Are Guinea Hens good mother’s?

MsFluffyButt

In the Brooder
Jun 27, 2019
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I found a guinea nest for the first time since adding them to our farm. I’m wondering if I should let her hatch them, I have some room in our incubator for the last batch for 2019. How are they as mothers if I just leave her be with them? Should I just keep an eye on her and grab the keets when they hatch? We live in WI so it’s starting to get cold and damp.
 

MsFluffyButt

In the Brooder
Jun 27, 2019
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Forgive me for needing the For Dummies version... but do you mean catch her and pen her up with the eggs?
 

R2elk

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I found a guinea nest for the first time since adding them to our farm. I’m wondering if I should let her hatch them, I have some room in our incubator for the last batch for 2019. How are they as mothers if I just leave her be with them? Should I just keep an eye on her and grab the keets when they hatch? We live in WI so it’s starting to get cold and damp.
Guinea hens may or may not be good mothers. It depends on the individual guinea hen and the situation.

A hidden guinea nest not inside a predator proof are is a good recipe for disaster. Many guinea hens on their hidden nests are taken by predators. Attempts at moving a guinea nest usually end up with the hen abandoning the nest.
 

HuffleClaw

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Guinea hens may or may not be good mothers. It depends on the individual guinea hen and the situation.

A hidden guinea nest not inside a predator proof are is a good recipe for disaster. Many guinea hens on their hidden nests are taken by predators. Attempts at moving a guinea nest usually end up with the hen abandoning the nest.
:goodpost:


My guinea was a WONDERFUL setter, but an awful mother. She had 16 eggs, and I gave 9 to my broody silkie and left her with 7. When they hatched I put the guinea in a pen with them so she couldn’t drag them out into the wet grass, but she was constantly stepping on the poor babies so I ended up giving them all to the silkie.
 

R2elk

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In the wild, Guineahens are good mothers. They have to be. In captivity, not so much.
Again it depends on the individual hen and the situation. In a very dry climate they may do better than in a wet climate. In the wild, they are just as susceptible, if not more so, to predators.
 

Cyprus

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Again it depends on the individual hen and the situation. In a very dry climate they may do better than in a wet climate. In the wild, they are just as susceptible, if not more so, to predators.
Susceptibility to predators is not on the same level as maternal instinct.

The question is of the strength of a guinea hen's maternal instinct, not entirely on her ability to pick a protected nesting spot although important.

So, on the question of maternal instinct, wild guinea hens tend to have a stronger maternal instinct than captive bred guinea hens.
 

sourland

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I agree with @R2elk and @HuffleClaw in their assessments. In my experience guinea fowl have been excellent setters and extremely poor mothers. My environment tends to be 'greener and wetter' than the natural environment of Guinea fowl. In a drier environment they may do much better.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

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I’ve been trying all summer to make my constantly broody guineas into good mothers.... Result was one giant nest where the mom(s)? killed the hatching keets, and a nest that hatched a keet, which was appropriately mothered for a few days then abandoned. I’ve also been working with broody hens this summer. I’m kind of amazed at how much worse the guineas are at mothering... I don’t know if it’s my conditions (only one male) or if the mothering instinct has been bred out of my flock. I am ridiculously stubborn and a glutton for punishment, so may try again next year...
 

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