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Sweet Littles

October 14th, 2014

Our guinea hen has been doing a great job rearing her littles. We haven’t had much luck letting them raise their own in the past, this year maybe she’s just more mature. I let her sit on 5 eggs and she hatched out three. Watching her teach her littles how be guineas is such a beautiful thing.
babies 1
Just last week they were finally big enough to not need brooding any more, these photos were from the week before. I love seeing the babies snuggle under mom to warm up on a chilly fall day. After they’re warm, they pop out and away they go, searching for delicious things to eat.
babies 2
Keeping fowl has many benefits besides eggs and insect control, it’s amazing learning experience. We often don’t get to see wild birds raise their young, I find that watching this process is one of my favorite things about keeping birds.

Have you ever been lucky enough to watch a bird raise a clutch from egg to fledge?

More Babies

October 16th, 2013

It’s really interesting how things happen around here.  Earlier this summer, our broody guinea and mama duck hatched out their nests on the same day.  Last month, both the guinea and the duck starting sitting on nests once again.  Yesterday, they both had their first hatchlings.  That means we’ll be overrun with babies once again.
guinea meet with mama
When I checked on broody guinea’s nest yesterday I saw an empty egg shell, but no keet.  This little thing was off with the adult guineas pretty far away from the nest.  Guineas are notoriously bad mothers, but I plan on letting her brood this batch.  I will try to keep an eye out to make sure nothing goes terribly wrong, but I want to see how guineas raise their young.  The ones that do make it will be strong little guys and should make great additions to our flock. It will certainly be difficult not to step in though!
guinea keets
When I noticed mama duck off her nest yesterday I decided to check for babies, since last time her eggs hatched at the same time as the guineas.  Sure enough, there were three tiny ducklings and five eggs pipping (there are 15 eggs total in her nest).  If you notice, her nest is in a plastic pet kennel.  These are great to use because they’re easy to clean, have great ventilation, are lockable and they’re easily movable just in case you ever need to move the nest.
baby muscovy ducklings 1
baby muscovy ducklings 2
We still haven’t gotten rid of any of the first hatchlings from these two.  There are 9 ducks (6 male, 3 female) from her first hatch and there are 10 guinea keets that have survived (initially there were 15).  We plan on slaughtering most of the male ducks and a few of the guineas.  The rest will be kept for breeding and insect patrol.  Looks like fowl is the name of the game here at Chiot’s Run!  I’m thinking the future I’m going to have mama duck hatch out some chicks for me.

Would it be hard for you to not intervene to keep the keets safe in the case of our guinea hen and here keets?  

 

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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