Today we took the three Easter Egger pullets and two Buff Orpington pullets out of the barn brooder and released them into the barn. The little chick I found the other day behind the barn next to Dashi passed away. Poor baby was missing half of the top portion of his beak and I don't think he could eat or drink properly. At least the little one was warm and safe when he died.
Today when I opened up the barn to let everyone out I spotted a little duckling crowding around the chicks and the three momma hens. I observed for a while, hoping maybe the momma hens would take the duckling in as one of theirs, but after one of the hens pecked the little duck, I picked it up and put it in the brooder. I'm not entirely sure where it came from, but if I had to guess, I'd say it probably hatched from the nest the Partridge Cochin had been on (and was ousted from about a week ago - now Gracie the Pekin duck is broody and sitting on the nest). That means, despite being a brown duckling, it may be half Pekin.
The barn brooder now has one duckling, three Dark Brahma chicks, and I think there are two or three chicks we hatched from our own eggs in there. All of the guineas we bought last week died within 48 hours. I contacted Cackle Hatchery to let them know (per their live guarantee), but they told me it was because they got too hot and it was my fault - so no refund and no re-ship. If it was too hot, why is it that it was just the guineas that died? The Dark Brahmas from the same shipment are fine... The chicks from our own incubator are doing great... The Easter Eggers and Buff Orpingtons from the last hatchery box are alive and well (even the buff orpington that isn't growing right and is still tiny). I'm so frustrated. We have one more box coming from that hatchery in a week (turkeys, sultans, houdans, and bantam chicks, hatch date 7/10) and this will be our last order with them. We've been raising baby birds using that same brooder set up for two years now - you can't tell me that while all of the other chicks are just fine, all 15 guinea keets died within two days from something that would have obviously effected the other birds too. This is the second order originating from Cackle that have had catastrophic losses. The other was from a different hatchery that drop-shipped from Cackle and they did refund for the losses. Sorry Cackle Hatchery - if you can't stand behind the quality of your birds, I won't be spending my money there for future poultry investments. Very disappointed with their response to this.
I'm planning to spend most of tomorrow over at my parents' house. No fireworks for us, but a nice family meal is planned. Tony works until 8pm, but we can go over earlier and enjoy some games or something until he can come and join us.
In case I don't get back to blog tomorrow - Happy Independence Day! Please celebrate responsibly. Keep your animals contained (fireworks can be scary) and be mindful of your veteran neighbors (who may also find fireworks scary due to PTSD).