Two new guinea hens! Delivered in a feed sack.
Of my remaining guineas (three died before maturity), I´ve been thinking I have only one hen. Maybe. They all have wattles.
I just got it explained to me though, that they do all have wattles, and the gender difference in guineas shows in the SIZE of the wattles. And their overall size. So yes, I have one hen (had).
Regardless, I wanted to even out the numbers some by adding a couple of hens. That would make three hens and two cocks; a better ratio. They arrived this evening.
I carried the sacked birds to the greenhouse in my arms, their little feet holding on to my hands through the bag.
I set them down in the greenhouse.
My hens immediately showed an interest.
I brought in the chickery and placed it around the bag.
The screen doors are off their hinges at the moment, so I used one of those to rest on top of the chickery cage for a lid. I tipped it up to reach in and slide them out of the bag. They were peaceful in the bag, but after being back in the light came on like a couple of jumping beans.
They were not happy about being caged. Not one bit. Racing up and down the walls in agitation.
Uh oh. One´s a guy! That doesn´t help at all!
He´s quite a bit bigger than her, with much bigger wattles.
It took about a tenth of a second for my original guineas to discover the interlopers. They popped their heads in the GH before I turned around.
And then, sure enough, the males squared up at each other through the screen, vigorously pecking at the barrier. Back and forth, like a typewriter.
The originals were quite worked up, and there was much scampering in and out of the greenhouse (Did you see them? Take another look!), but not a lot of noise.
I left them to it.
My big plan was to wait until it got dark enough for the originals to head for bed, whereupon I would shut them in the greenhouse, release the newbies, and they would have overnight to work it out together in the confines of the greenhouse. I was sorry about the zoo cage, but it was only for about an hour, and I didn´t want to risk the new ones taking off in fright and getting lost.
Maybe I shouldn´t have over thought it. A little later, a little darker, I shut the greenhouse doors and lifted the screen door/lid off the new arrivals who were ready to blast out. Hen first, they burst out, flew across the room and skidded to a stop right into the group. They came to a halt, silence fell (!), and all of them proceeded to stand there looking around suspiciously, like they always do.
What? Oh, we know each other. We´re cool.
In three seconds, the new birds are indistinguishable from the old ones. They´re just hangin’ out like they´ve never spent a day apart.
I thought they were going to fight. Maybe they were just excited.
Well, that was easy.