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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BlazeInTexas, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. BlazeInTexas

    BlazeInTexas Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm new to coop keeping and had wanted to choose my own time for this but my young son found a crate out on the highway that had fallen off a pickup as it went round the bend and rescued 3 little chicks... The rest were carried off by predators so this little trio was quite fortunate my son found them on the highway! We raised them safely for a month or so and I decided to go ahead and get my order in for French Guineas before it got to cold for safe shipment. I received 16 keets the last Wednesday of September. The rescued chicks were juveniles (and all 3 hens) so of course I kept them separate from the keets. I guess it was mid to late November when I introduced them all and placed them in the fenced, covered area that contains the coop. I decided I needed a rooster for the chickens (no clue what kind they are but they all 3 have tufts on their cheeks though they are all different colors: black with a green sheen, white with a bit of gray streaking back in the tail area and a delightful caramel with dark brown streaks around the collar), so I found a friend of a friend on FB who was looking to rehome a gorgeous Blue Copper Marans. I researched the temperament and contacted him...price was right and another friend picked him up and we met 1/2way! I was SO excited! Imagine my amazement when my friend pulled the cage out and there were TWO gorgeous roosters! Turns out Mike had a bunch of Rooster's and threw in a freebie (wish it'd been a Blue Copper Marans hen!) who happened to be a brother but was considerably smaller in size.
    I acclimated everyone slowly and everyone seemed to be getting along fine and the Rooster's were/are very docile but they seem to have fallen into a habit of tag teaming the 3 chickens.....the bigger brother Marans pounces on the squawking hen while the lil' brother pins her head to the ground with his beak. The hens are fairly strong and more often than not squirm out of the way sideways and take off but the din is deafening.
    About 3 weeks ago one of my Guinea hens turned up lame and was getting run over by the mob as she hobbled trying to get away from me or anyone else. There was no visible break or blood but her toes or lower leg didn't not respond to palpating. I isolated her in my bathroom in a small animal cage to limit her mobility and since then, though I've observed her with her toes splayed and leg extended towards the floor, she has yet to put any weight on it. 4 days ago she laid her first egg. I'd always read that Guineas don't lay in winter months but she's laid an egg each day so this leads me to believe that her injury was not sustained by catching it in the chain link fencing or the coop ladder but rather by being mounted by this big, burly Marans, Hardy .with help from his wrestling partner Laurel!
    I can't afford the avian vet visit (even if we HAD one in-county) to see if it's an out of place tendon issue with my little girl or a bad sprain or what but needed to see if anyone out there has any suggestions on what more I could do to alleviate her current situation. I've increased her calcium intake (this morning she laid a soft shell egg and when I gave her a scoop of oyster shell she dove into it headfirst!) which I should've done WEEKS ago for her leg situation but spaced that....
    As far as the rest of the Guineas go, they have a place where they can go to get away from Laurel and Hardy and today I counted the Guinea cocks and have 5 with 7 hens (3 died in a horrific drowning accident). None of the cocks have been aggressively courting the hens (that I can tell, anyway) though several days ago 2 of the cocks seemed to be chasing a third most of the afternoon until I separated them into different gated parts of the fenced yard. Yesterday and today they all seem back to their normal weird Guinea selves, chattering up a storm back and forth when the cats show up to patrol the property perimeters and basically just business as usual though they, too, were exceptionally happy to see oyster shell show up in the pen as well!
    Any and all suggestions and/or advise will be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry, I just skimmed your post but I think I got the gist of it.
    That's way too much breeding.
    You should have a ratio of about 10 hens for 1 rooster. A little less for heavy breeds, a little more hens for light breeds.

    If you don't want to add another 5-10 hens, you need to lose one of those roosters.
     
  3. BlazeInTexas

    BlazeInTexas Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm on a wait list to order some Maran hens as soon as they are available....if this hadn't all happened in the fall I'd already have them but I just can't accommodate minimums of 25 chicks.... (Or exorbitant prices for Maran female chicks!)
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Agreed, you've got way to many cock birds. Eventually your guinea boys will come into their own and start getting interested in the girls. And that's not going to be good. If I were you, I'd set up a temporary pen and remove all of the boys to give your girls a break and time to mature.
     
  5. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a reason why the peeps ware so willing to part with those roosters. Now you know why for yourself. Do you need a rooster at all ??? Unless you are going to breed to have chicks, roosters are not necessary. I know there are many here that keep roosters as protectors of their flock, as well as those that keep roosters for their beauty. Like CHICKENCANOE stated above. the over breeding is likely to occur with that ratio of hens to roosters. Hope your guinea recover soon.
    The way you describe those hens you rescued, they are likely to be Easter Eggers. Post some pix of your entire flock.. We would luv to see them.
    WISHING YOU BEST AND [​IMG]
     
  6. BlazeInTexas

    BlazeInTexas Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds like a plan.......!
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I like the temporary rooster pen idea. The extras also taste like chicken.
     
  8. BlazeInTexas

    BlazeInTexas Out Of The Brooder

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    I would love to post some pictures but I haven't quite figured out how this site allows me to cause so far it just sits and spins on 'loading'! [​IMG]
     
  9. BlazeInTexas

    BlazeInTexas Out Of The Brooder

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    :D:D:D
     
  10. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe its daytime internet traffic on your connection. Give it a try later. [​IMG]
     

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