One of my little pintades (Ginnea Fowl) has a cold. It prompted a quick sketch and an idea for a character in my future book. But more so, this sudden change of weather had arrived a little quick, finishing the creche pen to avoid drafts was getting me in a fluster. The new birds had also arrived a little unforseen. What I had planned didn’t work out.
We have a lonely collection rosecomb bantham called Billy. Yes it sounds complex and he is. A little terror who shares our hens with Ronnie, a Cookoo Maran with an amputated toe. Long story short, we adopted Ronnie with scaly leg mites and although these nasty parasites went, he was left with nerve damage. A few falls later and gangrene set in.
So the toe had to go. He wobbles. The circulation isn’t good probably due to the gangrene damage but he is happy. Billy acts as second in command and keeps an eye on the girls now Ronnie cannot. It’s an ok relationship. But Billy wants his own hareem.
We ordered eight girls from the local corn feed store along with eight naked necks for our other lonely hearts cockerel Mr Chicken. Rescueing boys means either a bachelor flock or finding hens. We do the latter but like this time, the translations failed and we ended up with eight little vulture Guinea Fowl.
At first I was going to return them but these poor guys would simply be sold for a shooting party or a sad short life laying eggs or be eaten. My home is a forever one and I just couldn’t send them back. I researched and ordered a book on these game birds, finding that they are particularly good at pest control and weed picking. Perfect. I have waste high nettles and a wild field where to some degree my increasing brood of grasshoppers may just need thinning if my veggie patch is to survive next year. Resolving to be adventurous, the pintades were installed into the duck pen along with the other chicks. Heff and Penquin, my two jumbo Pekin ducks, vacated to the main chicken coop with a certain sulkiness. The wiggly, waddle walk is slower and the quacking and protesting when ever I reassured them that it was only for a month, is continuous. Ducks know how to show emotion!
It will be a few weeks yet till the new coop is complete and everyone can find their place. For now the duck garden is being enclosed by wire so the Pintades don’t escape. Apparently they stick together like glue. If one runs they all run. The rule is to release just one or two at a time. They don’t leave the others and learn where home is. Return them to the flock, release the next two and so fourth. I am not so sure.
It’s not easy when your projects get delayed and animals depend on your organisational skills. We always seem to be behind and putting up temporary enclosures and moving everyone around. It’s confusing and sometimes two cockerels bump into each other and the feathers fly.
So our morning are deafening with all the boys competing for an early sunshine slot of crowing. I should really knit the girls ear muffs….I certainly need a set! Apparently the Pintades scream at the slightest panic too. I think the idea of quiet countryside is a myth. Better get knitting!