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Saturday, June 26, 2010
Birds and more (or less) birds
Backyard Chicken Forum revealed that first time setters often kill the chicks as they hatch. They don't quite know what's happening. Yet, she took to her new chicks like a duck to water, and is an even fiercer mother than the bantam. In fact, she's driven the bantam and her remaining chick out of the broody house!
We've lost three chicks since then. One of the Buff's and one of the bantam's drowned, a day apart, in water buckets. Who'd have guessed that tiny chicks could jump that high? And early this week another chick disappeared. All the Buff's chicks were hidden away in a patch of day lilies, and the hen was under the barn. When she finally showed up again, one chick was missing. My guess was that the hawk that's been hanging around managed to grab one.
I finally let the two guinea fowl out of the barn today. I wonder if they'll ever go back in. The hen looked to be making a nest on the floor, carefully covering her eggs with hay, so I'm hopeful she'll continue and not decide on a new nest spot outdoors. Certainly the chickens aren't happy to see them wandering around. The cock chases the rooster unrelentingly, and when the rooster isn't around, he harasses the hens. So much for "oh, yes, guinea fowl and chickens can be housed in the same place, no problem". Ha! And what a racket that cock makes! When his lady love is in the barn without him, he hollers and screeches and flies bizarrely, ending up at the peak of the roof. I finally showed his princess the way out the door. Guinea fowl are definitely not noted for their great intelligence. All will be forgiven, though, if they but take care of the ticks and black flies..