Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Guineas Versus Chickens - The Feud Continues

It was a rather frustrating and sad day today.  This morning middle son came to me after letting the chickens and guineas out of the run to free range, and said one of the Buff Orpington chickens was still laying in the coop.  He thought that maybe it was going to lay an egg.  We went down there to take a look and it wasn't good.  I noticed a little bit of blood on the her side, and then I noticed some more blood in the corner of the coop.  Not wanting to alarm middle son, that fact wasn't pointed out.

The guineas have been chasing after the chickens at times, but usually at night when it is time to close up the run, the chickens and guineas are on their roosts in the guinea ghetto together.  For some reason, the chickens haven't been going into the condo.  I suspect that one of the guineas got mad at the chicken for some reason, and picked on it a little too much.

After getting a pair of gloves, I put the chicken into the chicken condo so she could rest without anyone bothering her.  We placed one of the watering dishes next to her, but we could tell something wasn't right.

Already being late for work, I had to leave.  I got a few phone updates from oldest son during the day that the chicken was moving from place to place in the coop, but he hadn't seen it standing up.

On the way home, I received a final call.  It appeared that the chicken was dead.  It was in a corner of the chicken condo and wasn't moving.  Upon arriving at home, a garbage bag was in hand and we and headed down to the coop.  All three boys followed along.  No time like the present to learn a lesson of life and death.

The chicken was definitely dead, as it's head was twisted around and it wasn't moving.  Picking it up by the leg, it was already stiff.  I guess no fried chicken from that bird.  The good wife had worked the night before, so I don't think she was up to plucking and processing the chicken anyways.  I would have no idea what to do to process the chicken, but the good wife had seen it done growing up in Morocco.  Not that she could have done it, but that is another discussion.

Youngest son wanted to bury the chicken by Stripeless.  The others voted not to bury the chicken, as we hadn't given it a name, other than Buffy, and that was a general term for both of the Buff Orpingtons.

The two Buff Orpingtons at a younger age.

I'm getting really tired of the bullying that the guineas dish out to the chickens.  It is time for them to earn their keep.  The point of having the guineas is to reduce the bug population, and particularly the ticks.  They have been wandering over to the neighbors across the road, and we have been herding them back.  Now they are on their own.  We will let them out in the morning and if they come back at dusk, they will have a place to roost.  If they don't come back, so be it.  Our investment is in the chickens, and we need to make sure they are taken care of and not in a constant state of harassment.

In case you are keeping track, we are now down to 7 chickens and 6 guineas.  We could really use some good news on the poultry front.  How about an egg soon?  That would be good news.

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