Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Laid Low By a Guinea Murder

A sad find yesterday morning, friends. One of our guinea buddies was murdered.

You might want to either put down that breakfast bar or just skip over this next paragraph. You've been duly warned.

Talk about a determined kill. Whatever got our guinea had his work cut out for him - and we didn't hear a thing. The guineas roost up high in the turkey house in what we thought was a secure coop. The predator had to have gotten the guinea off his roost, out of the coop thru a whole he torn thru the chicken wire, and then across the turkey house.  We found the guinea's headless body by a small hole in the floor. This was a lot of work for one mean predator. We think its might have been a weasel or a mink.

I checked around and I found this fact sheet by the Oklahoma State University that gives an overview of the modus operandi of several common predators. Welp Hatchery also had a predator ID chart. Because just the head was eaten, and the hole in the floor wasn't very big, we think it was a mink. Someone also told us yesterday that they had seen a roadkill mink near their property. So this makes sense.

The dogs have been very interested in the turkey house lately and they went nuts when we showed them the hole to the outside. So they are on the job. However, we will probably have to set a box trap as the predator will probably just keep coming back.

Our next problem is that we have just one guinea. I'm not so sure he's going to be too happy by himself. We put him in with the chickens last nite. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I'm pretty low about the loss of our guinea friend. We got the guineas at our first visit to a livestock auction. I was so excited I didn't ask one question about them - and I may have very well been bidding against the owner in his attempt to drive up the price! But we brought them home in a feed sack, our two old bachelor guineas, Bob and Roy.  Guineas are loud, funny, and ridiculous... but I sure like them.

I just turned the dogs out with instructions to "go and kill something." Hopefully they will bring me a mink so I can mount its head on a pike in the yard. And maybe make a hat.

Happy Thursday everyone. Keep a keen eye out for predators.


Carolyn said...

Hope the dogs get 'em.
Maybe two of them, otherwise that will be a pretty tiny hat.

freemotion said...

Your guinea will likely be fine with the hens. Our bachelor guinea is. When he lost the last of his two lady friends to a dog (both had insisted on sitting on a clutch of eggs outside of our fence) he was sad and lost for a while. Then he fell in love with two new hens. One was a black and white chicken and the other was his own reflection in our basement windows.

Susan said...

Minks are nasty. And that sure sounds like a mink attack. Sorry about your Guinea buddy. I have six here who co-habitate with the chickens fairly well. I think the chickens hate them but are afraid of them. Hope your dogs find the culprit and give him/her what-for.

Aaron C. de Bruyn said...

I *hate* weasels. I ran over to our coop one afternoon after hearing the ladies making a bunch of noise. I threw open the door and a weasel stood up and growled at me. He was about 15 inches long.

Thankfully I had my .45 on my hip. It took all 14 shots, but the last one got him.


Ugly critters.

CallieK said...

We've had a resurgence of mink here in downtown Toronto- the little beggars are popping up all over the place.

Jody said...

Sorry to hear about your guinea. It sounds like you're dealing with a very sly creature. I hope you catch it soon.

Chai Chai said...

Adult guineas very rarely hang around a new place, don't buy them! The best thing to do (I can't believe I'm daring to give YOU advice) is to get some new keets and have your chickens raise them. That way they get good free range foraging lessons and by the time they discover they are guineas they have learned to live in the coop (or surrounding area) and stay close to home.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Carolyn! I'll make the hat for Nicholas. :-D

Thanks Free - he seems to be doing ok. Just a little confused about where he is supposed to bunk down.

Susan, I think the hens are ok buy my Miss Duck doenst like that guinea at all.

Aaron, without a doubt that is the best thing I've seen today. You got 'em good!

Callie, I wonder if its the weather? Its very odd.

Thanks Jody - I'm still pretty low about it. Drat.

Ha! Chai Chai you can give me advice any time! I'll have to wait until spring to get keets. Double drat.

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