Monday, July 30, 2007

And Who Is Your Mama?

This has happened before on our farm. A nesting female gets a bunch of eggs added to her clutch, by other enterprising females. Leading in this mischief are our guineas, dropping their future progeny under turkeys and chickens (I am sure they would have dropped them under any other bird, if we had them!). Guineas are not opposed to sit on their own eggs, but sharing the task is so much more fun! Our only remaining Bourbon Red Turkey ( who is listed on the Watch List by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (a great organization, BTW) has diligently sat on her nest, only to hatch 11 baby guineas, and not a single turkey! So much for the recovery of the breed. Her unlucky boyfriend, who already has a bad rap due to his aggressive nature, is now really walking a very thin line. Not a single baby turkey combined with bad temper! Someone is headed to the pot....
What is even more interesting, we have a number of lavender guineas (light-colored ones), and a single very elderly black polka-dot guinea. And the chicks are mixed-colored - so the senior has finally passed his genes on!
The mom is very happy, strolling around with her family. While chasing after her with a camera for this photo, I noticed that her one-week old infants are already catching and eating grasshoppers. The hoppers are about half their size, so these kids are fearless and quick!