Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Chicken experiment.............

This is one of our Delaware hens, Miranda. Delaware's are great layers - they lay large brown eggs all through the winter without heat. She's been really cranky the last couple of months. You put your hand in her nest box to check for eggs and your liable to get picked. I didn't think Miranda was being mean, I just figured she was broody and wanted to set on her eggs. As we do not have a rooster right now, no point in her setting on her infertile eggs. I have three guinea females that were raised with then hens. They range during the day with the males and come back to the hen house at night. They started laying eggs on the floor so I picked them up and put them under Miranda. She's been setting on them faithfully about 29 days.

When we went to the chicken house this morning to do chores, we discovered that the nest box full of guinea eggs weren't eggs anymore~ they hatched! Meet Miranda's new family -

Aren't they just the cutest? She now has 9 guinea keets to raise and is doing a fabulous job. She's already teaching them how to peck around and eat chicken feed. It's amazing to watch her. She is one happy chicken :)

I'm thinking now I need to find a new rooster. We could certainly raise our own replacement hens instead of buying them from the hatchery. Besides, it's fun to have baby chickens around :)


Mama said...

That has got to be one of the cutest things EVER LOL Congrats!!

threecollie said...

Awwww! I love guinea hens, just love them! And the hen will be a lot better mama than any guinea hen.

DayPhoto said...

It is! And I am on the hunt for guineas. Are they hard to raise and to they make huge messes. Tell more more about the guineas, please!!!


Shula said...

Oh they are super cute. How big do guineas get?

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

If Miranda is happy... :-)

Wish I lived nearby and I'd take a couple of those guinea's in a few weeks. Where we moved has TICKS so I'd like to add some guinea's to our poultry flock.

I had two chicken mama's raise four turkey poults last summer, was the cutest thing to watch.

Sue said...

How wonderful! I'm so happy for you (and Miranda). I wonder if she thinks her "kids" look strange?

Candy Duell said...

How cute are they! Your hen is a happy mom too. To bad that I was not closer, I would be asking to buy some.

Leenie said...

Wow, those chicks and the mom are going to have a major identity chrisis in a few weeks!

Callie said...

Great photos of Miranda and the babies. So cute! And I love the header photo of your farm!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Too cute!!!

lisa said...

They are adorable, glad to know what kind of chicken lays good eggs!

ga.farmwoman said...

That is so cool! We used to have 8 guineas and now we are down to 5.

We haven't had a hatch of guinea keets in several years. I'm thinking we have 5 roosters left.

I know Miranda is going to be a great Mama hen.

Have a good day.

Jody Blue said...

How cold are your winters?

Christy said...

I really want to get some guineas. No one around here seems to have any available.

Deb said...

Thanks :)

Your right - I love my guineas but they sure lack in the mothering department :)

Guineas aren't that difficult to raise and I don't think they make messes at all. We would be overrun with ticks if we didn't have them.

An adult guinea will weigh about 5 to 7 lbs.

I'd be happy to share :) It's really amazing how a chicken will set on another species eggs and raise them!

I don't know if she knows their "different" or not but she sure is one happy chicken :)

If I can have babies this easy, there would be plenty for everyone :)

I really wonder if she will know the difference? I raised three guinea babies with my chicken babies and they all live and act the same. Time will tell :)

Thank you :)

The Crazy Sheeplady,
Thanks :)

I've had lots of different breeds of chickens over the year - the Delawares are top notch in my book :)

I hadn't had a guinea hatch for a couple of year either. A friend gave me three keets and they were all females. I raised them with hens and now they run with the males. Fortunately they laid where I could find their eggs.

Jody Blue,
We usually have a stretch of -20 or colder in January/February.

You can order keets from some of the hatcheries. My first ones I ordered from a hatchery in Oklahoma.