The Cottage Smallholder

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Our keets have feathered wings

Mrs Boss and keetsThis is the sixth update on Farming Friends and Cottage Smallholder’s interblog guinea fowl breeding event.

The keets are growing up and having fun. They are now eleven days old. A few days ago, the sunlight caught the shafts that were replacing the down on their wings. Now they have vanes on these shafts.

Mrs Boss usually steps onto the ramp to investigate when I approach the run. Her coterie of keets rush out and open their wings, slow and high, showing off their new feathers, before racing about the handkerchief garden.

Three of the keets are still lavender coloured. One now has white wings and a white underbelly and the naughtiest one is white all over. They are still nameless. As their surname has to be Boss, it might be fun to call them Trusting, Generous, Happy, Forgiving, and Witty. Coming from a country where names define religious predispositions Danny instantly categorised these names.
“Those are proper Quaker names.”
Personally I have always liked Quakers and would be happy to own Guinea Fowl with Quaker names.

keets 11 days oldI spent last night boning up, in depth, Sara’s advice for raising keets on her Farming Friends’ site. The Guninea Fowl section has all the information that you need for breeding Guinea Fowl. I discovered that keets love lettuce (finely chopped). At lunchtime I grabbed a small board and knife and plucked one of our precious Cos lettuces. The grain store made a good surface for chopping. Four dogs appeared from nowhere. Perhaps I’d gone mad, forgotten their feeding time and was preparing a snack.

I divided the lettuce between the chickens and the keets in the castle. When I tossed the chopped lettuce into the handkerchief garden. Pandemonium for 30 seconds. The little white one made six circuits of the garden with a fragment of leaf in her beak, looking like a possible contender for the 2012 Olympics. What a shame only humans compete. Meanwhile the rest of the lettuce was hoovered up as I ticked off the dogs for baying outside the chicken run.

I had the camera poised for a superb action shot but unfortunately it whirred relentlessly and eventually produced a screen that explained succinctly, “Battery Exhausted.”

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  1. Its amazing to watch how the mother hen looks after them so well. We bought a bantam and her chicks last summer and in that group there was one that was just so naugty. He wouldnt do what he was told and he could find mischief. Such personalities they have. Its one of the chicks that hatched these eggs. Not sure if the rest will hatch its not really egg hatching weather.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Linda

    How exciting!

    Every time that I see eggs hatching out I’m dazzled. Nature is incredible. Suddenly everything is put into perspective. Life is what it’s all about isn’t it.

  3. Hi
    We just woke up to find 2 baby chicks have hatcehd I was searching the web for information and discovered your blog. Exciting times eh!

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat,

    They are gorgeous, their wings are so neat and delicate. They are looking out into the big run at the other chickens much more now.

  5. Ohhhhh they are growing!!! How cute are they and Mrs. Boss!!! Bet they are lovely dashing about with their prize in their beaks.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sara,

    The keets are such fun, on the go constantly. Mrs Boss looks content for the first time in years. Thanks for giving us this fantastic experience.

    Hi Virginia,

    I loved your video clips in Youtube. I’m going to try giving our keets some chick weed this morning.

    Glad to see that yours are doing well. Don™t they make a racket?

  7. Amanda

    Very good names for them!

  8. Virginia

    Hello Fiona. It’s good to hear how yours are doing. Mine haven’t had lettuce but I’ve given them long pieces of grass with seeds heads which they are craazy for and other bits of green food that they play tug-o-war with. I’m looking forward to putting them in a larger enclosure as soon as they are too big to get through the mesh, 1 inch I think. I’ve put a couple of videos on Youtube if you want to see them … and

  9. farmingfriends

    Hi Fiona,
    I am so pleased that you have experienced the lettuce frenzie – it is a sight to behold. The names sound great and I am so glad that they are doing well. I am thrilled that my info is useful to you. It is a joy to read all about Mrs Boss and your keets.
    Best wishes to you all.
    Sara from farmingfriends

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