Seven youngish guineas

Could this be a girl?

We haven’t been much into
babies
here at Turtle Rock Farm.
Except for cats;
we get lots of happy little kittens.
But we haven’t arranged
for any other babies.
Three male alpaca.
Two female goats.
Hens only—
until this year
when one of the little chicks
we picked out at the farm store
turned out to be a rooster.
Two male guineas.
Until the other day.
A couple of months ago,
four young guineas came here to live
and then a couple of weeks ago,
three more arrived.
They’re a little larger,
though not fully grown.
They are large enough to make
adult guinea sounds.
And we’re hearing sounds
we’ve never heard before.
We think they’re girls.
In addition to the very loud
clacking sound
the adult males make,
they, loudly, croak out something like,
“Come BACK! Come BACK!” Come BACK!”
And the two males
are right outside their pen
(the young ones won’t be let out of their pen in the barn
until spring)
talking to them
several times during the day.

When the cold comes
and the days grow shorter,
we’ll keep the males in the barn
all the time
and let all the guineas in together.
We know it will be noisy,
but we like all those sounds.
The loud clackings.
The “Come BACKs.”
The squeaks and squawks and whirrs.
The cock-a-doodles.
The cackling.
The cooing the doves make.
Soon, throngs
of red-winged blackbirds
will wing their way into the pastures
and the tree tops,
and more pairs of cardinals
will arrive
chirping their way into the symphony.
And maybe,
in the spring,
we’ll hear some “cheep-cheeps.”