Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We Have (Many) New Babies!!!!

This was my first sight of the new Mother &
her keets today
So, today I was in the kitchen making lunch and looked out the kitchen window. OMG! There before me was our guinea hen with all her new little keets scurrying around her. We thought we had lost her since she was gone for several weeks. As it turns out, she was a good guinea mother and was sitting on her nest. I just have to share the darling pictures.

We couldn't get an exact count - between 12 & 14
keets.  She has made up for all our bird losses in this one

So after lunch, we discussed the new family and the risk of living in the wild. We tried to 'herd' the guinea hen but she took off and SCREAMED to put us off. I was almost right on top of her and the chicks when we were walking through the grass but she took off and the chicks scattered and were so quiet that I couldn't find them anywhere.  We left her alone until late this afternoon. Mark saw her in the open pasture so decided he could herd her and the chicks into the Guinea Shack. I checked out the window and there was Mark in the pasture quietly and patiently moving the new family toward the barn. Just about then I saw all the horses coming over with curiosity and they were scaring the new Mother. I went out to help. Mark got the horses away while I kept her moving to the barn. Not long she and the family ran into the seven young guineas and the babies ran to the young guineas and they all calmly walked back to the Guinea Shack!  YEAH! Mission Accomplished!  My man can herd ANYTHING. The babies and Mom are safe and all is well with our world on the ranch.
They are being herded through the pasture back
to the Guinea Shack in the barn.

Almost home!
The young guineas are now free range too and coming home to the Guinea Shack at night...so far, so good. They are really getting big but haven't developed the 'bump' on their heads yet. I wonder when that happens in their development? They accepted the new family immediately so we were happy about that.

As I've mentioned before, we live in the grass hills above a river valley. So we have hills and trees in our area and there is some farming but it is mostly pastureland. We learned from one of our retired neighbors who uses his land exclusively for hunting that he has stationed a camera on his land to see what kinds of animals live there. He said there are bobcats (yikes!!), porcupine, turkeys and deer. We just lost a 'Dot' (sniffle) so we're down to 16. It's a tradeoff that we understand for free range birds. Those that range too far from the safety of the ranch will be in danger. We are curious about what critters visit our place at night - we may get a camera too. Last week when I was driving to town, I saw a very very large cat with a very very large long tail cross the road and jump into the creek just in front of me. I immediately called home to describe it to Mark. He asked me several questions and we concluded that it was a mountain lion. I've never seen one in person before and it was awesome to see such a large powerful cat. Just hope he doesn't come near our ranch.
Another visitor to the country birdbath
       If you click on this picture, you will see the Sandhills
       Cranes flying south over our ranch. There were many 
       more much higher. Migration is in full force.


Anonymous said...

I saw migration for the first time the other day. I just stood on the steps at work and watched it. I have a feeling that they have the right idea!


Matt Gunnet said...

Are the Sandhills Cranes from Southern Pines? You know, that is the sandhills of North Carolina. Perhaps they came from your sister's house. -Matt

Anonymous said...

I saw cranes migrating on Saturday, over Winner. Congratlations on the new chicks. And, be sure to watch out for the mountain lion. I heard that there was one put down yesterday in Western Neb. It was in someones yard up in a tree and a danger to the children. It's a shame to have to do that, but necessary when they become threatening. Sandy