As I headed out the door late yesterday afternoon, uttering the words “I’m going to do my ‘farm chores‘”, I knew exactly what I’d be writing about this Thankful Thursday. I’ve always dreamed of living on a farm, and even though ours is small, I’m thankful that dreams really do come true, especially when I thought this one never would.
Only sometimes those dreams can turn out to be a little more challenging than what you expected (be careful what you wish for?). Before we get to the whys of that statement, say hello to our latest farm additions: guinea hens!
I wish I had better photos, but these little cuties are even more timid than the chickens. When they hear us coming, they run and hide behind their brooder heater. The heater is only for the overnights which have still been cool at times here, so once we get into hot weather, we’ll be taking that out, and they’ll have to go back to just hiding in the corner (where I can photograph them like I did in the first shot before we put it in)!
We decided to get the guineas for two main reasons: they are supposed to be even better at eating bugs than chickens (especially ticks), and they are also “watchdogs” of a sort, for the chickens. They will sound a warning if predators come in the area. So, when the dogs are in the house, watching TV on the couch, or sleeping on the dog beds, the guineas will still be on guard outside (they will free range just like the chickens). ????
Add a third reason: most of what I read about them made them sound really cool. The chickens are already entertaining to watch, apparently the guineas are even more so. They will sound an alarm when anything strange comes into their territory. They might even put Luke to shame.
Which brings me back to my original story: While I find it hard to imagine these timid little birds defending our yard, I find it very easy to believe that they will make a fuss if anything different comes along. Right now the Dadz and I are included in the “something different” category.
First on my list of chores was giving them fresh food, water, and bedding. They are currently in a dog crate inside the chicken coop. When I go in to do this, they completely freak out (truthfully, they freak out when we just go in the coop…they completely freak out when we actually reach into the cage).
Now, the “keets” as the baby guineas are called, were almost two weeks old when we brought them home last Saturday. They are still very tiny, but they can jump, and they try to fly. So one jumped up onto the edge of the cardboard lining the crate, and went right through the bars.
On top of this, the chickens had decided they needed to help me with my chores. They were milling around, and the keets are a bit afraid of them still too. They were no help; and the Dadz had just left for his run, so I had to handle this on my own. Keep in mind, the little escapee had no desire to be caught. I quickly chased all the chickens out of the coop, and closed both doors. I blocked the little one from hiding behind the cage, so he (or she) was forced to go into the open coop. Only he immediately went behind the chicken’s roosting board, difficult for me to crouch under, or behind their food and water dishes.
A chase ensued and I finally won! I think I even managed to hold my patience in and not raise my voice or curse (knowing any additional noise on my part would not help was probably the motivator for that). This probably would have made a very entertaining video, watching me try to chase down one tiny little bird. In retrospect it was funny, even though a bit frustrating!
Mission accomplished. From that chore, I went down to water a few things in the vegetable garden. Even though we got almost 3 inches of rain last Saturday, the ground has already been drying up quickly. We haven’t had time to set up any kind of watering system for the garden yet (probably because we keep getting distracted bringing home cute little birds), so this meant hauling full watering cans down. As a side note….I am proud that I take this homesteading/organic farming stuff seriously. I sometimes fill my watering cans from the dog pool before we dump it, and other times from the chickens’ water when we’re changing it. I am all about conserving water, even though we actually have three wells on this property!
As I poured water on my carrot crop, I heard a rustling close by. I turned to see “our” large doe retreating into the woods. I hadn’t even seen her, and she probably hadn’t even seen me at first either. The challenges of my dream receded as the peace of life on the farm filled my soul. I am thankful indeed.
(I’ll have a future post where I’ll tell you a bit more about the guineas, our plans for them, and what they will look like when they grow up!)
Thank you to Brian’s Home for hosting the Thankful Thursday blog hop. Please visit other blogs through the links below.
GROOVY GOLDENDOODLES says
Girlfriend, when I read your posts I feel guilty even thinking I’m tired living in the city with only two dogs! Enjoy your life my friend!
Jodi Stone says
I love that you are living your dream, and finding peace and beauty in what you are doing. Isn’t that what we all want?
I saw a Doe this morning on our walk. She was at the end of the street, far, far away from me, and we just watched each other for about a minute. It was totally cool. Also, there was a rabbit probably about 6 feet away from Sampson, and I kept whispering, “Go, go!” Before the big guy saw him. Thankfully, he did. 🙂
As much as I love seeing the wildlife around the yard, I hope not to run into any of it when we’re out walking in the woods! Therefore, I tend to talk loudly to the dogs a lot when we are out there. 🙂
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
I love love love guinea hens!! I used to have them and miss them. Where did you get yours? I am jealous.
We had read they were hard to come by, and that turned out to be right! Hubby joined a couple local farm/garden Facebook groups and that’s where we finally saw some for sale. It was about an hour’s drive one way to get them. I’m so glad to hear you had them and miss them! Some websites weren’t too encouraging about them, but we thought they sounded really cool.
Plus since they are hard to come by, we’re thinking we might breed some next year, which might be fun!
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Each year I ask the hatchery here where I get my mallards if they have any and they say no. They shouldn’t advertise them then, I used to get mine at livestock auctions but that place doesn’t do that anymore. They are so ugly they are cute. I love their heads. They keep rats away too and that is why I had them. They would make the rats move to the neighbors. They are very loud and can be annoying but when they see an intruder I want to know about it so I didn’t mind them. The dogs loved to chase them and they flew into near by trees to get away. Then they migrated to the neighbors barn which was much nicer in the winter came back in summer then after a few years they stayed there and now they finally all died. They breed once and had a couple babies put the heavy rains killed them. 🙁
Forest Poodles says
Sounds idyllic! I’m so pleased for you! I didn’t know guinea hens were guard birds. I thought geese had that market cornered! Thanks for teaching me something new! I look forward to seeing them grow!
Thank you! Someone told us about guineas so we started looking into them, and found out they could be guard birds. I can’t wait until they’re old enough to start patrolling the yard! 🙂
That story made me smile (but I am glad you were finally able to capture the little stinker)! I can’t wait to see what these little ones look like as they get bigger!
Me too! They are tinier than we thought they’d be, so I wonder if they are going to be as big as the chickens or not. It’s going to be an experience, that’s for sure. 🙂
Miss Harper Lee says
Love the photos, but if only we could have seen a video of you chasing the escapee. 😉 Seriously, your farm sounds like heaven. Please keep the stories coming so we can enjoy it from afar.
Thank you so much, I’m so glad you are enjoying our stories! I’m sure we’re going to have a lot more fun stuff to share (no videos though – not of me anyway – LOL!).
Little Binky and Granny says
They are adorable <3 Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend 🙂 <3
They look so adorable! Welcome to the farm! 😀
Mary McNeil says
When there were guineas on the farm where I was a kid, they liked to fly and would sit on the wires just like a smaller bird. It was a bit disconcerting to step out the back door and see one up there.
I can’t wait to see what they’re like when they get bigger. They seem so tiny now, I wonder if they’ll be as big as the chickens? They sure sound like they’ll be interesting anyway!
Mary McNeil says
They were chicken sized, definitely. At least the size of regular old chickens in the 1950s. Seems like they had a funny call too – but that was along time ago. I think you will enjoy them !
LOVE LOVE LOVE! Among my life goals, for sure. And guinea hens are hilarious!!
Thank you!! We are certainly looking forward to the entertainment they will hopefully provide. 🙂
The Island Cats says
We don’t know much about guinea hens so we look forward to seeing and hearing more about them. How cool that you are living your dream.
All the times I’ve said I wish I could live on a farm, I never thought I really would, of any size or form! I’m so glad you are enjoying hearing about it all.
Edie Chase says
We’ll have to get you a gopro camera. I would have loved to have seen you chasing that little keet. ; )
Heeheehee. Even better, you should have seen both hubby and I chasing three of them yesterday!
M. K. Clinton says
I know how excited you must be to see your farm coming to life! What other animals are planning on adding??
We talked about goats, but that would probably not be until next year at the earliest, that might require more space (indoor barn space) than we have right now. Maybe ducks if we ever get our pond. Right now, the only others we’re actively pursuing are some barn cats.
It’s wonderful you are fulfilling your dream!
Well they certainly are all adorable – but you’re right, that little one with the stripe on its head is super “awwwww” cute! I have a feeling we’ll be hearing about a lot more farm adventures over the weeks and months to come – and I, for one, am looking forward to them!! 😀
I am so glad you are enjoying our stories! I’m sure we’ll have lots more to come as the guineas grow and eventually venture out (if we can manage to keep them in for a bit longer – LOL).
Two French Bulldogs says
So much fun! I wouldn’t mind enjoying farm life
Lily & Edward
Brian Frum says
Those little critters sure are cute! i hope the chasing slows down a bit. Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!
Pooh and her Pooch says
I love guineas and they are very good to have for the reasons you have mentioned. I wish we could have some but where we live they are not allowed. Chancy will have to keep being our watch dog and the opossum than hangs out at our place will have to continue taking care of the ticks. Nice to meet you all. This is our first time for the blog hop and we like your blog. Hugs and nose kisses Chancy, Pooh and Mags
Thank you so much for coming by to meet us! We will be by to visit you soon….we’ve been a bit busy trying to keep things under control here. LOL ♥
Monika & Sam says
I love that you have a flight squadron of protectors for your chickens! How cool is that?!
Hopefully they live up to our expectations. 🙂
oh how cute they are …. I wish them all the best and a happy and long life at your farm :o)
while watching your cute chicks I feel somechicken-fever… I always wanted guinea fowls, because of the funny noises and their weird look… they also would make a good weapon against our dramacula neighbor hehehe
Thank you! Oh, you should definitely get guineas – I’m sure your neighbor would LOVE them – BOL!!
Shadow and Ducky's Mom says
The keets are adorable! Too bad the Dadz wasn’t there to video you chasing the brave one around the coop! That must have been an entertaining sight! Kinda like me trying to get the Kong Bounzer toy from Ducky out here in the yard. ???? I’m not fast enough most times, and there’s no place for her to hide, either. LOL.
So, what’s next? Some female goats to get milk from? Or sheep? Maybe a calf or two? I’m enjoying watching your little farm grow into your dream fulfilled!
Heehee, you never know what might show up here next! We’re not planning for anything big right now though, as I said to my hubby the other night “one thing at a time is all I can handle”. LOL
Both hubby and I got to chase the keets last night when we moved them into bigger digs – even funnier with both of us I imagine! 🙂
Roby Sweet says
Sounds like a lot of work, but very satisfying. That must have been some chase! 🙂
They’re gorgeous! Your place sounds lovely.
I can’t help laughing at the thought of you chasing one tiny bird about. Small things can be the hardest to catch – not least because we’re afraid of hurting them unintentionally.
You are right about that. I read that their little legs are very fragile, so I was so worried about hurting one of them! They are fast little things, that’s for sure! Both hubby and I got to chase them last night when we tried to move them to a bigger crate. 🙂