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New Guard Dogs and the rest of the menagerie!


We have two Guinea Fowl left of our flock which originally numbered about eight. We inherited two when we moved here and as they were devoted to each other and quite elderly we decided that a few more would soften the blow to the survivor if one died! So we hatched a few more.
This brought the total up to eight who bonded together nicely apart from one white one which was always the outcast and disliked by the others.
Eventually this one just disappeared, perhaps it just decided that life would be better elsewhere or perhaps it became prey to the fox. Whichever, we never found it again. Over time we ended up with three – two boys and a girl. Only other Guinea Fowl know which is which but hopefully we will have some of each! Sadly our last girl got run over on the road and the other two sat beside it while the cars went round them, really sad. We knew it was a girl as no eggs appeared after she was gone.
Because we have trouble with foxes here, nipping in and taking the odd chicken during the day and probably one of the mini Call ducks as we are down to four of them, we have to keep an eye out and listen!
The Guinea Fowl go mental when the fox is about and make so much noise, then run up the field and stand and point to where the fox is. Terrific guards!
So..OH decided that as they were so good a few more wouldn’t go amiss.
These photo’s are of them when they are about two weeks old and still in the brooder bit. A bit scatty, though they get handled, so they are huddled up the corner.

Now they are a bit bigger and go outside for the day and in again at night. Another white one! Hopefully this one will integrate a bit better.

The peacock keeps going and looking at them, possibly thinking “Not more of those noisy things to share our roost with!” or more likely “How can I get at their food?”.

The four remaining Call ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) are just like ordinary ducks, only smaller! Really cute and quite tame, they like cake as well!

Having a kip in the shade!

Boris and his girls, Lily & Gracie, inspecting the bucket and having a quick preen, rather than a proper bath in the child’s paddling pool that they have.

Boris & crew confined to the area closer to the house and wondering why he is not allowed on the field! I can’t let him on the field if the fox is about as he is miles too fat to get away. The girls could probably flap up into the air for a few feet, but Boris only waddles and would be easy game.

It’s that time of year when all are moulting, Boris and girls shedding feathers so it looks like someone emptied a feather pillow and the peacocks dropping tail feathers everywhere. Looks like a massacre has occurred. It’s only when there are a heap of feathers that you know the fox has done his worst. Another trip around the perimeter resulted in yet more netting over a vulnerable looking spot, but they are so sly!!
Sorry to all who have got this far, my blogs always seem to go on forever!

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Neighbours across the heath used to keep peacocks. I loved their cries and miss them now they are no longer around.

Another neighbour used to give me goose eggs. My sponge cake was big and a bright yellow!

24 Jul, 2015


Thank you Eirlys for reading my blog. The peacocks certainly make a noise when they decide to! My neighbour across the road was brought up in India and when I apologised for the noise (and the fact they sit on her roof!) she said she loved to see and hear them as it reminded her of her youth.
Lily and Gracie both lay eggs in the Spring and we tend to give them away - sadly my OH is not a great cake eater and it's me who eats all of it when I do make some - not good for the waist-line!

24 Jul, 2015


How I enjoy your blogs, HG. Would Lily and Gracie's eggs be fertile? ..or is Boris too fat for that?
You're blessed with your neighbour. Imagine! peacocks on your roof! love it.
I think I'd like being your neighbour.

29 Jul, 2015


Thanks Lori. Luckily our neighbours have no objection to the noise of the peacocks, geese or guinea fowl. However we have some new neighbours just moved in down the road, I just hope that they inspected the bungalow enough to hear the boys in full cry!
Lily and Gracie both lay and always want to brood, but sadly Boris is either too old or too clueless for them to have fertile eggs. My neighbour, who has geese (see, we are all mad here!) said that we could have some of his eggs so they could sit. I didn't take him up on that this year, but may next. However that would just mean an increase in the flock as my OH wouldn't want to part with them once hatched!
The young GF have now been moved down into a run on the field so that they can get used to the chickens, geese etc., and the theory was the original two GF would be interested and they would all eventually merge into one flock. However the chickens gather round the run and pace up and down trying to get in to filch their food, Boris just goes and shouts at them, but the older Guinea Fowl have so far ignored them! So much for my theory of amalgamation!

5 Aug, 2015


When I had an acre or so garden I divided it into areas, one was the goose garden, we kept 5 girls & a gander. Dolly, Molly, Polly, Dotty, Daisy & Denzil, but Daisy turned out to be the gander & Denzil a goose, lol. Dotty fell victim to the fox so we kept a few goslings to raise out of which came Pru (another gander). They were wonderful guard geese & enormous characters.
At the back of the house we kept a couple of Aylesbury's, Dilly & Dally but Dally would wander round to the geese & try to mount them, he couldn't resist those big 'ol gals, we were often chasing him back in.
A neighbour had 4 peacocks which would come & visit & also sit on our roof - fabulous sight.
I'd keep the dogs in when they came.

30 Aug, 2015


Thanks Green finger for your comment, I loved your story about Dally trying to be over friendly with the geese. I
thought the name for the geese and the ducks were very appropiate and I might utilize some of them if we get any more!
Sadly the five young Guinea Fowl fell prey to the family of stoats which live on the field. I thought they were OK in their run, but one day they were gone and the stoats were the only thing that could have had them. A few days later odd 'bits' were found on the field. Nature is wonderful, but cruel in it's necessity to survive.
We just feel guilty that we got it wrong about how safe they were!

31 Aug, 2015


Unfortunately, if you keep livestock you have to protect them from predators. Foxes, Stoats, weasels, rats & even hedgehogs will predate especially on poultry.
My ex m-i-l heard screaming from the hen house one night, she suspected rats but when she (with shotgun in hand) investigated she found a sitting hen impaled on a hedgehog whilst it devoured its innards. Horrible, I know & she was a country woman all her life & had never come across such a thing.
I, too, felt guilty when I lost a goose or a duck here & there & blamed myself but when next door lost all 6 hens & pet rabbits from there hutch one night to foxes we felt something had to be done.
At around 4am one morning I saw foxes lurking so my ex laid on the duck house roof & waited. He shot 2 that night & 2 more the following, they were all dog foxes. 2 others remained but we hoped they would go for the plentiful rabbits & pheasants around & felt balance would be restored.

1 Sep, 2015


Thanks for your comment Green finger, country people understand all the predators and the need to control them, but city people tend to think that the foxes are cute! One of the Estate owners around here was saying that urban foxes were being dumped in the countryside when they over-populated the city. More cruel than putting them down as they have no understanding of hunting food unless it's put out for them or comes in a bin!

2 Sep, 2015


Agreed. They are cute but we don't have game keepers any more to control a troublesome, sick or just too many anymore.
To relocate them is cruel indeed, it's the same with rats when caught in so-called humane traps & 'kind' people relocate them too. Most don't realise they are condemning them to days of suffering before they die or are killed.

2 Sep, 2015

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