Friday, May 18, 2012

I Have Guinea Keets!

I had placed 35 eggs in the incubator a month ago. Twenty-seven days later, a day early, they started hatching. After 2 days we took out 14 and placed them in a makeshift brooder on the floor of the garage. Looks like a few lavender ones, those are the silver keets and a bunch of pieds, those will be half purple with white wing feathers and bellies. A few of them have developed spraddle leg. Have bandaged 2 of the worst ones, hopefully they'll recover nicely and the others who aren't as bad will recover on their own now that they have a better surface for their claws to grip. Apparently, the paper towels on the bottom of the hatcher didn't provide enough traction.

On the chick front, my 22 chicks are almost 6 weeks old. The Golden Buffs (on the top) are a third larger than the Blue Andalusians so I am going to put them outside in the intermediary coop/run, the old rabbit coop till they are big enough to hold their own against the ducklings and adult guineas.

Ziggy getting a little too interested.
Speaking of ducklings, had one vanish while free ranging last week. No feathers, no sign of struggle. The day before he had developed a bad limp. I'm thinking something, probably an eagle (one had been circling high over head the week before) made a run at him and missed causing him to sprain his leg. Next day, idiot me let them out again and while I walked the dogs in the woods for about an hour, the eagle came back and grabbed him because he couldn't run fast enough. The other possibility is the mother fox up the driveway in her den with 4 kits. I was hoping the electric fence would slow her down, but maybe not.

So now I'm down to 8 ducklings, 4 males and 4 females, now about 12 weeks old. time to sell them or start butchering them though I have no idea where I'll freeze the carcasses unless I keep them at the farm.

In about 15 days I have another batch of chicks coming too. I think I've gone a little overboard, but we'll be eating lots of poultry later this year.

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