Saving Peep

I had been saving a few eggs from the guineas to hatch. I had a broody chicken and thought about putting them under her. I had saved about 8 eggs when the fox snatched another guinea. I realized it was the last hen since we didn’t get any more guinea eggs. By this time our broody hen had already been sitting for 3 weeks and I didn’t want her to sit another 3 or 4 to hatch the keets. Our nice neighbor ( not that our other neighbors aren’t nice too) lent us his incubator and four more guinea eggs he had too. So we were all set to try to hatch more guineas to replace all the ones we had lost to the fox.

After a week, we knew something was wrong as it smelled as if something had died in the incubator. With the help of our daughter we fashioned a flashlight to candle ( see inside) the eggs. We could see some eggs had small dark reddish spots that confirmed they were fertile, some were looking more clear and one was totally dark inside and it smelled yucky.

We disposed of that one and separated the ones that looked viable and the ones that didn’t. A week later we candled them again. We identified 4 that were growing keets inside and we disposed of the others. Finally the time came for them to hatch. One keet peeped (broke the initial hole in the shell) but gave up and died. The next one peeped but never fully hatched that day, so I carefully helped it out of its shell the next morning. It is always risky to help them out but I knew it wouldn’t make it on it’s own at this point.

I wasn’t sure it would survive, but I kept it warm and in a few days it seemed strong and healthy. I waited several more days to see if the other eggs would hatch. I listened to the eggs and couldn’t hear any peeping, which they do when they are ready to hatch. I carefully opened the two eggs that were left and found fully developed keets that for some reason died before trying to hatch. So here we are with a single surviving keet.

I was telling the grand kids I didn’t know how I am going to be able to integrate it into the flock when it is old enough not to need supplemental heat. Miss Number Two suggested making it a house pet. I suggested at her house. She had it all figured out how to keep it in their basement. What she didn’t have it figured out was how to convince her dad of her plan. So what am I going to do with this lone bird? I have no idea!

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