In a recent post entitled, “10 random thoughts”, I told you about my new guineas. A few months ago when Devin bought the chicks, he also bought me five guineas that I had been asking for, for about a year.
I knew very little about guineas. I knew that they ate ticks, which was the main reason for getting them, and that they were great watch dogs…or watch birds 😉 That was the extent of my guinea wisdom. I have since learned a few more things about these ‘non-chicken’ birds.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my guinea catching episode in the middle of a tornado warning. After that incident I swore never again to mess with them. My momma always told me to never swear, I should have listened.
Last week, while Devin was on a missions trip, he left us a list of 127 things that needed to be done while he was gone. One of the items on his list was to move the guineas from their run, which was getting too small, over to the chicken yard, so they could have more room. My last experience with guinea wrangling was still fresh on my mind, so this time I was a little more prepared. First, I took off all of my jewelry before crawling in on my hands and knees, second, I wore long jeans to protect my legs from the slimy poop, and third, I had a cage ready and waiting to put them in. The biggest difference was, this time I didn’t have Devin telling me, step by step, what to do…in other words he wasn’t there to boss me around! It was just me and those aggravating birds.
As I made my way into the two foot high run, on my hands and knees, I was informing Caleb on what was about to happen. “Ok, this is how it’s gonna go down”, I said with a voice of determination, “I’m gonna grab one guinea at a time, then quickly put him in the cage. It’s your job to hold the lid down so they don’t get out! Understand?” Caleb nodded and readied himself for what was about to take place. As I made my way to the end if the run the guineas began to panic and flap around. I had mentally prepared myself for this reaction. What I had not prepared myself for was the extent and duration of the reaction. As I carefully reached for one of the birds they began to go nuts, screaming and flapping around like I was trying to kill them. I quickly retreated to see if they would calm down and to give my self time to regroup. This was going to be harder than I thought…I took a few deep breaths and gave myself a pep talk. “You can do this!” I said out loud, “all you have to do I grab one and put it in the cage!” I could hear the kids laughing in the background, probably wondering who I was talking to. “Ok”, I said with more determination than ever, “are y’all ready? Cuz I’m going in!”
I reached in to the pile of guineas that were crammed in the back corner and tried to grab one. This time they went even crazier. They squealed, and flapped and flew, until they had me beat half to death, but I was determined to mark this job off Devin’s stupid list! One at a time, by shear determination and a little bit of anger, I caught each bird and put it in the cage. Once all five birds were caught, I slowly crawled out of the run, hot, sweaty, covered in manure…and victorious.
When Devin returned home from his trip I couldn’t wait for him to see that I had moved the guineas, just as he wished. He bragged on my guinea wrangling skills and thanked me for my hard work, then he said, “um, I was thinking, we probably should have left them in their run for a few more days and then just let them loose in our yard.” I couldn’t believe my ears! It made sense to leave them there…because I wanted them in our yard anyway, to eat ticks…I just wish he’d thought about that before I risked getting my eyes pecked out by those crazy birds!
That night, Devin and I went over to catch the birds again and put them back in their run. This time I let him do the catching! I waited with an arrogant grin on my face, knowing that what I was about to witness was going to be hilarious. I stood there, still as a mouse as Devin carefully, quietly, snuck up on the guineas. I waited for them to start going nuts, screaming and flapping…hoping he would get a taste of what I went through. Then the most absurd thing I had ever seen happened…those guineas, that had beat me to death the night before, let Devin pick them up, one by one, without incident! No fussing, or fighting, or flapping. Nothing! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Needless to say I was a little ticked off that the birds didn’t scare him. He says I don’t have enough Indian in me to sneak up on anything, much less a bird.
The next day was the big day. The day we let the guineas roam free on our property. I had visions of them spending the day, leisurely roaming my front yard eating every tick in sight. Well, it didn’t happen quite like that.
By the end of their first day of freedom, my porch was cover in guinea poop! When Devin drove up that day after work he saw them roosting all over my porch furniture, then he saw the poop. Before I could even get to the front porch, I could hear his loud stern voice saying “when I said we could get guineas, this was NOT what I had in mind! These birds are so dumb, they don’t even know to get off the porch!” I rushed outside to protect my birds when I saw he was reaching for the broom. “Hang on now!”, I said, “they’re just babies. They haven’t learned where to roost yet, but I’ll teach them, just give me a little time.” After he walked away I gently shooed them off the porch, again.
The morning was cool and quiet. The only sounds I heard were the birds singing in the trees, and the soft chirp of the guineas as they meandered around the yard. when I went back in the house, I left the front door open as I do every morning. I love to feel the breeze and hear the birds. Devin doesn’t like it when I do this, he says I’m letting the bought air out and the flies in, so don’t tell him ok?. I sat down to watch the news and drink my hot tea when all of a sudden Cassady said, “oh my lord momma! Look!” She was pointing toward the front door with a huge grin on her face. When I turned to see what was so exciting I could not believe what I was seeing. Those crazy birds were coming in!!
I jumped up and started waving my arms and yelling, “shoo! Now get!”
Bless their hearts. They just don’t know.
Thanks for reading. I love you more than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.