Otto & Hilda & Me

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Otto&Hilda, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Otto&Hilda

    Otto&Hilda New Egg

    Oct 20, 2009
    Northeast PA
    I never had any experience with chickens or any other kind of poultry until Otto came into my life. I got him as a keet in July. I kept him outside but in a large birdcage for aobut three weeks, then he was moved to the fenced in garden where I had an old dog house with hay in it. He was allowed to roam the garden during the day (about 25 by 50 ft.) and was enclosed in the doghouse at night with a fence over the opening. He always had feed and water near him.
    I have read lots of stories on here about guineas being almost feral etc. I have to say I'm glad Otto doesn't know that. Visitors at my house cannot believe that this bird (whose quite large now) comes when I call him, went into his 'house' at night very easily and also sits on my shoulder, settles down in my lap etc.(and nope not once has he left any droppings on me!) One day while in the garden I had a mosquito on my bare arm, Otto was walking by and very gently but fast as lightning reached out and snapped it up. I felt nothing! He has never pecked me or shown any aggression. When I am in the garden he follows me like a dog, foraging near me or rolling in the dust; at times he will settle down near my knees and close his eyes! He loves his back scratched between the wings! All summer he wandered around the garden and ate bugs and never scratched up any plants.....but weeds he ate like crazy. How does he know the difference?
    I got him a mate (Hilda) who was a couple months younger than him and they bonded well. Hilda did not bond to me as Otto did but as she stays near him she is also use to me.
    Now with winter coming on I moved them to a chicken coop with a fenced in run (the run is fenced as a roof as well). They adjusted well, nights are in the coop and days spend in the run. I throw lots of leaves and grass clippings in the hay as well as supply food and water in the coop. They are doing great and really seem to be content.
    Maybe it's because I spent lots of time with Otto when he was young and that I have only the two but I must say, for not knowing a thing about poultry I am really pleased with raising these two. Plus I have all the fertilizer I need for my compost and a bug-free/snake free garden!
  2. michelle1017

    michelle1017 Goat Mama

    Aug 21, 2008
    That is a really neat story! Guineas are fun birds to have. You will have to post pics for us to see them!
  3. kick'n chick'n

    kick'n chick'n Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2008
    awesome story!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Otto&Hilda

    Otto&Hilda New Egg

    Oct 20, 2009
    Northeast PA
    [​IMG]here's Otto while he was in the garden[​IMG]And here enjoying the view from shoulder.[​IMG]he always had to check out to see if I had any treats for him![​IMG]Blackberries were a great hit. I think he thought they were beetles.[​IMG]with Hilda behind him when they were just little tykes! That was only two months ago!
  5. poultrypatch

    poultrypatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2009
    That's a really cool story about Otto and Hilda.
    I bought 7 keets about 6 wks ago. I've gone out of my way to make them tame. Not wanting to make them suicidal I don't constantly bother them. I have them in with some Banties and 5 Speckled Sussex. I think being with the chicks....7 wks old...has helped a lot. I hand feed the chicks and after watching for awhile the keets will come to check out what I have. I find the keets very "gentle beaked" when taking from my hand. The SS are like a bird with a giant drill bit for a beak. :) By the way, they're still in a cage in my laundry room. I'm going to hate to put them out in a coop when it's done. I try and spend a lot of time with them all. I intend to clip their wings in an attempt to keep them inside my fence. I don't want to loose them. I also plan on keeping them in with the chickens all winter..their run will be 6 ft chainlink and I will cover it.
    I just hope I have your luck with them.
    Rochester, MA

    VTGIRL Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2009
    Ah cool story indeed. I started out with 25 because that was the minimum we had to order. I wished I had gotten only a couple so I could have spent more individual time with them..
  7. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I'm glad I read this. Thats exactly some of the reasons my husbands wants us to get guineas again. He read this book, called 'Gardening with Guineas" and some of what you have testified to, is exactly what the author claimed in the book. I had them before, but they were mixed with chickens and I didn't notice those things. Also I hadn't read up on them when I was younger and didn't really know what they could do for me. I am going to share this story with my other half for sure. Congrats on your birds and garden. I can't wait to get back into guineas.

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