The Cottage Smallholder

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Five namless keets

out in the runThis is the fith update on Farming Friends’ and Cottage Smallholder’s interblog guinea fowl breeding event.

I lifted up Mrs Boss’ wing on Friday evening and counted three chicks. Since then, it has been difficult to leave the vicinity of the run and get on with essential daily tasks, such as going to work to pay for the chick crumbs.

The final keet count is five. One pure white and four greyish with a grey brown stripe on their heads. I’ve studied picture of baby keets and can’t work out what colour they are. There are thirteen Guinea fowl colours.

Despite being fifteen miles away from the nearest Mothercare, Mrs Boss seems to have adapted well to life as a cyberchick superstar adoptive mum. She is already getting grumpy when the paparazzi arrive (me, the dogs and the camera).

When she hears the Min Pins thundering past the run, I can hear her rapid clucking. This translates into
“Danger. Cameras. Dogs. Fiona. Keets to take cover”.

Three Good Keets obey immediately but the little white one and her companion in arms stay out until the last possible moment and then dive under Mrs Boss’s downy breast. Not being the brightest of sparks they don’t twig that their day-glo orange legs are still on view. This keet version of musical chairs continues all day.keets hiding

I sometimes shut the dogs in the house and creep down to the run. The keets are often playing in the pocket handkerchief garden with Mrs Boss attentive and close by. The snow white keet and her naughty pal have the most fun, flitting about just out of Mrs Boss’s reach. They are observed by the Three Good Keets hovering under Mrs Boss’s wing.

The keets will be named as we are not planning to eat them. We are having fun with this.
“The dramatic weather heralded the arrival of the keets. How about Lightening (white one) and Storm (white’s friend) the quiet three could be Dew, Mist and…”
“Rain. Rayne, that’s a girls name. I was thinking of poets. We have to have Keats and then there’s Byron, Wordsworth…”
“But they are all men. What about a good mix of politicians, Ming, Mrs Thatcher, Charlie Haughuey.”
“Which one would Haughuey be? Which is the really naughty one?”
At this stage Danny always turns over and falls asleep.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sara,  The keets are doing so well and so is Mrs Boss. This is her fourth summer, so she is getting on a bit in chicken terms. She is tireless and seems to be loving the experience. 

    There will be an official naming of the keets when they are a bit older and we can differentiate between the lavender ones. At the moment thay all look the same. Thanks for the tip on the lavender keets and the white one.  KJ, thanks for dropping by. I love the keets too they are so chirpy and full of life. 

    Amanda, I laughed so much when I saw the two naughty keets doing this. Thank goodness Mrs Boss is here to keep them warm and dry, she must seem like a feather bed and down duvet rolled into one. Hi Michelle, 

    Thanks for the link, much appreciated.
      Hi Kelly-Jane, 

    Chickens are great. Real personalities. And you get eggs. When they go off lay (in the winter) no egg can match the warm ones that you collect from the nesting box. 

    I love the shape of geese. Those long necks and a childhood spent with ‘The Snow Goose’ on the shelf. Unfortunately all the geese that I have met have been pretty wild and not keen to make friends.

  2. Kelly-Jane

    I’ve always wanted to keep chicken or a more specific dream of a goose! They are absolutley gorgeous.

  3. Amanda

    “You aint seen me, right?!” I too love the pic of the keet’s little orange legs sticking out from under Mrs Boss.

  4. The keets are gorgeous. I love the little legs sticking out from under Mrs Boss.

  5. farmingfriends

    Hi Fiona,
    Great to see Mrs Boss and the keets all doing so well. I love the photo of the keet sticking out of Mrs Boss!
    The white guinea is a white african colour and the grey ones are lavender although slate, lavender, lite lavender, powder blue, porcelain and coral blue are all very similar!!
    When I think of names I always try to think of ones that are easy to remember eg, Snowy, Spot etc which are my cats names. I also now think about what it sounds like when I am calling this name out loud, with the possibility that others might hear! I like the weather names. They do sound very fitting. I look forward to finding out what they are called.
    Sara from farmingfriends

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