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Now… have you ever heard of keets? How about guinea hens?

Keets are baby guinea hens and we keep them at Tulipwood.

What, this isn’t how you use your shower? The keets take over our showers sometimes… but they have a purpose!

We raise them not for meat but for…. can you guess?

Ticks! We have a big tick problem in the Hudson Valley. Every single person in my family has had or currently has Lymes disease. I’m the last holdout… the only one who hasn’t been diagnosed with it… SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME A PIECE OF WOOD TO KNOCK ON!

Guinea hens are very good at eating ticks if you let them roam your yard.

They find them in all sorts of crevices.

Keets are tricky though. Because they have an inherently wild quality.

And they don’t like to be touched. So the closer you get to them the more they huddle and move, like a ripple of water they just wave away.

We were reminded of this the hard way when we let them out of the shower for some fresh air and to acclimate them.

And we wanted them to meet the other guinea hens… which turned out to be a… mistake.

Guinea hens have a way of wanting to show their youngins who’s boss.

My dear mother decided that they should meet however. She’s an idealist. So she tried to direct them toward each other. You have to move fast with these guys, they glide along like ice skaters.

Slowly they skated toward each other…

You can see the idealism in her eyes…

“See Georgia? They like each other.”

“What’s that mom? Say that one more time? I couldn’t hear you….”

Then total mayhem ensued.

One of the keets broke loose because it was being targeted by the guineas as needing to be the most disciplined.

The rest of the keets took off but this one separated from the pack and ran for the hills in hysterics. The guinea hens followed.

So did we.

Did I mention I was supposed to leave for the airport at this point? My luggage was on the steps. I had just showered. I was clean. My clothes were nicely pressed. Okay fine I don’t iron, but I was clean and not sweaty.

The guinea and the keet soon began a very co-dependent and abusive relationship on the lawn. The guinea would peck violently and the keet didn’t know whether to come or go.

We ran in circles for what seemed like hours…

Things seemed hopeless… we got the others in their pen but this one wouldn’t have it. It hid under a bush, it ran us in circles. I was no longer clean and un-sweaty. My plane was taking off far too soon, and then…

We remembered we had a bird dog. I have never been so grateful to have a bird dog. My sweat glands have never been so grateful to have a bird dog.

He saved the day.

And as we drove down the driveway to the airport the guineas cackled at me. Have you ever heard them? It’s more like a scream. And violent scream. They create noise pollution these guineas. But hey, they eat ticks!

More on these strange birds here.

And then there are these strange birds.

And this one.

I’m on my way back to New York now to hear their screams. And not get Lymes disease. Bye.