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Should I leave nesting hen alone?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've been raising guinea fowl for 2-3 years now and I haven't had to ask too many questions lately, but encountered a noodle scratcher recently which is why I'm here.  A few years ago I built a huge A-frame for my guinea but after about 18 months, the guinea made themselves at home with the chickens (whom free-range) in their chicken coop, and I let things be as they got along about 80% of the time.

 

Recently with Spring coming along, the hens did their normal thing of finding remote places to lay their eggs, and one of those places was the big A-frame.  After the clutch of eggs rose to approximately 24, I noticed one hen laying on the eggs and remained doing so overnight.  So the next morning, I woke up early and closed/locked the door to the A-frame.

 

My question is, should I leave this guinea hen alone in there with all those eggs?  I noticed in prior Springs that the hens normally performed this laying ritual in pairs (or more than two).  My wife thinks I should put a rooster in there with them for protection and company.

 

I noticed this afternoon, after I let the birds out to free-range, that the guinea roosters and hens I have went over to check on her.  And when this happened, the nesting mother was pacing back and forth, obviously wanting to get out.

 

I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't have waited a day or so.

 

Two years ago, two of my guinea hens share sitting duties on a bigger clutch of eggs in a field next to our house and before I go there to collect the newly hatched chicks, the hens disappeared - only to reappear a few days later with all the chicks missing.  I just want to protect the little chicks this time if possible.

 

Thanks much to any suggestions or advice.

 

V/r

 

Joe

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb59 View Post
 

I've been raising guinea fowl for 2-3 years now and I haven't had to ask too many questions lately, but encountered a noodle scratcher recently which is why I'm here.  A few years ago I built a huge A-frame for my guinea but after about 18 months, the guinea made themselves at home with the chickens (whom free-range) in their chicken coop, and I let things be as they got along about 80% of the time.

 

Recently with Spring coming along, the hens did their normal thing of finding remote places to lay their eggs, and one of those places was the big A-frame.  After the clutch of eggs rose to approximately 24, I noticed one hen laying on the eggs and remained doing so overnight.  So the next morning, I woke up early and closed/locked the door to the A-frame.

 

My question is, should I leave this guinea hen alone in there with all those eggs?  I noticed in prior Springs that the hens normally performed this laying ritual in pairs (or more than two).  My wife thinks I should put a rooster in there with them for protection and company.

 

I noticed this afternoon, after I let the birds out to free-range, that the guinea roosters and hens I have went over to check on her.  And when this happened, the nesting mother was pacing back and forth, obviously wanting to get out.

 

I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't have waited a day or so.

 

Two years ago, two of my guinea hens share sitting duties on a bigger clutch of eggs in a field next to our house and before I go there to collect the newly hatched chicks, the hens disappeared - only to reappear a few days later with all the chicks missing.  I just want to protect the little chicks this time if possible.

 

Thanks much to any suggestions or advice.

 

V/r

 

Joe


What I would do is to leave the A-frame open during the day time so that the hen and her buddies have free access.  I would close it in the evening so that she will be safe from predators.  Mark on the calendar 25 days from when she started setting.  When that day arrives check daily for keets.  When the keets start hatching you can close the A-frame so that she can't take them out and lose them or you can take the keets from her and brood them yourself.

 

FYI, male guineas are cocks.  Roosters are male chickens.

Welsummers, mixed breed chickens, Blue Slate turkeys, Sweetgrass turkeys and guineas.

In wonderful Wyoming.

Bob

 

My photo album

Reply

Welsummers, mixed breed chickens, Blue Slate turkeys, Sweetgrass turkeys and guineas.

In wonderful Wyoming.

Bob

 

My photo album

Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks much for your advice. I'll start doing that today.

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