2 nests or hen taken? Nervously waiting!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by glutten, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. glutten

    glutten Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi fellow guinea owners! I have a hen sitting close to the house on about 17 eggs and another hen missing. Will two hens sit on different nests at the same time or have I lost her to a fox? I have never had a hen sit before as my dog has worked out how to crack into the hard shell. Yum yum. Very nervous but excited. Should I gather the keets and take over if they hatch or leave meets to it?
     
  2. Christabelle

    Christabelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would take them from her personally- all mine have been horrid mothers... But that is just my experience. Mom seems to get distracted and loose them. I really like the noisy critters, but mine are... Not the brightest.
     
  3. atmaclean

    atmaclean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would take the eggs as quickly as you can and put them in your incubator! You will have MUCH better success hatching them in the incubator than leaving them under the guineas....they could get killed or let the eggs get wet, etc. They are just NOT good mothers from what I have experienced. I am always delighted to find the nests and get all the eggs into the 'bator for hatching.

    Angela
     
  4. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want keets, then it would be best to gather the eggs and incubate and brood them up yourself like the others advised. Guineas are notoriously bad mothers. I would also worry about your dog finding an opportunity and eating the eggs. Another concern is that brooding guinea hens are sitting ducks for other predators: raccoons, foxes...

    If it were me, I'd put on some long gloves and safety glasses (LOL) and go gather up some eggs! Regarding the hen that's MIA, she could be on a nest, but you'll just have to wait and see. Have you gone looking for her?

    Good luck, and let us know what happens. I love follow up posts! [​IMG]
     
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes Guinea Hens will share nests, but usually if given the choice most Hens prefer total privacy. A predator won't care if the nest is a single nest or community nest, it's all a free meal to them (and they will be feasting on both Hens and eggs).

    But yah, I agree... to avoid any losses it's a wiser choice to gather the eggs and incubate them (or stick them under a broody chicken) if you want keets, or dispose of the eggs if you don't... be sure to break up/destroy the nest and chase the Hen back home to the coop/pen (if you have one). She will most likely start laying again in a week or 2 so you will either have to keep her penned 'til she lays her daily egg each day (and get her back in each evening), or do the nest/egg/Hen hunting thing all over again. This can go on until late Fall when the daylight hours shorten, the Hens start molting and the breeding/laying season is finally over for the year.

    If you decide to leave your Hens on their nests to brood and hatch their keets on their own then I highly suggest putting on a suit of armor (lol), gathering keets into a box as soon as the hatch is over, and then luring the Hen into a pen with them where she and the keets can stay alone until the keets have grown and feathered out some, and are better able to keep up with Momma, plus able and agile enough to avoid any possible aggression from the rest of the flock (and it's a good idea if the rest of the flock can see them, but not get to them during this time... this helps with integration later). Not only are Guineas not great Mommas most of the time (they can end up leaving some of them behind, getting them wet and chilled etc), sometimes the rest of the flock will try to kill the new keets because they see them as threats/intruders. Not always, but it does happen. Sometimes the flock helps raise the keets tho (like a bunch of nannies)... this all depends on the particular birds/flock tho. But IMO if you want the Hen to be able to successfully raise her own keets, then it will need to be in a well controlled environment with shelter and food and water for a while. I'd make sure you are around when you decide to let them out and allow them to integrate with the rest of your flocl, and be ready to gather them all up again if things go the wrong direction.

    Some have had decent luck with building a predator proof enclosure around the Hen and nest (setting it down over her at night works best)... but sometimes that back fires. Guineas hate change, so the Hens can go bonkers, scatter eggs everywhere and then pace and squawk until let out... and in the process all the eggs go cold and die. Moving the Hen and eggs usually results in her abandoning them, so i never recommend that, tho some have done it. Guineas are not like broody chickens in the zombie broody that must sit on eggs aspect at all, and if their nest is disturbed they just leave and start over somewhere else.

    Best of luck, whichever route you take.... Welcome to the breeding/laying season!
     
  6. glutten

    glutten Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2012
    Thanks for the feedback. I left the hen on the eggs because I don't have an incubator at the moment. And the nest is actually in a fairly safe place. Usually they lay out in the long grass but this one is right up against the house behind an old laying down empty gas bottle. My dog won't touch the eggs while she's there but she is pretty good at keeping other predators away, which is really only foxes here in Australia and the occasional snake, then eagles and cats. She is pretty determined. My hubby wipper snipped next to her and she's still there so we'll see!
     
  7. KrisH

    KrisH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Any updates?

    RobertH
     
  8. glutten

    glutten Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2012
    Still waiting.....one week to go from tomorrow. I haven't seen her get off the nest yet. The hen I was missing has returned also. So fingers crossed!
     
  9. glutten

    glutten Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2012
    Yeah, we have nine keets. 6 grey pearl/pied and 3 lavender? (Not so good on my colours
    yet!). Now to get her to take them into the pen. Any ideas?
     
  10. Christabelle

    Christabelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome!
     

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