Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekly Update - Monster Update

This past week has been busy here at Razzberry Corner, as always.  Lots is going on...

The chicks and keets are growing fast, as babies do.  The mama hens still DO NOT like other mama hens or their babies near their own babies.  The mama hens don't mind other birds around their babies, only other mother hens or babies are an issue.  Which is making it very difficult to integrate the 4 sets of mama hens and babies into the flock.

I didn't get a picture of Jade and her 4 Rhode Island Red and 1 White Leghorn chick this week.  They are all doing fine.  The leghorn chick is much bigger than the Rhode Island Reds and I'm concerned it may be a boy.  I don't need another leghorn rooster!   

Cheryl is very defensive and likes to fight, and has taught Jade to fight because their pens are side-by-side.  Now Jade has become a fighter - Jade is a follower, she's just a pullet and is not dominant.  This week I had Jade and Cheryl and all their respective chicks loose in the big chicken pen together and they bother started fighting.  The fight only lasted a minute - I had to separate the 2 hens as they were holding each other's heads in their mouths biting each other and flapping all around at the end of the fight.  When I separated all the chicks, I realized one of the black Cuckoo Maran chicks was all bloody.  Part of it's wing was gone, it had a wound on it's neck, and a huge hole in it's chest.  Yellow organs were coming out of the chest.  It's chest was oozing.  I pushed the insides back into the chick's chest and put a bandaid over the wound to hold it together.  Pieces of organs were on my finger.  I think it was the bird's crop that was hurt.  The chick has been given antibiotics in water from a dropper twice a day since the accident.  I really can't imagine the chick got hurt that bad in the minute it was left unattended in the chicken pen - it may have been injured before.  However, the injured chick is doing great.  The bandaid came off the next day, it's chest has healed, it's wing and neck look normal.  It's just as feisty as the other Cuckoo Marans.  Amazing.  I didn't expect it to make it, but it didn't even realize it was injured.

Cheryl and the Cuckoo Maran chicks

Bella had one injured coral blue keet that was badly injured when it hatched.  It was given antibiotic water from a dropper twice a day until it healed.  He has now totally healed and is doing fine.  It almost died on day 1 of it's life, and quickly was much smaller than the other keets.  But now he's totally normal.  However, Bella has 1 all-white keet that started acting strange, started hobbling around, not acting normal.  We read that keets can have vitamin deficiencies, and started this keet on a drop of vitamin E twice a day, along with twice a day antibiotic water.  Although he's making a major comeback, this white keet is now only half as big as the others and something is still wrong with it.  We're not sure it's going to make it.  If it doesn't make it, it will be the only baby that died out of 12 keets and 9 chicks.
Bella and her 5 guinea keets
Charlotte and her 7 keets have been totally integrated into the flock, although we separate her and her babies to sleep in their own pen.  However, this week they will be roosting with the adult chickens.  The keets may be very small, but they are smart and catch on to things quickly.  They can fly just like a normal wild bird, they are so lightweight I think flying is very easy for them.

Charlotte and her 7 guinea keets
Leggy loves to pose for the camera.  Look at those drumsticks!!

We still have 2 broody hens - Lucy and Ethel.  Yesterday Randy gave Ethel a bath that started out nice and warm, but ended up cold.  He was trying to break her of being broody by cooling her down.  Chickens love baths, but not necessarily cold baths!  The bath didn't break Ethel's broodiness - she was back in a nestbox this morning.

Ethel gets a bath

Coral Blue male guinea
Monster Update! 

We still have 3 adult guineas - 2 coral blue (1 male, 1 female) and 1 white (male).  The monster has moved on and has stopped the homicides!  We still have Andy the scarecrow outside every night, and Andy listens to talk radio on a small handheld radio.  Andy sometimes shows up in different areas of the yard to keep the monster guessing about what's going on.  We really think the monster was a great horned owl.  

After all the sudden murders of all the guineas, the white male guinea was expected to be the leader of the flock, as he was #2 in the flock before Guinea Boy died.  However, the white male went into a great depression after everyone else was killed, and he was not acting normal at all.  We thought he may move away on his own, he was so strange-acting.  But then yesterday he came back to his old self again.  He and the blue guinea were chasing each other all over the yard, and the White Boy gained his dominance back by kicking Blue Boy's butt.  And so the only girl is dating the White Boy again, and Blue Boy was alone all morning today.  The above photo was taken this morning as Blue Boy was hanging out by the chicken coop making eyes at Cheryl and her cuckoo maran chicks.  Cheryl told him if he came any closer she'd show him who was boss.  Cheryl would win that fight.
This morning Bobby the cat came too close to Cheryl.  Bobby was just trying to be friendly to me and was rubbing on my legs, and I was feeding Cheryl and the chicks.
Cheryl won - Bobby knows not to get too close to a chicken again.

Bobby looking at that crazy mama chicken
Have a good week!


Farm Girl said...

With a chicken pen, who needs a television. Always some kind of drama going on. I am so glad you saved your cuckoo Marans, My three hens are hands down my favorites. Just for the great personalities. Not to mention the beautiful eggs. So glad the monster moved on, I just love all of the amazing things that Andy does and how he sleeps outside every night listening to talk radio.
Cool guy.
I need to try giving my broody hens a bath. I am at my wits end with them now.
Have a great week, and thanks for the update.

Kessie said...

Wow, so much drama! Never a dull moment, is there? That's amazing about that one chick who got all ripped up. I've never had one who got hurt that bad and survived. You must have some really amazing antibiotic drops. :-)

LindaG said...

Congratulations on saving the chick! I'm really surprised. Happy Sunday!

Country Girl said...

So much drama! I have a question. Are the cuckoo maran chicks chickens or guineas? I never heard of that kind. ~ Loving your tales about life in and out of the coop!

John Gray said...

well done with the chick injuries... I was surprised it survived
well done!!!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Amazing story with the bird-bandaid holding the organs inside . . . geeze, I never would have thought to put a bandaid on a bird! Good job.

Razzberry Corner said...

Farm girl - That's good to know about the Cuckoo Marans. I like their dark brown eggs, or at least, I like that maybe one day they will give us dark brown eggs! Let us know if a bath works for your broody hens!

Kessie - The injured chick never even acted hurt, even when it's insides were sticking out the hole in it's chest. They must be tough chickens!

LindaG - Have a nice week!

Barb - Cuckoo Marans are chickens. They lay dark brown eggs.

John - I was surprised, too. If only the white guinea keet lives, I'll be happy!

CAGrammy - I was concerned the bandaid wasn't good enough, but I turned out the light in the coop right after I out the bandaid on, making the chicks go to bed. It was evening and getting dark outside. By morning the hole in the bird's chest had a crusty scab covering it. I figured the bird would be dead in the morning, but it was just as lively as the rest. I hope it's a hen and not a rooster!


Anonymous said...

Thanks. I retwit it on my Twiiter
Bob Peters, CA

trashmaster46 said...

Nice photos :)