The end of our holiday vacation is an absolute mess. The husband is sprawled across the unmade bed, completely wiped from driving seven hours back home after the holiday weekend. A developing stomach flu that persisted throughout the trip threatens to make him vomit at any moment. The dog is restless and gassy from the ride and can’t stop wandering the bedroom in neurotic circles, reassuring himself that the room is as he left it. Every lap he stops by me, nipping at my hand in a constant vie for attention. We came home to a note that Pepper the cat had been locked in the spare bedroom for two full days during the holidays. Investigating the room for evidence of his past imprisonment is beyond this night’s abilities. And the reason for out late return, the four newly acquired teenage guinea fowl, are spending the night in our bedroom because Ian was too exhausted to lug them to the outdoor coop. It was all I could do to heft them out of the car and into our room.
So far their screeching dismay for their caged life is all the proof I need that the claims of their incredible volume are true. I’ve also learned that trying to make their first night a little more comfortable with bowls of food and water was a terrible idea. Both substances were spilled in a matter of seconds by the panicked birds, dirtying the bedroom floor with a soupy mix of bird poop and soggy food. And on the bed I sit, trying to find the motivation to make up lesson plans about earth worms for the next school day. It would be a long night, but internally I think I gave up on this project the second I walked into the room. going to be a long night. think I gave up on this night a long time ago. After almost a week away and a drive from Pittsburgh longer than we thought possible, I stumbled back into a freezing cold, stale smelling animal-filled home, left my sick husband to find his way into bed and the luggage to settle deeper into the car trunk. The last thing I want to do is make a PowerPoint about worms. And to think we wanted to introduce four new fowl into this crazy mix.
But everything I’ve described is also what I love about this place. Here, we have the ability to just go and DO the crazy things we think about. If we want to go ham on farm animals (no pun intended) we can simply peruse Craigslist until we see some that fit our land and budget. In my “former life” of being a college student and city dweller, I used to spend a lot of time dreaming about a future like this. Ian and I used to spend hours planning out our lives together, often down to minute details of farm projects. But here, I don’t do that much. In fact, our “big picture” conversations have all but ended. Our present is so chock full of projects and potential it’s all we can do to keep with the flow of ideas. If that means that sometimes I will have to go through a some crazy hectic nights of less than stellar decision making to take a risk with a new animal species, then so be it. Because this time in our life is woefully short and soon these opportunities will pass us by. I don’t know what the future holds, but we probably won’t live on this incredible land for more than a few years. And when we do move on to some horrid suburban home, I want to leave fully satisfied that we have pursued every homesteading opportunity that came our way.
So cheers for Guinea Fowl! And farm animals in general. But what with the dog, the cats, and our twelve birds, I think we are set for a while. At least until Spring….or the next good Craigslist deal.
Have any questions about guinea fowl? Leave them in the comments and I will address them in my next post!