September 2, 2013

Kittens & Keets, An Update


The kittens now have names.


Sam does not like hands. He does not like to be petted nor picked up. He will, however, climb into our laps and purr, or sleep on our feet. He loves to play and has amazing stamina! He loves to lick and gives everyone excellent baths.


Katy. I know, I've already had a Katy and I still miss her dearly. But as much as I tried to come up with a new name for our new girl kitten, I kept calling her Katy, so Katy it is. Katy is friendly and affectionate. She loves to be petted and readily jumps into any available lap to purr. She loves to play too, but poops out more quickly than Sam.

Guinea Keets.

The keets are now almost 7 weeks old. They still "peep, peep," but on occasion sound like the rusty hinges on an old screen door. In order to imprint "home" on them (as in where to roost at night), they are still confined to the buck barn. It is so tempting to want to let them out. I find them congregating by the door, looking longingly at the great outdoors, knowing they have a mission out there. Yet, I'm heeding the advice of those who have gone before, and keeping them in their permanent quarters for at least six weeks. I fear that if I don't, they will never come in to roost, and considering that we recently lost a young chicken who was roosting at night in a cedar tree, I'm motivated to see this through. (We suspect the culprit was an opossum.)

They love their mirror

The keets love their mirror and also love their millet. I keep some handy in an old Parmesan cheese container. Our "training", at this point, consists of me shaking the container and calling  "guineaguineaguinea." I then shake a little on the ground and step back. I'm hoping that they will learn to come for their treat, so that I can get a head count at least once a day. If I sprinkle the millet inside the buck barn in the evening, then hopefully I can get them in for the night. Besides possums and raccoons, we have owls I'd like to keep them safe from.

I plan to start letting them out in about two weeks. They'll be 8 weeks old and will have spent 6 weeks in their permanent home. Hopefully, that will be enough.

Kittens & Keets, An Update © September 2013 


Renee Nefe said...

I wonder what was in Sam's past that he is hand shy. I think it's a very good sign that he still likes cuddles though. All that energy sounds like he'll make a great hunter. I love how they're up near your stove, hopefully not too near. I know if I had a nice stove like that I would be there. ;)

I'm sure your keets will be happy with their barn. How do they get along with the boys or are they still solo in the barn?

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Oh what adorable kittens!

Nadine said...

The kittens are sooo cute! It is always interesting when they start getting their own personalty.

HeatherD76 said...

The kittens are soo cute. We just adopted a 4 1/2 month old kitten that we named Abby. her name at the shelter was Edna. She does not look like an Edna. Abby is a bundle of energy and poops out fast too. Right now she is out cold purring away next to me on the bed.

benita said...

I have never been around guineas so will be curious as to what will happen. Do guineas have benefits over normal chickens?

Sam and Katy are so cute. And there is nothing wrong with having a Katy II.

Madness, Trouble, Squish and Milkbone said...

LOL, thanks for the update. The kittens are cute, but then I'm a crazy cat lady so of course I will think so. I can't wait to see how the keets react when they get to go out! Interesting times ahead...

Bill said...

It's wise to try to get the keets to imprint on the place. We tried raising guineas but they insisted on roosting in trees at night (rather than in the barn) and owls picked them off. It was such a frustrating experience that we never tried again.

Woolly Bits said...

your guineas are very pretty now, I love the feathers! why do they need a mirror, if there are so many of them?
and the cats of course are over-cute, I'd not get much done with them around:) maybe Sam was badly treated once and that's why he's so shy of hands? poor thing, but maybe he'll get over it, when he is older and secure around you? how is your "old" master cat with them now?

Seeking Serenity said...

I had to train my cats to be picked up- you will need to for future. I would pick up, then put right down before they struggled so that they didnt think their struggling got me to do it. Lengthening time as it went on. My present kitty was also scared to death of faces and would howl and cry.

Leigh said...

Renee, there's no telling about Sam. He's definitely feeling more comfortable with us and does love a good cuddle.

The keets have the buck barn all to themselves at the moment; the boys are in the front pasture. I worry about what the keets will do when the boys move back in!!!

Alicia, good to hear from you. :)

Nadine, I agree. And its interesting that we've never had two cats with the same personality!

Heather, aw, I love that.

Benita, I think the main benefits of guineas is that they eat a much broader variety of insects than chickens do. I'm told they're superb tick eaters (which chickens don't seem top eat), and even ants (I'll have to witness that to believe it. :)

MTS&M, they have to have updates often when they're little; they grow so fast!

Bill, yours seems to be a common story. I'm hoping desperately to avoid that. We'll see.

Bettina, I read that guineas just love looking at their own reflections. That can be a sliding glass door or a window, or a mirror. Since they're still locked up, I figured it would amuse them, plus, they'll know they can always go admire themselves in the barn!

Peaceful, how strange your kitty was afraid of faces. Sounds like you've got an excellent method for training them.

I have to say that Sam has gotten better. If he sees a hand coming, he ducks or runs, but if he doesn't see it, he's okay. If he doesn't see my hands, he'll purr like crazy when I pet him. Eventually he realizes it's a hand, but by then he's so relaxed and comfy that he doesn't freak out.

Anonymous said...

They must add quite a bit of entertainment :) m.

Doug Pitcher said...

I assume guinea's taste like chicken? ha. Do they lay similar eggs to chickens?

I'm always curious how people decide what animals they are going to care for. We have cows, chickens, ducks, and a dog. We are probably going to get some cats to help control mice. My girls want a horse. We are always reluctant to add to the mix as it seems the more animals we get the more we are tied to the farm as we don't really have anyone around to share in the times when we need/want to leave for a few days.

Leigh said...

Maria, they are immensely entertaining!

Doug, good to hear from you. I don't have a clue as to how guinea tastes. I did read it was not like chicken, LOL.

We got the guineas for tick control mostly. Last year we lost one of our dogs to Lymes disease and had ticks galore. Guineas are supposed to be suburb bug eaters anyway. I agree that every critter needs to have purpose. And it's true they tie you to home. Loving the lifestyle, however, makes it all worth it. :)

Farming Mama said...

I've always been partial to the name katy myself... but then again, i might be a bit biased :) Looks like they are growing nicely and settling in!

Leigh said...

Katy, then she's in excellent company!

Susan said...

The mirror is a brilliant idea! They do tend to get cabin fever, so that should help ease their frustration at not going out. I adore your kittens!