This mama guinea sat on her nest for 4 weeks, right under our noses, and we never noticed. I knew she had disappeared, but I just assumed that a predator had gotten her. Never thought to check for a nest under the bushes right by the front door of our house! When I opened the door the morning of Aug 1, 2016, I got a big surprise - mama guinea was back, with 23 little keets following along. Papa guinea was with them too, protecting the little babies from the too-curious cats.
Opened the front door and found 23 little surprises!
Found the nest hiding under the bushes right by the front door of the house. So close - kept them safe and dry, but we never noticed.
This was a big surprise, we weren't prepared for a batch of keets! We wanted to keep them safe from the cats and other predators, and make sure they were warm, well fed, and dry, so we hurried to clean out our backup brooder area (an old granary with screens put in the door and window), catch the birds, and get them in.
Here is mama guinea with all 23 keets, safely settled into the new home. She is very protective of them, and won't let me get close.
At just over 2 weeks old, they are starting to get quite a few feathers, especially in their wings. Their wings are as big as their bodies!
At 4 weeks old, they were old enough to go outside.
After 4 weeks of being cooped indoors, Mama Guinea wanted a dust bath!! Baby keets were confused but went along with it.
Mama Guinea called for Papa for quite awhile before he came. He was used to her calling from in the shed, and he couldn't get in there, so he didn't realize she was free now. Once Papa Guinea showed up, they went for a little parade around the yard. A kitty was snoozing under a tree, she was VERY surprised when she woke up and 25 guineas marched past!
Keets weren't too sure about how big this world was, they stayed close to Mama and Papa!
That night, there was quite a disruption in the coop as 24 newcomers showed up to roost, and the 23 littles didn't even know how to use a roost! The chickens were very confused. The keets weren't sure how they were supposed to hide under Mama's feathers here - a few tried staying on the ground, and a couple tried to roost on top of her.
4 weeks, 5 days old - doing great outside. Mama Guinea takes great care of them, finds them plenty of food and water, and keeps a watchful eye for hawks. Papa Guinea helps out part time.
One BIG happy family!