The guineas have been unruly this past week! All twelve of them normally travel in a pack, but this week they have been scattering in as many directions and making so much noise I have gone to check up on them repeatedly. We are still in the grip of winter, so this cannot be spring mating, heaven forbid. I dread the inevitable nesting that will place the hens in constant danger of predators ranging from raccoons, bobcats, foxes, skunks, feral cats, and stray dogs. To survive, the guineas must be closed in their little coop at night.
This past summer, one hen made a nest under the propane tank, which was surrounded by tall grass that completely concealed her. Bart, the local bullsnake invaded the nest and made off with several newly hatched keets. We were able to save five, which we raised in the house. On another occasion two hens shared a nest in the garden, and Bart arrived on the scene again
. We were able to hatch three under a heat lamp in the laundry room (yeh, the same room and cage where four goslings now reside). No room at the inn for more babies for awhile!