feels safe and comes down of his own accord.  Cross your fingers.


Bethany Ringdal said...

Not the brightest birds in the coop. And people say turkeys are dumb...

katiegirl said...

Ahh guineas. Such weird little birds! For the most part, I don't miss having mine, although now and then I'll miss their silly antics. Hopefully your rogue guinea will come down before he freezes!

Susan said...

This morning the rogue guinea was in the loafing shed with the cows and the wild chickens- at least out of the wind. Tonight when I did chores he had found his way back to the coop with the other guineas.