Diary of a Mad Keet-Sitter

For a tangle of reasons, I will be babysitting seven tiny keets in my condo for a week.

What are keets? I hear some of you asking. They’re baby guinea fowl, and majorly cute when they’re recently hatched, with sweet little peeping voices. Too bad they grow up to be majorly ugly (at least from the neck up). (This image off the Internet is not the mother of the keets I’m tending, but it’s pretty much what she looks like.)

Hey, wait, you say – you have seven cats! Just how long are these bitty little babies going to last?

Quite a while, as it turns out, at least the five that are robustly healthy. There are four brown ones, one of which is feeble and probably won’t last very much longer; two white ones, one of whom is in much better shape than the brownie but not as active as the others; and one pale gray-blue one.

But the cats! Heh. Visit my Webshots album and you’ll see the keet hotel I’ve set up, heat lamp, chicken wire, and water dispenser courtesy of the teenage guy I’m tending them for. You’ll also see the cats getting a good look and (except for Sophie) deciding they want no part of these odd things.

That, of course, could change, which is why the keets are in my office, whose door latches securely, and why the room will be open to feline visitors only while I’m present.

The brown keets will grow up to be what’s called pearl in color – a dark gray, almost black, with white dots all over, like the image I linked to above. They don’t show signs of having the white piebald markings, except for the one that’s very feeble. The white ones will be white. The one very pale keet… hard to tell. Here’s a link to a color chart that has both keet and adult colors. Seems to me the closest match is the opaline color.

They sure are cute little critters.

Ask me after a week if I still think they’re cute.

Later: The weak one still isn’t eating, that I’ve seen, but s/he did drink a little, then try to burrow under the others. Now s/he’s peeping loudly, calling for Mommy, I think, while the others are trying to get some sleep.

Oh, wait, now they’re all awake and feeding. Which involves much pecking, peeping, and scratching.

It’s gonna be a long week. :smiley:

Huh. Sounds totally interesting. Who thought a guy could play host to 7 cats and 7 birds at one time.

So like…why does this teenage guy have keets at all in the first place? And why can’t he take care of them himself right now?

Pets? Vacation? Food? Just bought a puma?

I’m friends with the kid’s mother, in fact I used to board my horse at their farm. The kid raises chickens and when the guinea hens at the barn where I board now hatched a couple of broods, I promised him some of them.

Turns out, when I delivered the ones I’d stolen from the indignant mother hen, that the kid is going to be away for about a week, and his mother is NOT about to take over the wee ones’ care. I can’t put them back with their brood because the hen is likely to reject them now that they’ve been away from her for a couple of days. Besides, in a week’s time they’ll be moving too fast to catch.
Oh, and by the way, Eddy, Teddy, and Freddy are (altered) males. I’m not. :wink:

It’s day 4. The keets are now in a new, larger plastic tub with semi-translucent sides – a treat for the watching cats! The keets seem not to notice the huge predators only inches away from them. The weakest one, Weebl the Feeble, is still alive, still drinking but not eating, and not growing. I doubt he’ll survive, but he’s made it this far.

I’ve added photos for each day to the Webshots album linked in my first post.

With all the horror going on in the world, it’s somehow comforting to hear their tiny keet-keet-keeting next to me.