Our television is rarely turned on. My husband and I both work full-time. When I'm done with my real estate day, and he comes home from work, the last thing we want to do is stare at a screen. Chances are that you'll find us both outside, cell phones glued to our hips in case of business calls.
When we moved to Southwest Missouri and bought rural property, animals were definitely part of our dream.
We found the perfect 40 acres for us. Not too much cleared land to take care of, but plenty of room for a large garden. Several hens, one rooster named Henry and seventeen young guinea fowl have the run of the place, and they provide a major portion of our at-home entertainment.
Who needs pre-recorded situation comedies, romantic movies and action flicks when you can watch it "live" with poultry?
Trust me, you haven't seen comedy until you've seen a hen run across your yard chasing a bug. It's a run, it's a waddle, it's a side-to-side sashay. It's something that I can hardly describe, but I assure you, it is hysterically funny.
Handsome Henry Just Wants a Little Love
Meanwhile, Henry provides the romance by softly calling his ladies over to eat all the best treats that he finds. Once they get to him, Bird TV switches back to the comedy channel.
The ladies have no manners, they don't take turns, and they certainly don't leave any scraps for the nice gentleman who found a tasty tidbit for them.
After the treat is gone, they stroll off without a backward glance and continue their leisurely browsing, while Henry is left to work again for their attention.
Two innocent guineas before they grew into "Teenage Barbarian Poultry"
Suddenly, along come the guineas. Guineas don't walk. They run, and they run as a gang, packed wing-to-wing as they cruise for bugs.
The guinea gang does a great impression of barbarian invaders streaming down a hillside as they rampage over our rock pile. This military illusion is helped along by the fact that each bird looks like a tiny infantry helmet. If they were carrying little spears, I'd be downright frightened.
For the grand finale, we have a nightly reenactment of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". Guineas don't just run in a gang. They fly in a gang. Full-grown chickens, on the other hand, don't fly much at all.
At least once every evening, the guineas decide that they really, really need to be where the chickens are. And they need to be there RIGHT NOW.
So, up, up, up...loud, scary wing-flapping noises...and down again, sending hens scattering and leaving Henry twisting his head in every direction at once, trying to track the invaders and save his ladies.
Yeah, I don't need TV. I've got Bird TV.