The Cottage Smallholder

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Spot the difference: Guinea Fowl 1 – 2 Humans

Photo: Spot the difference

Photo: Spot the difference

After much thought, I decided to use a nine foot bamboo cane to close the door to the Emerald Castle. This would put me at a distance and I might not seem so threatening to the birds. Deluxe bird food almost tempted the guineas inside. Thunder let his wife feed in the castle grounds whilst he just stood at the door, his head revolving between the end of the rod resting on the door and the squat human wearing pyjamas and wellingtons on the other side of the wire. If I retreated he would step inside with legs primed like giant springs ready to leap for freedom when I reappeared.

I twigged that the guineas needed to get used to having the bamboo rod in the run. So I closed the door to the castle grounds, leaving the rod in place. The next evening when the chickens were happily settled in the chicken house, I stepped into the run closed the chicken house door and scattered a tempting feast of tomato plant shoots and wild bird seed in the Emerald Castle grounds. The guineas stared in through the wire for a minute, desperate to get in to hoover up the goodies. Drawing their beaks up and down the wire netting with little ‘prings’ of anticipation and delight.

I opened the castle door and sat down on the other side of the hedge to eat supper with Danny. Every now and then I peered at the guineas through the cover of D’s giant potato plants. Cloud was happily scratching in the castle grounds with Thunder on guard.

By the end of supper they were both inside the castle grounds absorbed in scratching the gravel for worms. So I crept down the garden and approached the run down wind of the birds and, with a happy prod, closed the door. The absorbed prings stopped in an instant. Two outraged, Kaiser helmeted heads watched me walk away.

The next morning, there were shrieks of rage from the castle grounds.  Danny was upbeat, searching for his gauntlets and preparing a small hamper for transporting the guineas to their new home.

But catching the happy pair was no quite as easy. Cloud took fright at the gauntlets and broke out of the castle grounds. Humans and guineas can both run fast but guineas can fly. Eventually I caught Cloud, Danny grabbed Thunder and we popped them into the hamper and secured the lid.

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  1. Chris-North Wales

    We have nine GFs and they do make an almighty racket but we nevertheless enjoy having them around. Seven young ones recently purchased have now joined our two veterans.
    We have one of the older birds limping around at the moment, obviously with a sore foot, but I have no real chance of catching him without a James Bond style jet pack on my back. As previously posted, GF’s are surprisingly quick on and off the ground and rarely venture nearer than 3 metres from us even when have goodies for them. They all roost in a holly tree and chatter throughout the night, especially the females. I suspect the old guys wonder what hit them when the new girls arrived.
    If anyone has ideas re a GF chiropodist, please let me know

  2. Veronica

    I loved reading this — I was on the edge of my seat throughout 🙂 Danny’s description of the hellish noise of rural life was fun too!

  3. Danny Carey

    The peace and quiet is golden. The chooks are really relaxed and all is well with the world.

    My work means that I am often on teleconferences with teams from India, USA, UK and the Philippines with the window onto the garden open on a warm day. Those Guinea Fowl produced the same decibel level as a teenage elephant. On bad noise days, you could hear the Min Pins yapping, the GFs giving it everything and the USAF screaming overhead on their flight path to Lakenheath and Mildenhall (special missions only – we know before CNN do!).

    I only hope that folk in Manila have no idea which participant’s environment is generating that weird background noise. I never, ever admit anything!

  4. Michelle in NZ

    After which you had a wee collapse into a comfy chair? or sat on top of the hamper in huge relief!

    Thunder and Cloud may not have thanked you, but I’m sure they’ll love their new home. And your chookies will be heaps happier.

    Zebby is sleeping – cats are good at that. Hope you’re feeling brighter,

    care and huggles, Michelle xxx

  5. Pamela

    And you didn’t think to film this little escapade? It would have made hilarious viewing on You Tube! I’m glad you won in the end. It seems that patience really is a virtue.

    Have the guineas gone to their new home now?

  6. Domestic Executive

    Great news you’ve captured them so they can move onto their new life. I did wonder whether they roosted like chickens so you can capture them at night. Obviously not!

  7. Joanna

    Hilarious! Oh boy makes me wonder what we are going to be like when we get around to having animals.

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