You may remember me telling you about the rescue of 11 guinea fowl keets a few months back.
They were scruffy-looking things in various shades of grey., we found them where the guinea fowl roost and they were hatched from small white eggs. Bound to be guinea fowl keets weren’t they?
Only one person disagreed, and suggested they were actually chicks.
Well, as time progressed they started to look a little more like chicks, but it didn’t really register as I was convinced they were keets, and because I really wanted more guinea fowl.
A couple of them started growing feathers on their legs, a trait of one of our farmyard cockerels.
“Well,” I thought, “it looks like we have a mixed batch of chicks and keets.”
It took another few weeks, and a move to an outdoor coop, before I had a good look at them in good light.
They are all chicks.
I’m embarrassed. I remember handling chicks before my sister was born – so I was 2 or 3 years old. In those days my dad worked for Thornbers Hatchery. I really should have known…
The mother, we think, is the black Polish bantam pullet that escaped last year and has continued living in the yard. One of the fathers is the black cockerel with feathers on its legs. He might be the father of all of them, but let’s face it, chickens aren’t too fussy about that sort of thing. When you look at the research, neither are most birds. If this is the case, she’s working hard, and she’s going against the trend as Polish are well known for being poor sitters.
Meanwhile, we’ve just been given a selection of bantams, including Pekins, Minorcas and some alleged Barnevelders. All six weeks plus and all looking bright and healthy.
Though, as we’ve seen, my ID skills aren’t great. They could be ducks for all I know…