Guinea Hen on nest, with little gray keet

The guinea hen
hatched four keets.
Two blue
and two gray.
She sat there for at least 28 days
on 20 eggs.
Another guinea—
don’t know if it’s male or female—
has kept her company off and on
during the day
and now that there are keets,
hangs around most of the time.
While she was still sitting,
the tiny keets
seemed to want to get back under
mamma.
They would try to nuzzle their way
back under her warm feathers
and she would let them for awhile,
then stand up and force them
into the world
of very tall Johnson grass
and who knows what all
beyond.
Yesterday afternoon
when I went down to see
if more had hatched,
the two adults were right next to the gate
we enter.
The hen made a cranky sound
and then flared her feathers out
and flew up at me.
I retreated
and when I went another way around
to the nest,
the rest of the eggs had been abandoned.
I realized she had moved the new family.
Later,
Ann removed the eggs
and opened them before giving them to the pigs.
None had been fertilized.
The hen knew when that part of her job
was done.

It is a joy
to get to observe
nature take its course.
I hope we haven’t interfered
too much.
And I think we helped
the day cattle were let into the corral
and frightened the guinea hen,
who left the nest
and joined the flock.
We got the cattle out of her pen
and herded the flock back into her pen
and she nestled back onto the eggs.

Four keets!
It’s a wonder.