Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guinea Drama Won't End!

Two weekends ago I went and got my first hands-on experience with bees.  It was a week day and I was planning to get home in time to go and pick up oldest son from school.  I was running a bit late because it was so fun working with the bees and talking with Pat.  On the drive home, the plan was to come to the house, change clothes real quick, grab a few things and head to school.

I pulled into the driveway and opened the car door.  I heard this horrible squawking coming from the guineas.  I dropped everything and ran down toward the coop and run.  As I ran down towards the coop, I could hear the guineas way down in the woods behind the coop.  Up to this point, they hadn't gone into the woods.  They had staying in our yard when they were free-ranging.  I went barreling through the woods, and down at the bottom of the ravine I could see our neighbor's 7-month old yellow lab standing over one of the guineas.  I yelled at her and she ran off.  Looking around I saw guinea feathers everywhere.  It looked like one of the guineas had gone through a Whiz-Bang chicken plucker.  I looked around and there it was.  It didn't look visibly injured.  I ran up to the house to get a pair of gloves to pick it up, in case it got mad and tried to claw at me.  They have some wicked long claws and don't seem afraid to use them.

As I headed back to the house, I saw one of the guineas by the run and stuck it inside.  When I was running back down to the woods, I saw two guineas out of the corner of my eye.  They were hunkering down under a small bush.  They sure blend in well with their surroundings out there.  I got close and they started to squawk.  As they started making noise, another guinea came walking out of the woods towards the other two.  Soon I had three guineas herding back towards the run.  Once inside the run, it wast back down to the woods to get the injured guinea.

Walking towards the guinea I saw that the neighbor's lab had come back to the guinea in question.  After yelling at the dog I chased it out the back of the woods to another neighbor's road.  The dog seemed to figure out that it was done there and headed home.

Usually the guineas are very skittish and won't let us get near them to pet or touch them.  This one just laid there.  As I reached down to pick it up, it looked up at me.  It didn't move.  I scooped it up and carried it back towards the run.  It just laid in my hands and didn't move.  It must have figured at that point, I was the lesser of the two evils.  The squawking from the other guineas already in the run got it's attention and it started to perk up.  I set the guinea on the ground to open the gate and soon as the gate opened, it stood up and walked in.  It didn't seem to limp or have any other problems.

My watch showed there wasn't any more time to spend looking for the last guinea.  There was still one guinea out there.  I couldn't leave it behind!  I had to find it!  Back into the woods.  I walked around, yelling and calling for it.  Not sure that would have done much, but I thought if it heard my voice, it may know it was safe to come out.  After looking for a few more minutes, the search was called off.

As I walked out of the woods past the run, there was the sixth guinea, standing next to the run wanting to get in with it's friends.  I opened the door and in it went.  All six guineas were safe!

The neighbor's now keep their dog leashed if they aren't there and when it does come over and sees me, it usually runs right home.  It knows I'm not giving up my guineas without a fight!

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