Chickens gone nuts

Continuing on with the newsletter intro sharing… here is April’s news!

Last month I mentioned our Great Snowpocolypse.❄️❄️ Well, I’m happy to say it seems like everything around here recovered.

Our trees are leafing out – the flowers are blooming, and the hummingbirds have arrived! I have TWO verified hummingbirds! When we were buying this house last year, there were a bunch. I’m hoping they all make it back.

I only have three hummingbird feeders up, but I have hangers for at least two more. I’ll keep you posted if a great wave arrives.

On other news… I have chicks and keets!🐤🐤🐤 I may have gone a little overboard with the chicks.
I planned on having a total of 12 chicks. Then I found out my feed store brought in Guinea Hens, so I decided on six chicks and six Guinea Hens. Needless to say, that’s not how things have worked out.

It started with three chicks, a Silver Laced Wyandotte, a Buff Orpington, and an Olive Egger (if you want to look up what they look like). I really wanted the Orpington, we’d had one before. The other two are decent layers, too. Plus, the Wyandotte is pretty when grown. Since I planned on getting six total, this was half my flock. The other chicken type I felt was necessary for my flock was a Black Australorp. The feed store was getting those in the next week, so I reserved three chicks, including one of those. That was it. The end. Or so I thought.

Now, my mother-in-law always talked about Guinea Hens. So when doing my research on chickens, I dug a bit on those birds, too. Baby Guinea Hens are called keets. They eat snakes and small rodents, as well as bugs, so what’s not to like, right?

The week the Black Australorp chicks were arriving was also the week the keets were coming in. What great timing!

I went to the store to pick up my three new chicks and the keets, and they didn’t have a Black Australop for me. They only get in so many, and this time they got in less than expected. Since I delayed a day to get them (waiting to pick up the keets at the same time as the chicks), the ones they did get were all gone. So I went home with only two chicks, a Blue Maran and a Columbian Wyandotte… and no keets.

What happened to the keets?! Well, the shipment of the baby Guinea Hens had been delayed by a day. This was not good. At that time, I didn’t know HOW not good it was. The baby fowl are shipped shortly after hatching, and can survive for a short period with no food, water, or heating (the body heat of all the chicks keeps everyone warm, for a short while). Well, a delay in the shipping system by even just one day is a bad thing. Especially with keets.

The keets came in on Saturday (one day late), and I still picked up my birds. I should have waited, but I was so excited… Well, my poor keets did not have a good survival rate. Out of the six I got, day after day I found one dead in the morning until only two survived.😢

Now birds are social by nature, especially guineas. So I worried that only having two was a bad thing. If something happened to one of them, the other would go nuts looking for its flockmate. The feed store had more coming in about a month, so I put a hold on them. I wasn’t really sure these two would make it, and would cancel the hold if they died. I also put a hold on four Australorps for the next batch (in two weeks). You know. Just in case the keets didn’t make it. Then I’d have 8 birds. A decent size flock. At least, that was the plan.

Well, my chicken story is getting pretty long. I’ll finish the tale next post!😉

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