I’ve been feeling neglectful of Nigel the Guinea Fowl. After his heroic screeching at the fox that planned to eat chicken for lunch, I thought that maybe I was unfair to treat him like a hen and wondered if he was lonely and missing a little guinea fowl company. Things came to a head when Bill told me that Nigel was going caravanning at the weekend. Visions of Nigel the Guinea Fowl hitching a ride on top of a caravan, in search of new friends and maybe even a new home were quickly dispelled when I realised that Bill was talking about someone else, but it spurred me to action
A few weeks later three guinea fowl were duly collected and slipped into the hen house. The brown hen (definitely at the top of the pecking order) was outraged. She sat on the rafters squawking at the new arrivals for a good half an hour, while they cowered below on the perch and Nigel the Guinea Fowl peered anxiously from behind a beam.
For the first few days, the new guineas stayed in the hen house when everyone else left to busy themselves for the day, but I noticed that Nigel the Guinea Fowl moved from his customary night post to perch beside the new arrivals. Eventually, the young guineas plucked up courage to follow Nigel outside and now they follow him around everywhere. Always at a run. Sometimes in panicked flight. Quite often, they just run up and down the fence, forgetting that they can fly. Guinea fowl have very small brains.
Do you remember the ducklings that hatched? Amazingly, they’re still alive.
They’re enormous now and a bit of a mixed batch. I’m especially pleased that my brown duck and white Aylesbury duck managed to pass on their genes before they were eaten by a fox.
As my hens are a bit depleted after the fox attacks, I’ve put a cockerel with them, in the hope that come spring, he’ll do his bit and we’ll get some chicks. Quite frankly Nick is a complete wuss, despite looking quite majestic, and runs away at the least provocation. Maybe by spring he’ll take command of his harem rather than trailing around behind his ladies as he does at the moment.
And by spring, I suspect that Nigel may switch from uncle to suitor.