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Male guineas

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

At what age can a male guinea mate with a female?  We have had a female for over a year.  Last year she would lay eggs in various places, or several in one place, but never stayed with the eggs.  When she started laying this year, she would do the same thing.  She was always around, blending in nicely with our chickens and ducks, leaving an egg here and there.  Suddenly she seemed to disappear.  We found her yesterday, sitting on a nest in some tall weeds behind the house, with 6 or 7 eggs.  She is very protective of the eggs.  Today I took her some water and food (although I'm hoping she does leave the eggs for food and water...I just never see her) and just trying to put the items in front of her, she was very intent on pecking me...over and over.  She has never done that before.
  We did get three keets earlier this year....I don't remember exactly when (should have written it down!), and I'm wondering if one or more might be male and are old enough to mate with her, so she is sitting on fertile eggs?  I guess I'm reading more into this than I should, but she is just acting so different with these eggs, and I can't help but wonder if she knows something I don't?
   rhoda_bruce, can you recommend a good book about guineas, to read?  I hadn't thought much about them one way or the other, but now I'm starting to get more interested in them and would like to know more.  I'm leaving the guinea with her eggs, keeping my fingers crossed that a predator will not get her (we had been keeping her penned at night) while she is out with no protection.  I could move her into a place that would be pretty safe, if I thought she would continue sitting on the eggs. 
    I have a duck that has done the exact same thing...always would lay eggs but not stay with them.  About the same time the guinea started guarding eggs, the duck is doing the same thing.  She doesn't want me anywhere near her.  She is on 9 eggs   And as with the guineas, we got a baby duck earlier this year.  The older one is a mallard, and the younger one is evidently a Rouen...already bigger than she is.  I'm wondering if he is old enough to fertilize her eggs, and she knows they are fertile?  I can move her too, since she is easy for a predator to get to, but wonder if she will continue to sit on the eggs if I do.
     Any ideas or thoughts are welcome.  Thanks!

post #2 of 9

Sorry, but Rhoda's computer just died on her.  Our books are "Guinea Fowl" by Van Hoesen - Stromberg, which is really a collection of several articles on guineas written by several people over a long period.  And "Gardening with Guineas" which I can't locate, but would more highly recommend.  We found both of ours on amazon used. 
If memory serves, guineas mature sexually earlier than chickens, so there is good hope for you.
But it is not recommended that the hens be allowed to set.  They aren't good moms.  They won't see to it that the babies stay dry.  Can you incubate the eggs?

RIRs, Araucanas, Bees, Guineas, Geese, Gardening, Various self-sufficiency projects, Cajun, Married 24+ years with 5 children @ present, Very serious conservative.
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RIRs, Araucanas, Bees, Guineas, Geese, Gardening, Various self-sufficiency projects, Cajun, Married 24+ years with 5 children @ present, Very serious conservative.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your reply!!  I most certainly will be ordering the Gardening with Guineas book you recommend, plus maybe another one or two!  I really didn't expect to be getting into the raising of guineas to any extent, but for whatever little bit I do, I need to know how to do it.
   And thanks for the warning about the mamas not being good ones.  My husband said he had heard that too, after I told him what you said.  We have just gotten our incubator back after loaning it to a friend, so I will gather her eggs tomorrow and put them in there.  Hubby is wanting to candle them, but I think it might be a bit early.  She has just been missing, or so I thought, for a week or so, so that is when she started sitting, I guess.
    I'll feel better not having her out in the open, vulnerable to predators, whether she has fertile eggs or not.
    Thanks again.  I needed a push in the right direction!

post #4 of 9

Yeah.  What he said. 
You know, if a rescued kitten happens to walk over your computer's power source and flicks a switch, it would appear that your computer was completely dead. 
I wouldn't have thought I would get into guineas either.  But a little research is all we needed.  If I had known in the 80s what I know now........oh well.  I am probably going to thin out my chicken flock a bit.

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 #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have to thin our group out also, and don't know where to start.  I'm too attached to most of them!  We have 37, including 3 ducks and 4 guineas.  And now we have newly hatched eggs...13 of them.  Some people want maybe 3-4 for their daughters, and I guess for now we just have to add the rest to the flock.
   Oh...a minor problem.  Our accommodations (two 40 ft. coops and one maybe 160 ft (or less) run...all of which are NOT completed) will be the right size for only 20 fowl.  We have no plan B.
    Went out to mama guinea and took her eggs...7 there day before yesterday, only 4 today.  I don't think they are over a week or so old.  I candled them to see mostly nothing...one had a tiny dark spot that seemed to move around.  I put them in the incubator, but don't expect anything.  I hope the mama will come up and join the group tonight.  I found your book on Amazon but haven't ordered it yet.

post #6 of 9

Between having the shells being thicker and darker than most chicken eggs, I might candle, but wouldn't give up on them too quick.  Still I know the male is young, so time will tell.  Might have better luck by the end of the season, if you can break her brood.

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 #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I didn't even expect to be able to see into the eggs at all, but they were clear...and empty.  I could see an air bubble in the top of one and the little black dot (moving, I do believe...what could be floating around in there?) in the other one.  I did find out that after 12 days of incubation, blood vessels could appear.  It is just too soon for that.  But as I said...I don't think she could have fertilized eggs.  I don't know of anyone around us that has guineas.

post #8 of 9

Guinea eggs develop differently then chicken eggs. It takes over a week to see anything and then usually it just sorta looks like everything is getting 'thicker' at first. You'll see veining a few days later, but it sorta looks more like smears then a spiderweb in a chicken egg.

We are NPIP.


blog, Blog, BLOG: www.MuranoChickenFarm.com

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We are NPIP.


blog, Blog, BLOG: www.MuranoChickenFarm.com

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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for this info!  I'll candle again in a week or 10 days to see if there is any change.  Mama has been sitting on them outside for about a week or so, but I'm not sure of the date she started sitting, so this is total guess work.  It is good to know what to look for though.  Thanks again!

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