Blasted Fox

We are saying “Farewell to our dear Miss Erma this morning.  Sadly the blasted fox killed our lovely girl last evening.  No more cute, polite ‘Mr. Foxey Loxey’ references for him.  Her was too bold… too cunning.  Jonathan was brush-hogging the field at the barn when he saw Samson take off down over the hill.  He followed, but neither he or Samson could get to Erma in time. 
We will miss our lone survivior.  We will miss the way she ran through mud, as if holding up her antebellum skirt so it would not touch the ground.  We will miss the way she bonded with the sheep and they with her.  We will miss the way she loved to use the window in the barn door as a mirror.
Most of all we will miss Miss Erma’s “buck…WHEAT” greeting.

And Then There Was One

Once upon a time… Sheeps and Peeps Farm was the home to 16 guineas.  They spent their days happily roaming the pastures, eating bugs and noisily chatting away.  Then, one day Mr. Foxey Loxey was seen in the vicinity and mysteriously, one by one, the guineas began to disappear.  Now there is only our dear Erma.

Erma spends her days wandering the pasture looking for bugs…

inspecting farm equipment…

gazing at herself in the ‘mirror’…

communing with the sheep…

and checking inside the barn several times a day to make sure everything is going well.

In a few weeks, Erma will have company because the Peeps are here!  She will be joined in the evenings in the coop in the Granddaddy Green pasture by
**  the colorful, hardy, docile and productive Silver Laced Wyandottes
** the New Hampshire Reds, a pretty, vigorous, cold hardy and very docile breed 
** and the ‘Golden Beauties’, the Buff Orpingtons who have a calm, quiet disposition and heavy, full plumage.
The beautiful and very productive Rhode Island Reds and the White Giants will spend their nights in an enlarged coop by the farmhouse.  So far, all the peeps are doing just great.  We’ll keep you posted.

Sunny Sunday

After Saturday’s miserable weather (blowing snow, 11 degrees windchill), we were all (every one of us) searching for our spot in the sun yesterday.




Everyone, that is, except the guineas… and what were they searching for?  Well they apparently were doing some soul-searching, as they spent hours (yes, hours) Sunday morning staring at their reflections in the side barn door.

Guinea Bandits

The guineas are very excited that the ram lambs are back in the barn paddock.  Twice a day we throw a little grain out for the lambs.  When the guineas hear the grain hit the feeders, they come running, squawking loudly.  Generally they muscle their way right in, stealing a treat of corn and oats.

More Coop Competition

Just minutes before this picture was taken, Samson was nowhere to be found. There was however a large shadow moving inside the guinea coop. Yes, this large dog had gone inside that small door. He made what was apparently an inspection tour and somehow came back out that small door.

The guineas were not home during this visit, but soon came back from their bug hunting to give Samson a somewhat noisy lecture about basic etiquette and manners.

Samson was appropriately apologetic.

Snow Curtain

The sun and wind over the weekend created this fabulous snow curtain over the window on the guinea coop. We were able to enjoy it for a couple days before it gave way to the elements.
There is still about 6 inches of snow in the pastures. We are really hoping that the weather stays mild the rest of the week and some bare ground reappears. Hopefully by Saturday we will be able to move sheep and fix fences so everybody will stay where they are supposed to be. Morning feeding has become quite the adventure.

Guinea Duet

For the last couple of weeks the JV Guineas have shared the coop with the two remaining adult guineas, a male with a slowly healing swollen foot and his lovely female companion. We had a large pen within the coop that the JVs could retreat to when they felt the need. We decided to remove the pen on Saturday so there would be more room and it would be easier to get around with food and water.

Well, for much of the morning, this was the view from outside the coop… no harm done, but not a pretty sight… clearly something needed to be done.

Having read on the Raising Guinea Fowl website how much guineas enjoy their reflection, we decided to give the adult guineas something else to amuse themselves. We installed this little parakeet mirror, and it was an instant hit!

In no time at all, the guinea racket of the usual buck-wheat buck-wheat and CHI CHi Chi chi chi changed to a lovely, almost melodious whistling and singing.

The whole atmosphere in the coop changed. It went from pay no attention to us, we are pretending we are invisible…

to Oh, that is so lovely. Can we be your very attentive and appreciative audience?

Soooo much more pleasant for us all!

Summer Mystery

Those of you who know us are aware that one of us (not mentioning any names) is obsessed with, err… in love with guineas. So much so that she frequently mentions to anyone who will listen that they look like civil war era ladies holding up their hoop skirts when they are running through mud or rain. (Seriously.)

So there has been a lot of distress around here because our guineas have been disappearing, during the day. Now at night they are safely locked up in their wonderful coop, but during the day they are voracious bug-eaters ranging in the pasture and out into the barnyard. We have not had a problem until this summer.

Enter Mr. and Mrs. Fox and family… boldly making daytime appearances about 1/4 mile from the barnyard. Since they have been spotted, seven, (yes – 7, siete, sept, sette, sieben) of our guineas have disappeared… during the day – leaving not a shred or feather of evidence.

Knowing all this, you would think that it would be safe to send above mentioned guinea-lover to the feed store in the pouring rain. Well, think again. Meet the newest PEEPs… Keets. Now you must understand that this guinea lover has even lower keet-resistance when it comes to lavender guineas. And, have you ever seen anything like the other two keets? Having done a little bit of research at the Guinea Fowl Color Chart, I am kind of betting on the Royal Purple.

Rest assured that the Mystery of the Disappearing Guineas will be solved and preventive measures will be taken well before these little keets will be able to make appearance anywhere outside a box… or a coop.

And, NO, you may not (as some have suggested) name them Fox Food.