Guinea fowl keet wars are now in full swing

A STORE full of shining, golden corn certainly brings on that Midas feeling.

I love to go and trickle handfuls through my fingers and gloat. Sounds horribly mercenary but the reality is that our harvest, as with most of the country according to all the farming comics and pundits, is down in tonnage.

The ears of corns are just not as bold and full as they are when the sun has shone for the summer, thanks to the sodden season that most of us experienced.

But the silver/golden lining is that corn prices are on the up. Not good news I appreciate for food prices, but there has to be a return for the investments farming demands.

In our case this year drainage costs, new tackle and paying for contractors when time starting catching up on us. And still John will not even contemplate changing our twenty year old Land-Rover. It has almost achieved vintage status.

The other golden gleam on the farm reflects back from a shed full of straw. Big round bales tower under the roof of the shed.

John managed to get them all home before the resurfacing team for our lane started work. The hens are getting vertigo just deciding where to fly up to to find that secret nest.

Fortunately they abandon the idea once they have fluttered back down to the ground after a few frantic attempts to get a foothold on the sheer cliffs of the stacks of bales. It is a good job, as if they did manage to ascend to the top and hatch a brood, I cannot see how they would get the chicks down. They would be lost down a straw chasm.

We moved the tups back to the paddock next to the farm house yesterday. John has still not made up his mind whether to keep them or not.

Twenty lambs went into market this week along with a couple of bulls and made reasonable prices.

Done better, done worse.

It is not a fact that the butchers did not like the lambs, especially as it was guidance from friends who are butchers that changed us from Texel and Suffolk tups to Charolais, only that John does not like the lambs conformation.

I keep saying, think of the money. But he is so particular and takes a pride in how his stock presents.

At home, guinea fowl keet wars are in full swing. As each brood starts to reach maturity, they become more feisty with the older keets, who then see it as their role to keep the young’uns in order.

And then the bantie foster Mums join in too. It is Armageddon out there. Plus potential keetnapping. A bantie with four guinea fowl keets is extremely envious of another hen who has charge of sixteen keets in her pen.

Mrs No 4 perches with her little brood on top of Mrs No 16’s pen and hurls bantie abuse at her rival. Oh, the tranquillity of rural life.

Mrs Downs