Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Update: Chickens, Guineas and Bees

It has been some time since I have given and update on the chickens and guineas.  They are doing well and growing fast.  They seem to be eating more and more, which seems appropriate for growing animals.  We have taken a few of the friendly chickens out in the yard while the dog has either been on the leash or in the house.  We would really like to get the guineas “free ranging” so they can eat the ticks, which is the main reason we are raising them.  However, we need some more time for the dog to get used to them so he doesn’t run them away from the yard or worse yet, make lunch out of them. 

One of the guineas is getting aggressive, and starting to go after some of the chickens and peck at them.  It only seems to go after the Black Australorps, so I’m not sure why this is happening.  I really don’t want to make a separate run for the guineas.  Maybe the guineas are still mad about their ghetto coop while the chickens get the chicken condo.  Either way, if it doesn’t stop harassing the chickens, it may get to fend for itself outside of the run permanently!

The bees have turned into a hurry up and wait proposition.  I started going to the bee meetings last September,  ordered my nucs in November, ordered my hive equipment in December, assembled my hives in January and February…and March…and April, but I still don’t have my bees.  As I have been looking on the internet, apparently everyone is delayed in their packages or nucs.  I’m not sure if it was the cold spring we had in this area or what, but I know they want to make sure the bees are strong and in full swing when they send them to us, so I can’t be upset about that. 

I am hoping to work some bees with a gentleman from my church before I get my bees.  I would like at least one hands on experience with bees before being trusted with thousands of bee lives.  I have read from cover to cover the “Beekeeping for Dummies” book, so I have all the head knowledge.  But everyone tells me that I have to learn to roll with the punches with bees, in that they will do everything and anything that they want, so don’t count on normal. 

I’ll keep you posted as my bee adventure gets buzzing!


  1. About one of your guineas chasing your chickens: Years ago I had chickens in a pen and free range guineas. Two of quineas would constantly fly into the chicken yard and chase the chickens. I finally had to put a chicken wire top over the yard to keep those two out. But I really like guineas and am thinking about getting some to, as you mentioned, eat the ticks.

  2. In the off chance that one of your dogs kills one of your birds, Tie the deceased bird around the neck of the offending dog for a day or 2. They won't bother them again. This is experience talking here! WJ