September 16, 2013

The Guineas Big Day

Six weeks inside, no going out. That's what I read. This is what it was supposed to take for "home" to imprint on my guinea keets so that they would come in to roost at night, rather than find refuge in the trees.

The bravest Guinea (on the right) takes a peek at the big outside world.

This is important because we have so many predators, all willing to eat them.

It took several hours, but they finally all made it out the door.

They are the funniest things; cautious and always moving as a unit.

Out the door and looking around.

It took nearly three hours before they finally dared to venture out!

They finally worked their way around the posts and fence, and
into the sunshine. 

The first day I let them out in late afternoon, for just a few hours. They were uncertain about the fence in front of the door and had to be coaxed back inside at dinnertime. Fortunately they have learned the sound of the birdseed millet being shaken in the container. That got their immediate attention and they were ready to follow me anywhere!

The next day I let them out around noon and it didn't take long before they were out and exploring. They made their way to the front of the quarter acre buck pasture and discovered goats and chickens! Best of all, they made their way back to the buck barn all by themselves in the early evening. Food, water, and their beloved mirror are in the barn and, of course, that's where they get their "treat."

Day three I let them out earlier still, and they spent it in busy search and eat activity. I understand guinea fowl have quite a range and I'll gradually expand where they're allowed, unless they figure out now to jump fences before that. As long as they can find their way home at night, I'll be happy.

The Guineas Big Day © September 2013 


Quinn said...

Leigh, I am following your guineafowl experiment with great interest! I hope it continues to go smoothly :)

Farmer Barb said...

I'm BACK!!! I had to "stop following" the old address and then enter the new one and it solved the issue. I have so much READING to do!
You will find with the guineas that they will learn how to fly hop sooner than later. After that, you might be shaking that millet over at the neighbors' house. They will be squawking up a storm once they are comfortable. I love how they move around like a school of fish!

Willow said...

Guineas are on of the funniest creatures .I could watch them for hours. The best watch dogs too. You are right though if they don't come in they are such easy pickings at night. Owls around here seem t tree roost at night.o snap them up if they

Renee Nefe said...

Looks wonderful!

badgerpendous said...

Congratulations on the next phase! What do you think your next animal acquisition will be?

Woolly Bits said...

hm, maybe them moving as a flock can be a disadvantage too - if one of them goes off, the rest might follow? I hope it works out well for you without any losses. they do look pretty now with those "spots" on the plumage!

Leigh said...

Quinn, thank you! I'm so glad we got them. They are truly fascinating (and amusing) birds.

Barb, yay! Thank you for figuring out the following thing for my change of blog address. Google didn't give me a heads up on that one.

Moving like a school of fish. Such an appropriate comparison! And they did their first fence hopping today, fortunately only into our fenced areas!

Willow, we have owls too, so that is a huge concern. So far so good on coming in at night!

Renee, thanks!

Badgerpendous, it's a relief to be going well, LOL. Not sure when we'll be ready for more animals, but someday pigs and honeybees (maybe turkeys).

Bettina, they did some new things today and I admit I wondered! The new tricks are hopping fences and situating themselves on the roof of the buck barn. Fortunately everyone went in to roost! That was a relief.

Tina T-P said...

How fun to watch them discover the world at large. It sounds like their imprinting was successful. The sound of that millet can too :-) T.

Madness, Trouble, Squish and Milkbone said...

LOL. I'm glad it's going well with the guineas. Fun days ahead...

Bill said...

Glad to see they're enjoying their freedom, even if tentatively at first. If they're anything like ours were, they'll soon be ranging far and wide!