Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chick & Keet & Guinea Update

I hope you don't mind lots of chicken and guinea pictures, because this post is going to be chock full of photos!

Are you ready???

Here we go...

The Rhode Island Red chicks are finally getting bigger.  Three of the 4 RIRs are mixed brown and white colors like the photo above and they have no tail.  One of the RIRs - the one on the right in the photo below, has an all brown body and has a tail. 
Could some of them not be RIRs?

The 4 RIRs/whatever they are, are still the most friendly chicks we have.  They are darlings, they come right up to us to be held.
The RIR chicks and their mother hen still have not been fully integrated into the chicken/guinea flock.  The mama hen is a fighter and we're taking our time getting her mixed in with everyone.  They have made visits to the flock, but we always separate them back out again into their own pen.

The Cuckoo Marans are totally mixed in with the chicken/guinea flock.  They are so big now!  They are very inquisitive birds, and seem to get along with all the other birds very well.  The babies have learned to listen to their mama hen and like to stay by her side, even though they are just as big as the guinea keets.  We think we have 2 females and 2 males here, based on their combs and personalities. 
Mama hen is in the nest box and is calling her babies to bed in the photo below.

I got a photo of one of the Cuckoo Marans flying into the nest box!  He's showing his pretty wing stripes.

The guinea keets are totally integrated into the chicken flock.  Bella, the white mama hen to the guineas, is paying attention to the keets less and less.  The keets sometimes listen to their mama hens, and sometimes they go off by themselves and do their own thing.  They are more independent birds than chicks at the same age.

I am happy to announce that the white guinea keet is still alive.  When he was born he was normal, but something happened to him a few days after birth.  We think it was some kind of vitamin deficiency.  He stopped growing and starting acting very "slow"/not right.  He stopped eating and drinking, too.  He would walk backwards, couldn't keep up with the other guineas, and bumped into things, appearing to be blind.  he couldn't fly when the others all could fly.  He had bad balance.  We read that keets sometimes have a vitamin E deficiency, so we started giving him a drop of vitamin E from a vitamin E capsule twice a day, and also gave him antibiotic water and mealworms.  We hoped he would live as he was the only all white keet.

Little white keet has greatly improved and now there is no concern that he is slow or blind or may have to be put down.  He eats fine now and he's able to fly fine.  He's still a follower and pays attention to what the other keets do and imitates it.  He's still the smallest keet, but sometimes he even fights for a treat and wins it because he's fast and small.  He does like to be with his mama hen, Bella - he's sitting beside her on the roost in the photo above.

All the adults birds have adjusted to babies in the chicken pen.  Below are the 2 roosters, the guinea keets, and the cuckoo maran chicks.  We have a mixed flock.  The guinea keets sing their beautiful guinea songs.  the chicks peep like chicks do, and the hens cluck.  Everyone is bilingual - they all speak guinea and chicken languages. 
One of the hens, Genny (named after my friend Genny from Downeast blog), even has started sounding like a rooster.  The roosters warn the flock when a hawk or other danger is near, making a rooster hawk cry.  Genny is now working with the roosters, making the rooster hawk cry, standing out in the open when danger is near beside the roosters, while all the other birds take cover and hide in the bushes.  Genny hasn't started crowing or anything, but I'm keeping an eye on her.  She's a brave hen.

The guinea-killing monster is officially gone.  We have not lost any guineas in a long, long time.  We stopped bringing out the scarecrow, Andy, but we still do keep a radio on every night outside near where the guineas roost.  Thank goodness that horror has passed. 
We have 3 adult guineas, 2 males and 1 female.  The lone grey male is not happy because he doesn't not have a mate.  The white male has claimed the only female. 

The below photo shows the mated pair of guineas eating a treat of chicken food.  I sometimes give them treats right before they fly up to sleep in the pine tree.  They love chicken food.  The left one is the white male, the father of the white keet.  He's the lead guinea now.  I like the white male, he seems very smart.  I think he's a good leader.  The female is on the right eating.

Here's the grey boy guinea looking down at me from on top of the chicken coop. 
He looks like a dinosaur bird.

Have a nice Sunday and a great holiday, from everyone here at Razzberry Corner!


Nancy said...

I loved all the photos! Happy your white keet is doing better. You seem to be a bird whisperer. Good job!

Foothills Poultry said...

Great Pics. Your RIRs are actually Production Reds. The brown should mostly go away after a few more molts.


Lisa said...

The guinea birds look like the birds in the Flintstones cartoon. The white one is cute.

LindaG said...

Thanks for all the pictures and updates! :)

Kessie said...

I'm glad everything's lived and flourished. I'm also glad that the guinea killer has gone! Your poor single guineas are watching those keets with interest, I'm sure. Isn't it funny how the chickens and guineas all become bilingual? That cracked me up when I had my mixed little flock. :-)

CaliforniaGrammy said...

It's fun looking at all your pictures, keeping up with the goings-on at Razzberry Corner. I'm so glad to hear the white-guinea news!

Terry said...

Dinosaur birds indeed!

Robin said...

I'm so glad that you haven't had any more problems with the guinea predator.

Leigh said...

What great photos! Especially the one of the little roo in flight. So glad to hear your guineas are safe now. May it stay that way forever.

Knatolee said...

Great photos! The keets are really looking like guineas now. Everyone is getting so big! Glad your TLC worked for the white keet too. And wow, Genny got a hen named after her! :)