Wednesday, October 11

Bird brain

chicken coop
Pictured above is another shot of our poultry housing. We get lots of enjoyment watching the birds go about their business. One of the funnier things I've noticed has led me to further understand where the term "bird brain" came from. Surely the first person to use this term had a flock of guineas to observe.

guineas ready for take-off
In this image you can see the guineas have made their way to the roofline of the shop building which acts as the barrier to the east for the other non-flying birds (the chicken hens). While the guineas are not flightless, they're certainly not the most graceful in the air. Flying always seems to be an afterthought to me when watching the guineas.

I had read that we could have both guineas and chickens in the same fenced area, and that the guineas would learn to fly out of the pen and return at night while the chickens wouldn't be able to escape the 6' tall fence. This is mostly true in our case. The guineas never seem to make one leap to flight that takes them over the fence. Instead it's a system of short leaps accompanied by flapping that takes them from the ground, to one perch, to another. In the picture above they had just made the leap from the ground to the roof of the hen house, then the hen house over to the shop building.

It's here were something funny almost always happens. One by one they will jump for a take-off from the shop building flying across the width of the fenced area each one clearing the 6' fence by less and less until the final one or two smack straight into the fence.

Now with 1 or 2 of the flock inside the pen and the remaining outside the pen they'll spend the rest of the day trying to get back together, by walking up and down the length of the fence, over and over. They're just not very smart, in my opinion. Eventually they'll get back together but they will spend hours running the fence line trying desperately to get the flock back together. To their credit, they are persistent.

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1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

Reminds me of a time I was watching some squirrels out my office window. They appeared to be playing follow the leader as they jumped from one tree to another. They worked their way up the two trees and the distances between the tree branches became greater and greater. Eventually one missed and the game ended. It was fun to watch though.