|Momma Guinea with 8 babies tucked safely underneath|
I am pretty sure this picture isn't going to win any photography contests, but it is representative of a few hours of work this afternoon. Ben came in this morning to tell me that one of the momma guineas that had been sitting on a nest of eggs in the woods emerged with several babies following her. Since we lost all the babies last year from predators, we planned on catching any mommas and babies this year and keeping them safely in the chicken coop. To make matters worse (or actually helpful), she had a string tangled around her feet that was causing her to limp. Her flying abilities are on the level of an eagle however, and anytime we tried to catch her, she would fly into a tree or the barn roof. Since we had her running, we started gathering babies which was very challenging since they were tiny and roaming in the very high grass and weeds behind the barn (that have now made the "to be weed-whacked list"). Once we collected all eight babies and couldn't hear anymore, we went back to catching the momma. She stopped roaming with the flock and started hiding from us; once we would find her, she would fly off and hide again. After about two hours of this nonsense, James snagged her with a large net after Bella alerted him that she was hiding in the barn stall.
We moved her in with the babies, cut all the string off her feet and watched as she gathered the babies under her wing. Lots of work but a happy ending!