Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

watering hole and keets

A few weeks ago the neighbors completely gutted a tree strip that was behind their house. They moved in only a couple of months before us, so they’ve been busy working on their house as well. Both of our yards were completely covered in trees, so they’ve decided they actually wanted some grassy yard for their kids to play. The neighbors have friends with lots of big equipment and were able to use an excavator to literally push all the trees over and uproot them. I told Mike we’ve been approaching our tree removal from the wrong angle. Forget chainsaws, just push the darn things over!

Mike asked if he could have his friend use his backhoe to also make our stock pond bigger. First of all, I didn’t even know we had a stock pond. Second of all, why does it need to be bigger? Apparently, Mike wants it to be big enough to use as a water source for any future livestock. The stock pond, or watering hole as I’ve named it, is now the size of an ice-skating rink, to give you a reference for size. Apparently, there is a small stream that runs into one end of the pond and out of the other end, so this is how our now bigger pond filled itself up. The frogs have also already taken residence. When we drove up to check it the pond the other day, the frog chirping was almost deafening.

A longview of the watering hole.
the pond on the farm

On the right is the stream feeding into the pond.
the pond on the farm

The stream running out of the pond.
the pond on the farm

Daddy and the girls up atop the hill. Mike is planning to seed the “hills” (or the dug out earth) with grass seed.
the pond on the farm
the pond on the farm
the pond on the farm

In other news, Mike showed up last week with new specimens for our farm. We are now owners of guinea fowl. 10 of them. Apparently, they are master bug eaters and really love wood ticks. We’ve already been finding wood ticks on the girls, so we’re hoping the guineas will keep the tick population down. They are also supposed to be good guard birds making a raucous whenever strangers (people or animals) come on the property. I’m not sure how this will play out in the long-term and if it’s something I’m going to be able to stand hearing all the time. We shall see.

In the meantime, they are cute, little keets (that’s the term for guinea babies).
baby guinea fowl
baby guinea fowl
baby guinea fowl

When I took this pic I didn’t realize Violet had decided to pick up the bird to show it to me. Don’t worry, no birds were harmed in the making of this picture.
baby guinea fowl

In case you’re interested, this is what a full-grown guinea fowl looks like. Handsome, huh? I think they kind of look like turkies in the face.

4 Responses to “ watering hole and keets ”

  1. Erin says:

    Welcome to guinea ownership – so glad you could join us 🙂 and hope you like to wake early to noisy animals that truly are lovely but loud! If trained to the barn (and light) they will come home at night – they love White Millet – so go to the feed store now and stock up – this is your training tool. Do you have the book “Gardening with Guineas” – I highly recommend reading – seriously the best book out there about Guineas. They are so different from raising chickens, the little buggers just love to wonder off if you don’t train them to your property. From 6 Guineas we now have only 2, they have, unfortunately, all been eaten by the local wildlife (foxes, fisher cats and who knows what else) due to making nests in the forest each summer and then not coming back to the barn (to be locked down) at night. We are hoping to get some more soon. They are great tick eaters and will help keep the population down on your property. I also recommend using Diatomacous Earth (also at your feed store) to sprinkle in the chicken barns and such as it kills mites, lice, ticks and fleas on the chickens. It is very helpful in keeping tick population at bay….but then again we are in NH and the ticks are awful on our 27 acre mostly wooded property – plus ticks just love the horses – basically we are in tick heaven! We are constantly checking, having the kids wear tick proof clothing, dogs wearing insect repellent vests and just doing doing daily checks when we shower, still I find ticks in the house – ugh! – creepy little creatures. Hope your Guineas do the trick. Lyme disease is serious business here in NH so we do all we can to prevent it from infecting us or our livestock/dogs. Good luck! -Erin

  2. Shoebox Princess says:

    I love that picture of Violet holding (pinching?) the keet (if you say that’s what they are called, I’ll believe you, although I don’t see why some bird person/linguist had to make up a bunch of names for various breeds of birds’ infant stage. Cygnet, pullet, keet, They are all CHICKS!).

    I think it’s funny you didn’t know you had a pond. Apparently never go on long walks around your property! Get out there Jen!

    Although if there are ticks, you are right to stay locked in your house. Ticks are evil.

  3. Julie says:

    Now you can ice skate at home. Too cool!

    I told you Mike would bring home more creatures before you did another home improvement project. But ticks on the girls? Eek…can’t say I blame him for trying to get a handle on that.

  4. Micah Geary says:

    Wow! Things are coming along. I hope we can come visit soon to check it all out.

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