Saturday, July 15, 2023

Oh What A Night

I imagine most people have a little routine they go thru each evening before bed. I know I do. 
One of the things my evening chores include, is shuffling these 3 goofy leghorns into their giant dog crate/coop by the back door from the top of the fence across the yard.  

So, as I was locking things up for the night, I heard this guinea make an odd noise - quick and short. 

Like something got her.

I knew right where she was nesting, by my gate outside the kitchen window, from where I had heard her make that cawing sound so many times in the past several weeks. So I rushed over there, with the flashlight I had already with me to guide the aforementioned rooster in, and hearing scurrying in the bushes, feared the worst of course. 

I looked and looked, under and behind every bush and listened for more scurrying but came up with nothing. How could whatever it was that grabbed her, have then also dragged her off, or eaten, so quickly? 
I was. Right. There.  

It turns out, momma was out on the front yard, traumatized but very much alive. Whew! 

Giving her plenty of distance, so as not to further spook her, I watched as she paced back and forth over near the nest a few times. I hoped she didn't abandon it. I had to rescue the eggs from another spooked mother guinea several years before.

Then suddenly, she flew up into the oak tree, roosting on a branch, where I guess, she felt she could safely sleep and keep one eye open on the nest-full of about ready to hatch eggs.  

Confident that whatever it was that had scared her would surely be back for supper, I found a big heavy clay pot and rock and covered her nest. Then I set up a live trap with some of the moist cat food one of the strays left in her bowl, that I was going to have to take up any way. So as not to attract predators. Like I was sure had just visited 100 ft away.

And I finally went to bed. 
Just a few minutes ago, I was falling back asleep, after the cats demanded that I wake up at 4:30 this morning and feed them, I heard what was definitely a distress call out the kitchen window. (If you raise fowl, you hate being woken up to that screeching, because it is never good news.)

One moment I thought I was going to be raising another bunch of baby guineas out of the incubator, then the next second I figured, oh she was just upset that she got back to her nest and it was covered. 
You know all sorts of thoughts rush through your mind when you get jolted up out of bed to a distress sound, grabbing something to cover your feet and a robe to keep, hopefully, from becoming mosquito bait to rush out the door. 

 I am happy to report, thankfully, that she is safe, and was alerting to a big ol opossum - in the trap

Shortly after I hauled the trap and its inhabitant out of the brush, away from her incubating babies, and uncovered the nest, she was back sitting on her eggs. Happy ending! For the momma guinea and her nest anyway.

I'm gonna put that big ol possum in the loader of my tractor and drive him all the way to the back of the property where he can terrorize something else and dig for crayfish like a good little wild opossum should do. 
I need some sleep and I am sure momma guinea will rest better, too. I can hear several of the ladies out there "chatting" right now; momma is probably recounting to them the night of terror she lived through to tell. 
And now I need to strip sheets and shower in Technu, hoping that the poison ivy that intertwines through all of those shrubs and brush I was ransacking last night, that I totally forgot about until this AM, hasn't set in.

Just another day/night in the life of Farmer Marie, down on the farm, just up the road. 

Eat Your Food - Naturally!