It’s not my intention to become a poultry farmer, but raising chickens and Guinea hens at the same time has made me feel like one. I’m sure it would have much easier if a) I knew what I was doing and b) I’d done things in the proper order (read Waiting for the Ranch…and no, it still hasn’t come). My version of a familiar old saying is “Don’t count your chickens before you have a coop.”
Somehow though, they’ve all survived my inexperience and over- eagerness, at least thus far. At six weeks, the chickens are now enjoying full run of the garden every day, to the point where I’d like to have a little talk with them about sharing. (You’re welcome to some of the lettuce, but my goodness! And no, the pepper blossoms are not for snacking!)This has resulted in plans for their very own chick subdivision, adjacent to but separate from the vegetables. We’ll set up the compost in with them so that they’ll have plenty to munch on without eating ours! They are delightful, however, so funny and busy! They spend most of the morning snooping around every nook and cranny of the garden, and when one of them happens upon a prize find, such as a worm or a beetle, she immediately starts running and the others will chase. It’s pretty hilarious.
The Guinea Keets are now four weeks old and cute as ever, but they won’t be set free for a little while yet. Since they are wild fowl, the point of raising them in the first place is so that when they do leave the coop, they won’t just take off into the wild blue yonder never to be seen again. Instead, they’ll stay close to do what they do, which is to eat ticks, mosquitos, aphids, flies, and all manner of bothersome creatures that plague us and the garden.
They’re supposed to be tame to the point where you can hold them, but they still run to other side of the pen whenever I come to change the water and feed. I’ve discovered, though, that they love lettuce so much they’ll come snatch it out of my hand if I hold it out to them. They are ravenous little creatures. It’s hard to keep their dish filled up! Updates to follow when its time to release them. I guess even the chicks and keets have to grow up. (sigh)