Thank you, Madeleine L’Engle

Guinea hens at work

For one of my favorite books in the world:  A Wrinkle in Time.  And I know it’s far-fetched, but our three guinea hens are named after the 3 wise women or witches in the book.  Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which.  They are all that are left of our brood of 16.  Mrs. Which, the last one in line, is sporting a broken right leg, thanks to the last dog attack that these hens survived.  To have lasted this long, hopefully they are the smart ones (!) and they seem to know where to go to get shelter and to get the food that I leave for them, as well as scrounging for the leftover grain that the sheep and goats leave.  They are very funny and when they aren’t around I miss them and their calling.

When we got the keets as day-old chicks they were quite the challenge.  They were able to get out of almost any enclosure, and right at the start Josie the Jack Russell ate one that had escaped.  She went on to have a field day with the guineas, and whittled their numbers down to just 5.  They weathered another attack by a local dog, and Mrs. Which ended up with a mangled leg.  And so we have the 3.  I leave feed for them in one of the greenhouses and they do take advantage of it.  They roost in by the sheep in one of the other greenhouses and are on the move during the day through the weeds and the undergrowth.  I hope that we can keep these guys healthy through the winter.  If one of them turns out to be a male, maybe we can get some eggs and hatch them out.  They are really beautiful birds and hopefully they are helping us rid the area of ticks and other troublesome bugs.  And it’s amazing how tolerant the sheep and goats are of them!

Guinea fowl at work, while Max the Goat looks on :*)

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