Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Chicken/Guinea/Duck Update

I couldn't resist the sale at a hatchery in Missouri called Estes so I ordered 30 more guinea keets. They were half the price I'd normally pay for them. The ones that arrived alive seemed well but soon the lavender ones started dying. As of today I've lost 6 out of 11 lavender and 1 of the 10 purple to seemingly the same thing. They stand erect, eyes closed, won't eat or drink, breathing only a little harder than the others. A few of them had "pasty butt" which is a clogging of the vent where they eliminate. I keep cleaning them but one died between 6 and 8 this morning when I fell back asleep. I've got another that I'm working with and he is peeping a little now when I pick him up to feed him with a syringe. I've got my fingers crossed.

I've upped the dosage of terramycin and put it in the water for all of them now, not just in the syringe for the sick ones. I probably should have started that yesterday, it seems treating them after they get sick isn't fast enough. They've only been here a little over 48 hours and things went downhill quickly. I hope this treatment will work.

However, a bit of good news is that one of the pearl guineas, of which there are 10, started having leg troubles, breathing troubles, etc and I began another all out effort to save him. I placed him in his own little container within the box because the others attacked his feet which stuck out behind him and quivered. I fed him a sugar/honey/electrolyte water mixture. I did this on the hour all day yesterday till about 3:30 pm when I went to my neighbor's to dog-sit for 3 hours. When I returned he was sitting up, feet under him and trying to hop out of the container. I placed him back inside with the others and I can't say which one he is now.

I had one duckling hatch, another brown rouen. Another egg pipped and then died. The other 5 don't seem to be doing anything at all. I suspect they're dead too. We'll have to rig up a cage with a light for this guy and put him in the garage with the month old ducks so he can know he's a duck. I don't want him imprinting on me and thinking he's human. There are 14 eggs left in the incubator which aren't due to hatch for another 4 days. After that batch I'm not incubating any other eggs this year.

As for my previous chick orders, I've named one chick named Spin-Dry. A gold laced wyandotte chick was not looking good a few days ago, sitting there rather ruffled and uninterested in life. We put him in a box indoors with his own heat lamp and started him on electrolytes. When we discovered he had blood in his diarrhea I added some old antibiotic I had from when we raised parakeets. I fed him via syringe, too and also added milk powder to his feed for extra protein. He started perking up within 24 hours but then started spinning in circles, always clockwise while
wandering around his box. A couple days later he was still spinning but also cheeping, looking up, seemed very interested in his surroundings and began drinking water on his own.

Yesterday morning I put him back with his buddies and he seems to be doing well. I marked his feet with a sharpie pen but it seems to have worn off already. I meant to give him a little extra antibiotic via syringe for a couple days but I can't tell which one he is unless he's spinning.

The remaining 11 keets from my first guinea order seem to be doing well also. Their side of the brooder is often populated with some of the chicks who have discovered they can fly over the 8 inch tall partition. Occasionally a keet will hop over and join the chicks but mostly, it's chicks doing the flying. Once they're capable of reaching 2 feet I may have to cover the pen to keep them inside. Can't have chicks running around inside the garage, it wouldn't be healthy.

In the meantime the semi-adult chickens and guineas in the coop are doing fine, free ranging and doing naughty things like sitting on my chaise lounges.

And the adult ducks just hang around the pond or the garage and demand to be fed.

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