Friday, January 10, 2014

Guinea Fowl Update

Chocolate Guinea Fowl                   Pearl Guinea Fowl
Sean captured some fantastic images of our maturing guinea fowl population this week. It seems like such a short a time ago I was carrying them home in a cardboard box secure on my lap, worried about maintaining the proper temperature in the car lest they catch a chill and become ill. Now, only 4 months later, our raucous teenagers have graduated from their brooder and live outside in the coop with the rest of our poultry populace.

Neicy (black chicken on the left) and one of our Rhode Island Reds joined the guineas in taunting the dogs this day.
The 6 foot fencing is a joke in terms of keeping any of our birds inside it's safe confines- except for the geese (who have no idea that they can fly) and the ducks when their feathers are properly trimmed. The fencing is supposed to serve the purpose of creating a safe yard for our birds, away from dangerous predators. And, it works for those birds who choose to remain inside it. Mostly, they don't. They do use it as a convenient perch on sunny days. This drives the dogs mad, especially Fenn and Klaus who are convinced that the chickens would make the tastiest squeaky toys and are eager to test out their theory. For the safety of everyone, Klaus and Fenn roam free inside their dog play yard or remain on a leash when they are in the yard otherwise.

We are very happy with the decision to add guinea fowl to the farm. We are eagerly looking forward to their first eggs and molting. Why? I am glad you asked.

There are many uses for eggs and feathers. We'll hatch some eggs to sell guinea fowl to our neighbors who want to raise them.We'll sell some eggs to folks who want to eat them, use them for crafting, or hatching their own guineas. The rest of the eggs will be used here for eating, jewelry, and I have an idea to offer blown out guinea eggs for decoration purposes. Our guinea feathers are strikingly beautiful; black with white polka dots or tan with white polka dots. I think these will make fetching mixed media earrings. This is just a rough idea, but maybe I'll create a cool and funky line of earrings similar to the image on the right. Or perhaps, I'll make them more simple and use just the feathers themselves. Either way, I can't wait to get my hands on enough eggs and feathers to play!

Speaking of playing... Our family is leaving for Florida to visit with Sean's parents on Sunday. We'll be gone for a week or so. Caitlin and Justin will be here, holding down the fort or at least keeping the hungry masses from committing a full-blown mutiny in our absence. As much as we are all looking forward to seeing family and basking in some 80* weather instead of freezing ourselves in Maine, it is always with mixed feelings that we take these much needed (and appreciated) breaks from our work schedule. Florida won't be a complete vacation for us. Sean and I mailed a collection of 30 pieces ahead of ourselves in the hopes that we'll find the perfect venue to display and sell our jewelry while we are there. So, it will be part work, part play, and part worry.

We'll take lots of pictures of our trip and I hope we'll be able to report a new retail outlet in another state where you'll be able to purchase Lally Broch Farm Egg Shell Jewelry. How cool would THAT be?

Thanks for stopping in to visit with us today, friends. We're glad you did.

Sonja ♥