Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Earning one's Keep



Apart from the pigs, who have filled our chest freezer with their wonderful fat covered meat, there are just three animals on the field that have actually earned their keep over the past few years.
They are the guinea fowl.
Hughie, little Ivy and Alf watch the field every night. 
They are constantly on sentry duty and miss nothing when it comes to spotting a potential threat, and once seen, they will scream their warning calls "out and loud"  until that particular danger has well and truly passed.
This morning I was trying to enjoy my lie in. Now when I say "lie in" what I actually mean is that blissful and snatched 40 winks I endeavour to take between Chris getting up ( 5.45am) and my actual "getting up" time of 7.00 am...anyway as I was tucked away under the duvet enjoying a particularly smutty dream featuring Russell Crowe , the guineas started their warning calls..
At full tilt, the chatter has all of the intensity of a military machine gun, and the very extreme nature of it immediately informed me that a very real threat was afoot. So, with a sigh, I dragged myself out of bed and poked my sleepy head out of the window.
A scruffy fox was tip toeing  over the field. with his nose down. He was circling the goose house carefully and from the cottage  I could just make out a low warning hiss from the geese who were  watching the scene carefully from their coop window.
Not having a gun to hand I had to resort to a fairly effective and well tried call of "BUGGER OFF!"
and by the time I had hurried down to the field, the guineas were all smug and silent on their perch in the Churchyard and the fox had long gone.
Ivy, Hughie and Alf  trying to keep warm last Winter

30 comments:

  1. Oh golly, I was holding my breath there for a moment. If you indulge egg-stealers, maybe you would indulge coop raiders too. Foxes still seem very exotic to me. I'm sure I would be indulgent... to start with :-)

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  2. Love your well-synchronized little family...each watching out for the other.

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  3. May I suggest a .22 rifle; although 'shooting foxes' was always regarded as social suicide. Or maybe a 4/10 would just make enough NOISE.

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  4. Much better than our terrier unless the fox wanted to be licked to death....

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  5. The goose is my alarm call.

    At five every bloody morning...

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  6. What an organised society you look after...that fox must have been disappointed to have met his match

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  7. Growing up we always had a flock of guinea. Not a favorite fowl of mine, that horrile "pot rack' that they holler is just plain annoying to me. On the other hand a fine pot of guinea and dressing is rather tasty.

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  8. Waitrose were selling Guinea Fowl eggs this year - at £3.99 for four of the little things.

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  9. Bloody hell... just allowed a nest of 18 to be smashed... ivy had laid then in the grass in next door's field

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  10. See if the three little pigs had tried that they would each have had their own home.

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  11. Lucky for you, that fox must not have been very hungry. Maybe you should out there armed next time. No gun? No problem. Grab a spatula. Let that fox know you're at the top of the food chain ...

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  12. Could you send some bloody rain over here we are partched ! I do love your blog and found it via At The Farm and am now a nother follower , I do look forward to more of your photos and the fantastic way you write . We live in a spaciouse Country valley village here in Ontario Canada and there is a farm down the road from us that have Guinies and they are always doing their nut I think just for hell of it ! Have a great day !

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  13. We have four. No idea of their sex or age they have been here forever. When the peacocks and the guineas get going together it sounds like a group of angry feminists being told they must wear dresses in the work place. So much high pitched screaming!

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  14. Donna listen to their calls then you will know their sex. The above guineas are male

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  15. We had feral guinea fowl wandering our rather rural neighborhood in Florida for several years; I don't miss their screeching. Last night, I was awakened from a sound sleep at 11:30 p.m. by coyotes howling about something in my back yard; there may have been the screams of a dying animal mixed, in, too--sometimes it's hard to separate out all the separate sounds.

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  16. I was SO relieved to hear that they were earning their keep by their warning calls rather than having a journey to your freezer.

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  17. So glad to know that you also earned your keep today. I tried to enjoy a lie-in this morning. But, had to rush out of bed at 10:30, so I wouldn't miss breakfast. No guinea fowl.

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  18. I once was so startled by a guinea while working in the garden that I was sure I would die of heart failure. Since then I have a hatred for the ugly twits.

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  19. One of our neighbours has guinea fowl 7 they do make peculiar sounds...
    AT FIVE AM !!!!

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  20. It sounds like the three fowl and you make a formidable team!

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  21. Love the Guinea fowl, there are great watch animals. The other animals learn to rely on their warning calls.

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  22. Bugger off; hmm, wonder if that would work with my hubby.

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  23. Good guard dogs.

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  24. Hmm, "Bugger off" works, I guess I bought shotgun shells and 22 bullets for no reason. I must remember to try that first. :-)

    Guineas would be fresh meat around here with the coyotes.

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  25. A close encounter of the foxy kind. I didn't know that guineas were such good guard dogs.

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  26. Sounds like those guinea for sure are earning their keep.

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  27. That last picture should be a caption competition :-) I've no ready suggestion other than "Sod this I'm cold, let's break into the old buggers kitchen to warm up"

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  28. my mum's lost most of her chickens in the last couple of weeks to an unseen predator - which is probably a fox - more eggs in the incubator!!

    Not sure if the sudden increase in fox activity is down to this year's young ones spreading out and making it on their own or the adults still feeding the growing youngsters....

    Perhaps you could get a catapult to fling a few small pebbles at the foxy critter next time he shows up - then you could go straight back to bed!!

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  29. We have guineas at the barn... they scare me, but they ARE good guard birds.

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