It has been a rough couple of months for chickens and guineas. First, Little Albert the Guinea went missing. Because we didn't find any evidence of an attack, we thought perhaps he had just wandered to one of the neighbors' houses. So I looked all over our pastures playing guinea hen calls on my phone (no. really. I did that.) thinking it would entice him to come home. Unfortunately, the next day, I found the tell tale pile of feathers. Something had eaten Albert.
Next I found my silkie hen dead in the chicken run. There were no signs of what might have been the problem. The chickens were all healthy- I had just checked them all the night before. Then came Zombie. I found her in the coop. No signs or symptoms of what could have happened.
Since then, everyone has been okay. I have been keeping an eye on them to note any change in appearance or sign of illness. So far so good. For now, I won't be adding anyone to the flock. I've found that raising chicks is my preferred way to add new hens. The two I raised this past spring are comfortable around me and come when called as opposed to the others who really don't care about me unless I have food. But it's a pain to care for them and a pain to wait all summer for them to grow to egg laying age. So, I might opt to hit the poultry swap to pick up some chicks.
I also want to try guineas again. Little Albert was pretty cool and I'm really hoping that guineas will solve my squash bug problem. Like the chickens, I plan to add them in the spring. I'm hoping to get the hubby to build a small coop for the guineas to put in the garden. We'll see what happens with that.