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Lone guinea hen

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Wondering if anyone has raised a single guinea hen on her own. Yesterday I became aware that my hen was starting to sit on her nest. After months of seeing them together everywhere I saw only the male. later that evening the hen came by for some food then left again. I have had one pair for 6 months now and they have roamed free, except they were always locked up at night. Last night the hen did not come home.

I made a stupid mistake, thinking that the male may want to be with her early in the morning so I left the door open. No need to finish the story but I can tell you I heard one of them screaming late last night. This morning I found loads of feathers next to the woods and the lone female is calling.

Is there any chance she will hatch her young ones on her own? she seems very lonely. Or should I try to find the nest and try to get an incubator?

post #2 of 25

She may be too stressed to sit on her clutch now that she's lost her mate, so I would locate the nest... (if the predator hasn't already found it) and incubate the eggs if you are wanting keets from the pair. I would not risk letting her sit on her nest tho, more than likely whatever took your male will be back for the Hen (and the eggs if they are still in a nest somewhere).

... Flew the Coop, Twice.
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... Flew the Coop, Twice.
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post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

The sad conlusion to the story:

By some miricle I did find the nest, it was hidden in some weeds in the wood pile. For three days I checked on her. I did several things to try to keep prey away; I turned music on at night, even poured human urine around to keep her scent hidden. On the third day I realized this was not going to work for 26 days, eventually a raccoon or fox was going to get her, (we had seen fresh scat around the yard).

There is a guinea site that claims you can move a nest if you act quick. We tried twice one night but each time she slipped thru my hands and jumped off the nest. She returned each time and continued to sit.

The next evening we came home to find her in the yard looking for food. When she entered the empty chicken coop I closed her in and my wife quickly brought her 27 eggs to the prepared nest we were going to use if we had caught her. That night and the next day she refused to sit on her eggs.

Sadly yesterday I buried 27 beautiful guinea eggs. with no mate it looks like our guinea days are over for now.

post #4 of 25

Sorry you lost the eggs/possible keets. Typically moving eggs and a Guinea Hen does not work... Guineas are not like chickens in that aspect, THEY have to be the ones that choose their nesting spot and if messed with they will quickly abandon their eggs out of fear the nesting spot is unsafe... there's not much emotional attachment between the Hen and her eggs if she feels threatened or unsafe. Some do get lucky and it will work, but usually the Hens have to be pretty far along into brooding the clutch, but even then they will still usually abandon them. Too bad you didn't have an incubator or a broody chicken that could have hatched out the eggs for you.

 

Check your local craigslist... you may be able to find her a new mate. It may take them a while to acclimate to each other and bond or breed, so you may not get any more fertile eggs from her this year, but there's always next season. She may still lay another clutch this season even without a mate (infertile tho), so keep an eye out for more eggs.

... Flew the Coop, Twice.
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... Flew the Coop, Twice.
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post #5 of 25

I'm kind of wondering the same thing.

We got two kits from a rare hatch at our breeders and one had some trouble. I kind of noticed it was a little slow to react and not a hyper as its buddy, but I wanted to give them a try as it wasnt an everyday thing to see all the rare breeds together.

 

So after cleaning up this little guy and his (or her) freind he started to get rally lazy and just shivvered.

He had all kinds of dung (likely not even his own) dried to the belly and even some stuck in the nostrils.

 

He gets a little more active when he gets a good dose of heat, but I dont think he's (or she's) going to make it much longer.

 

Do you think the other one will be fine?

She's (or He's) all happy and normal as can be in the mixed group in the chick pen, but I'm wondering about long term.

 

Some Pictures

700

 Everything looked fine at first, just a little tired from the move...

 

700

 Washed and seperated, no more shivers. (GAHHhhh~ the flash is so bright!)

 

700

 Under the lamp it does so much better, however not good enough. (Still not hot enough, more POWER, MORE)

post #6 of 25
I would not use a red light because I have been told that it can affect them in their later life I have also been told that if you put alittle auger in their water it can give some energy
post #7 of 25

Good to know, we only used the red as it was our last straw.  Little girl wouldnt hold any heat.

To be honest it was a leftover form aclosed down local beauty parlor, never had to use it on our chickens before. More of a novelty item. (good for a sore back though)

 

After a few hours she's much better and eating without encouragement.  We're hoping to end the red light asap, still its the only reliable heat source we have.

The box is set up so only a quarter of it is under the red light and she moves in and out of it freely.

 

Reminds me of a lizard.  Eat a bug, bask on a rock, go find a bug, eat it and then back to the rock.

She eats, then lays in the ligh, cools off in the food tray, poops on her way to the light and then back for a snack.

post #8 of 25

Red heat lamps are fine to use for keets. I have used them for years, they are just usually just too warm for small brooders so I use them in my larger brooders to provide heat for 50 or more keets at a time. It's not the color of the light that matters, it's the temperature that the light provides that is more important.

 

700

 

Young keets need a temperature of 95° F (35° C), measured on the floor of the brooder box directly under the lamp glow... this is just for the first week of life, after that you will need to lower the temperature 5° each week by raising up the lamp or switching out to a lower watt bulb as they get older. Washing the keet probably gave it the shivers... keets are not very hearty at all for the first 2 weeks, they are very fragile and shouldn't get wet. Being by itself is only adding to all of the stress the keet is already experiencing, so I'd at least add it's buddy back and give them a mirror in their brooder box so it makes them feel like there are more keets in the box than there really are (they are flock animals and are more comfortable in numbers). Plus seeing the other keet eating and drinking should help stimulate it to eat and drink more. Adding poultry electrolytes and vitamins to the drinking water may help. If it has pasty butt, you can dab some mineral oil or even petroleum jelly on it's vent area to help with the cleanup, and double check the temperature in the brooder. Too cool or to warm can cause pasty butt. Both keets should be eating high protein starter feed (27-28%), not chick starter.

 

Good luck, hope the little one makes it.

... Flew the Coop, Twice.
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... Flew the Coop, Twice.
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post #9 of 25

Again thanks for all the great information.

The great thing about this light is it came from a beauty salon for hair treatments so its got a variable dail.  No raising or lowering, just tweak the switch. From what we see in the chicks we let out into the sun she's perfectly happy.  The light may be a little bit warm but its just right for 1 night. (I'm sure its not perfect, but shes really doing well now)

The pasty but is long gone. I think the poor chick gor trampled and the poo was stuck to her then. I read up on the sensitivity to dampness and so only washed the poo area and quickly dried it with tissue, keep the brooder dry and make sure the water is out of the path between food and lighting.

 

As long as all is well tomorrow her buddy will be back at her side. I'm still a bit weary of disease and want to be absolutely its not a false recovery before I expose her to the rest again.

My only real worry is the lower protine feed we have.  Never expected keets and we only have about 22% feed avilable.

I'm hoping if we suppliment this with a good supply of skeeters and cockroaches it will give them the little boost they need.

If you read my other posts you'll see we have a never ending supply of both of those pests. Chickens love them, keets should go nutty as they can get under the drawers to the hole in the wall where the juicy buggers come in.

 

Thanks again for the great advice and let me knwo about the feed.  I really dont want to hold their growth back.

post #10 of 25

Scrambled eggs and crumbled up freeze dried meal worms are great for protein boosts (live meal worms are ok too, but there is a risk that the worms can bore thru the crops, so you'd need to snip the heads off the worms just to be safe for a few weeks). And you should provide them with a little chick grit (or fine gravel from outside) once they start eating anything but starter feed so they are able to grind up and digest the different foods.

 

Good luck with your little one, sounds to me like she should pull thru.

... Flew the Coop, Twice.
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... Flew the Coop, Twice.
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