The Word-Nerd’s Homestead – Fall 2021: Blog Edition #3 – Flocktober Fest

Welcome back to the Homestead, Happy Readers!

Floctober Fest

We have some new additions here on the Word Nerd’s Homestead.

The chickens started hatching right on time this last Tuesday. I had 16 eggs left from the initial 23 that were fertile. By the time they finished hatching, I had 13 chicks. That’s a 81.2% hatch rate, which is pretty good.

They were destined to be one of these breeds/combinations:

  • French Wheaton Maran [FWM] (Pure)
  • Blue Laced Red Wyandotte [BLRW] (Pure)
  • French Wheaton Maran + Blue Laced Red Wyandotte (Cross)
  • French Wheaton Maran + Buff Orpington (Cross)
  • Blue Laced Red Wyandotte + Buff Orpington (Cross)

The only thing I can tell you that I DON’T have is the Pure BLRW. They mostly seem to be Buff Orpington & FWM crosses, but I can’t tell a lot at this stage. In two weeks, some feathers will start to show and we’ll see. Even then, we won’t know what the final colorations will be. I’m kind of excited to see how they turn out.

There are also 11 duck eggs. They will be taken out of the egg turner tomorrow and will be hatching out starting Monday or Tuesday. I only had the one Blue Swedish drake of breeding age at the time, so they will be Blue/Black/Splash Swedish or a cross of Blue and Welsh Harlequin.

Although I dread the messy part of raising baby ducks, I do look forward to hatching some for myself for the first time.

Goonie Birb Update

The Guinea troop is still doing well. They have continued to be my fan club although they have started wandering a bit farther from their coop that I was hoping. We’ve had rain a good bit in the last week, so I kept them locked in Monday. I let them roam on Tuesday, and they stayed near their coop, but by Wednesday they were broadening there range. On Wednesday, I figured out why.

Below is the quick video I captured of their shenanigans.

So, as you can see, I have an issue with the troop following the local turkey flock around. The turkeys mostly stay on my property, but not completely. I hope this doesn’t become a major problem.

Thursday, I decided to bring them up to the front yard of the house. I wanted them to work on debugging the yard. When we got there, the other guineas in the chicken coop (Laverne, Sammy & Buddy) were cutting up, so they just had to go see what was up. I followed and captured a couple of pictures. I should have started a video there, too, because it was a Turf War almost instantly. Buddy was pecking and jumping at the fence, and the to boys in the troop were pecking right back. It was funny to watch, but I have a feeling if I let Buddy out, things are going to be a bit hectic to say the least. Oh well, that’s a problem for another day.

Here are pictures of the meetup.

I convinced the Dirty Dozen to follow me back up the hill, and then left them pecking away in the yard. When I went out to check on them a few hours later after it started to rain, I found that they had flown into the garden to get at the very tall & seed-laden grass in there. It’s a six foot tall fence, but they hopped it like it was nothing… all twelve of them. The didn’t seem to be bothering anything other than the grass though. I guess that’s one good thing they learned that from the turkeys.

Unfortunately, there was no where for them to get out of the rain in the garden area. They were getting soaked, so I opened the gate and tried to get them to come out… nope. And they would not fly up either because they were too busy ducking their heads to keep the rain off.

Here’s an adage for you that you can commit to memory.

When water is falling from the sky, a head-down guinea will not fly.

– Me –

Here are some additional interesting fact I have learned about birds (chickens, ducks, guineas, etc.)

Doors are a mystery to birds. Their function is unfathomable, especially when a bird wants to go in a certain direction, but the only way to get there is to go through a door/gate that is not IN said direction. Doors/gates/openings are also very scary to guineas. I can only presume this is because they look like NOT fences, since fences are not scary. When you find something that NOT the thing you know, then you must YELL AT IT VERY LOUDLY to make sure it understands that you DO NOT TURST IT because IT IS NOT THE SAME. Thus, doors/gates/opening/NOT-Fences must be avoided at all costs. This is especially true if a human is trying to get you to go through them. That’s because all birds know that humans, no matter how helpful and friendly they may seem, nor how much benefit you might get from doing the thing they want, only have bird-murder in their hearts.

Also, the concept of “Going Around” something cannot be processed in tiny bird brains simultaneously with the imperative of going “Toward” a destination in their sights. They would rather bounce off the fence wire an infinite number of times (because it has to work eventually) or walk back and forth in a very narrow zone enough times to gouge a rut, rather than try another direction that might get them to their destination.

I only mention this because I had to coral and heard these little dummies in the rain and liked to have never gotten them out the gate. I’ve had the same issue with the chickens before (at dusk when they wanted to go to the pen and roost, but the pen is in the opposite direction of the garden gate), which is one of the reasons I quit letting them in the garden.

Today (Friday), the Goonies pulled another one on me by following the turkey flock around until they were all the way over on the hill by my mother’s house. I called them, but since they couldn’t actually see me, they only flew down a hill and back up in confusion. I had to walk all the way down the drive and back up to get their attention. I finally convinced them to follow me again, and we made it home for the evening lockdown just as it was getting dark. Lesson learned… go looking at least an hour before sunset just in case. *sigh*

Remember to ‘Follow Me’ for more bird raising mistakes!

Seriously though, be sure to sign up your email address for the blog. Follow me on WordPress, or any of the Social Medias you use. I try to cross-post on all of them.

You can also follow me on the following social media venues:

I’m a writer, not a filmmaker, so videos are few and far between. I plan to venture out into that territory some though, so you can look for my video stuffs in the following places.

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Coming Soon: Odyssey, Rumble

That’s all I have for now. Thanks for reading! Until next time…

Happy Reading, Prepping & Homesteading!


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HAPPY READING!