Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed

That's code for the chicks have arrived. I got the call on Thursday morning that the post office had received the birds and were ready for pick up. I was excited to see the chicks, but also nervous because the fact of the matter is in eight weeks these cutie pies will be dinner.

And that's a little unnerving.

Okay a lot unnerving.

For now, they're happy and warm in their brooder box and the kids just adore them. We ordered 25, but were sent 27 of the broilers and one exotic bird (of unknown breed). We've never had this many chicks before and I pray they all survive for processing.

In other bird news we picked up a pair of miniature ducks yesterday from our sweet neighbors. They seem to be adjusting well to the move and we're hoping they'll help keep the fly population under control in the barn.

We also have a broody guinea hen. Apparently she has been sitting on her clutch of 14 eggs since the kids and I left in mid July, so that would make the guinea keets due to hatch very, very soon. Ahhh!!!!! This is no bueno for several reasons:

1. We don't want 14 guinea keets!
2. From what I understand, guineas are terrible mothers and she has chosen to nest in the middle of the open field on the ground where she is and her young will be completely susceptible to predators.
3. The brooding box is being used by the 28 chicks, so we have no safe place to keep them if they hatch and survive until we can collect them.
4. Did I mention we don't want 14 guineas?

We collect eggs every day but she was laying them out in the field where we never thought to look and once she had what she felt was a good amount, she went broody. Read here to see what I mean when I say they aren't the best mothers.

So here we are. I may try and see if I can move the hen and her eggs into an old rabbit hutch we aren't using, but I'm not sure it'll work. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey! We had 2 guineas that hatched their eggs (about the same amount and at the same time). One by one all the guinea chicks died. We assume they got eaten by predators. We tried catching them but that didn't work. It would be nice if you could gather the eggs but the guinea hen may not be so broody after that. ????? Joanna


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