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Nesting "boxes" for guineas?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have 5 guineas (2 hens and 3 cocks).  They were born March '09, so come spring they should start laying.  I have read that they want a private place to put the nest.  Will they use nesting boxes like chickens use or do I need to build them something special?  They are kept in a run/coop area next to my garden and do not free range:(  I lost my first batch of (6) guineas because they got out and did not come back so my DH says they stay penned.  I just want to be certain they have the type of nest area they will use to have their eggs and raise the keets.  Thanks all for your shared information.

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post #2 of 6

I have really big rubber type "horse troughs" for my Guineas in the barn. I fill them with about one third of grass hay and they tend to make their nests in these. I have them in a dark and private place on the floor. Of course I always worry about them because they are more exposed to any predator that may work its way into the barn. I can not put them in the wire cages because then the hens start sitting their eggs.

Guinea Data:   http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?avibaseid=1044B438EE7556BB


Guinea Info:   http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/


Guinea Keets:   visit your local hatchery


Poultry Solutions:   http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/solutions.html



Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein

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Guinea Data:   http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?avibaseid=1044B438EE7556BB


Guinea Info:   http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/


Guinea Keets:   visit your local hatchery


Poultry Solutions:   http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/solutions.html



Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein

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post #3 of 6

I was thinking on making a mini version of my chicken coop for the guineas, including the nesting boxes, but now that you say.....I don't know if its really the perfect type box for them.  I hope so.  I did see a pic of a guinea on a nest, right near a barred rock recently.  It was an old fashion open-top box, but my nesting boxes have tops and sides and that is the type I was planning on using.  Would be interesting to see what comes of this topic.

RIRs 2 roos & 43 hens, Americana hens 3, Araucanas 4 hens & 3 roos, 1 female crossbreed goat, 4 active beehives, 5 children, husband of 24 years.  Certified Penny Pinching, French speaking, hard-headed, little too tall Cajun.
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RIRs 2 roos & 43 hens, Americana hens 3, Araucanas 4 hens & 3 roos, 1 female crossbreed goat, 4 active beehives, 5 children, husband of 24 years.  Certified Penny Pinching, French speaking, hard-headed, little too tall Cajun.
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post #4 of 6

If you confine them to a coop or enclosure and provide a darker space for them to lay they will likely lay in there.  I had a bunch of them that roosted in the barn at night and roamed during the day, they did  lay in a horse manger that was not being used, that is until I took a few eggs as the nest was getting very full.  They immediately started laying outside on the ground.  I didnt find their nest until I saw the feathers and the broken eggs.  Yep common story for these guys.  I have also had them lay in the chicken coop in the nest boxes, but that was very rare.  They did lay on the floor of the coop from time to time.  I did not leave those eggs as they got quite dirty, so of course they did not lay there very often or consistently.  They have a pretty significant instinct to protect and hide eggs, so the best way that I know of to get them to lay in a designated space is to only allow them a confined area.

post #5 of 6

If you have them penned up you might be able to get them to lay in one area but they still may just lay everywhere.  The person I got my keets from had some locked up for breeding and they just dug grooves in the dirt or left the eggs where ever.  There were a couple in the corner of the building, one by the waterer, a couple more by the feeders, etc...   Guineas also aren't wonderful parents and tend to lose a lot of keets.  An incubator and a brooder is a much surer way to hatch and raise keets.  You can also give the eggs to a broody chicken.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses to my question.  Sorry I did not get back in touch sooner.  My Mom had to have a breast biopsy and I went to her home in NM to be with her (no computer).  Following the biopsy she had a bilateral mastectomy (so I have been super busy lately.)  She is doing great now and recovering beautifully.
Anyway, I do have the guineas in a pen.  However, they have no dark or private place to lay eggs.  I guess I am going to be busy still just on different things now.  I have got to get something designed and built for them to lay eggs.  It may not work, but at least I will know I tried.idunno

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