|Oven ready Hubbard 'roo'. Apologies for |
the imperfect plucking and torn skin.
They can be a devil to persuade to stay around and difficult to teach that new home is a their new home. They love to roost up high in trees and one lad suggested that they can predict the weather better than Met Éireann, choosing to roost out on nights where it will definitely not rain, but roosting in their coop when there is risk of rain. They free range like crazy - another member of the group said he'd often seen his out half a mile from home during the day but that they were always home by supper time. It is said that they might attack your chicken-roosters. They are allegedly as thick as a plank - more stupid than any other bird. Anne, who keeps quail and does not have a very high opinion of quail brain-power, says that Guinea Fowl "make quail look intellectual". Another lad says they are "far from stupid". The eggs are apparently nice but a very pointy shape, almost triangular (says Simon) and Anne commented that the shells are so tough that if you are trying to do the eggs and toast soldiers thing, you almost need a hacksaw to do the neat decapitation. Pick the bones, as they say, out of that little lot!
Cody ended up in our field where he'd be OK with the sheep because he was such a chilled out lad that he was OK with anything and, indeed, that was the case. He became a boss-sheep and used to give the 5 sheep the run around occasionally but was only playing and never seemed to be trying to do them any damage. Happy days. He was going to be gelded by Aoife (Rhymes with Deefer) the Vet but the warm autumn had meant that the risk of fly/maggot infection in the gelding scar was too great and this has not yet happened. Then yesterday it seemed to turn nasty and a bit serious. I went out at 4-ish to find Cody beating up one of the ram lambs, Cody had the ram pinned down between his front 'knees' and seemed to be trying to bite chunks out of the ram's woolly flanks. I raced into the field and, yelling at Cody and smacking him on the nose, managed to separate the 'protagonists'. I got Cody into a head collar and tethered him to the fence. The sheep seemed to be OK, just a small reddish wound near one eye and chunks of wool hanging off, but they all piled into their supper and certainly looked OK by this morning.
We phoned Carolyn for advice and she decided that the lad had better be brought home, so Charlotte was dropped off to walk him home. He is now back home in the sand-school but where he can get to a lot of grass growing round the edges. His gelding operation is now timed for some point in the next 2 weeks and fairly soon after that our sheep will have gone for their last journey anyway, so he can safely come back into our field while his hormones calm down. Then he can be reunited with his two amigos, Bob and Romeo. Complicated this horse management, isn't it? Maybe we should stick to our highly intelligent Guinea Fowl?