Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Moving on up, and out ... the history of our guinea homes

Since Momofsix asked, I'll share what we did with our guineas since we got them.  I have friends who use refrigerator boxes, laid on their side, with the top side removed, and netting over them.  But I didn't acquire one of those in time, and we made do with what we had.

First, they came home and were placed in a very small plastic container.  There were only five of them, and it worked ... for a few days.  You can't see all of the tote, but the waterer is in one corner, and the feeder in another corner.  Obviously quite small.  When they started hopping and fluttering their wings, we had to move them quickly.

So I went to Walmart and bought the largest plastic tote they had.  I don't have a picture of the keets in the larger tote, but it was a 45 gallon tote with wheels on one end.  They only lasted in that for a little more than a week, before I realized they were flying up onto the top of their feeder and waterer.  It would only be a short hop/fly from there to the top of the tote box and out into the basement. 

So, finally, we had the idea to put them into one of the built in cages we have in our basement.  Steve's grandparents had used it as a kennel for some of the small dogs they bred.  It likely was for puppies or a pregnant mama dog, about to have her babies.  One of the cages was double-wide, with a floor at my hip level, and was caged all the way to the ceiling.  Perfect!   We put cardboard down over the metal mesh floor, and put the pine chips over that. 

We did have one keet escape from this, we think through a 2 inch gap between the roof and the doors.  But that was the only escape, and it was just a day or two after putting them in.

They were about half-grown, or more, when we finally finished the outdoor enclosure for them.  We used an old dog pen, just south of the house.  It already had chicken wire around the sides.  We had to fix one end of the pen, patch a few areas, and then we added chicken wire mesh/fabric over the top to keep them from flying out, and to keep owls from snatching them up.

There is fencing on that right side, but it is a different type than the left side and didn't show up in the picture.   But this gives you an idea of the size, plus you can see the "roof" we put on it, and the doghouse that was in it already. 

And here's another picture of the guinea keets on their first night in their new home (Sunday).  Um, this next picture shows where we ran out of chicken wire and had to temporarily finish the roof with netting I had bought to cover their 45 gallon tote (but couldn't because the heat lamp interfered with it.)

We have 3 white guineas and 2 lavender guineas.  I have no clue what boy/girl ratio we have, though.  We don't intend to keep them in this enclosure very long.  We do want them to be free-range on the property, eating ticks and any other bugs they want.  But until they're full-grown, we'll keep them in here.  It shouldn't take long ... they grow amazingly fast!  At the moment, they still seemed overwhelmed with the space, and spend all their time clustered together, even when browsing around for bugs.

It isn't a pretty enclosure, but it works!  And it will work for guinea keets and chicks in future years, too.

Trusting in Him,

1 comment:

  1. I bet those guineas feel like they are in heaven in that roomy pin. Do they ever try and dig away? I think this might give me a great start with my guineas, but I know my kids would cry if they dug a hole and took off. One of their favorite parakeets escaped outdoors and they are still in mourning. Thanks so much for sharing.



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