Breeding/Nesting behavior ?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by JLeigh, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Pearl Gray male is still bullying, chasing every guinea in the pen and pulling feathers - even the females. Is that hormonal or personality? He's not just chasing the other male anymore. He's not hurting them or drawing blood, although I think if someone kept running after me pulling my hair out, I would take issue with it. It's like he's trying to catch them and stop them. Should I worry? Should I lessen the number of guineas in the pen by, say, ONE?

    The hens are starting to find corners and covered spots in the pen and making nests - or what looks to be a nest. I'm thinking eggs are coming soon. I have a plastic storage container turned upside down that they use. The hens go in, come out, go in, come out, and they lay down in the same spot as the previous hen. One hen goes into the coop and stays there, buck-wheating her head off, which drives me nuts when I'm in the garden trying to get it ready for planting. Should I lessen the number of guineas by, say, TWO?

    Is all of this likely spring mating/nesting behavior or have all my guineas decided they hate each other? Sure looks like nesting behavior to me, but I worry about the PG male. What a jerk he is. Suggestions?
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see all of that as normal, maturing Guinea behavior.

    Does sound like the Hens are close to laying with how they are acting, and their instincts and hormones are kicking in (I have some that are making depressions in the ground but have not seen any eggs from them yet), but usually my 1st timers just drop their eggs wherever for a while before they actually start consistently using nesting spots. I finally got a couple eggs from 2 of my Pullets in one of my flocks consisting of birds from last season's hatches... I'm surprised they are such late starters this season. Not at all typical of my Pullets.

    Your PG is definitely a bully, but a normal one in that he is claiming his status as Alpha bird, and picking on everybody in the process. His hormones are raging and he just doesn't know who to direct them at (or how), so they all get the brunt of it. I am seeing a lot aggression towards the Hens in my flocks right now too, even from my older flocks. I keep telling those dummies that's not what "chasin' girls" means [​IMG] Have you tried crating or caging the PG (in the coop/pen) for a few days? Might settle him down/adjust his attitude, plus give the others a break and maybe Mel can build up a little self confidence.

    As for the non-stop buck-wheater... there's usually one in every flock (like they are the one chosen to be the flock a beacon, lol). If you get rid of her one of the other Hens will most likely just take her spot. The other Hens may join her in a chorus soon tho... they aren't exactly known for being quiet birds ya know, lol.
     
  3. BunkyB

    BunkyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good old guineas. I find that my male guineas like to put on the chase as alfa males but never harm another bird. They put the chase on around the feed dish as well. Harmless in my opinion. A pecking order has to be established and guess what, the guinea usually wins because of his speed and amizingly fast stops when they feel the other bird is out of their turf. Funny to watch just because there is no damage done.
    Got to love their ear piercing calls...lol Definitely a bonus tho when it comes down to predators or strangers come around. They are the best early warning system for my flock here. They are good for that...they trumpet out and the chickens automatically become aware something may be awry. I will always have guineas with my flock for that reason alone. I sold a lot of guineas over the years and forwarned any new people about the noise they can make. I have 48 acres here and the guineas I swear explore every inch of it. They do not nest with the other birds but will roost with them. The females like to nest away from the rest of the birds. Gotta love them.
     
  4. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah. They do make a lot of noise. I'm very attached to my guineas as well. But this one pullet....she's a pill. She calmed down for a while and then cranked up the volume again, but I'm pretty sure that's nesting/hormonal noise. I hope she calms down again. :).
     
  5. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Peeps, Still looking for my first egg from these girls! To have hatched them myself, brooded them up, and now waiting to hatch their offspring is just too cool. I already have a buyer lined up for the first hatch, and I can't wait to see the colors I get from these six.

    Spring is just, about, here !! [​IMG]
     
  6. chickadee101

    chickadee101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MINE DO THE SAME THING! i'm very confused with my guineas... [​IMG]
     
  7. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Still no eggs from my hens....sigh....but I figure they'll eventually give up a few. At least one would think......:). Chickadee, we aren't the only ones who have been having a weird run-up into spring. I think it's happening in a lot of places.
     
  8. KrisH

    KrisH Chillin' With My Peeps

    We found our first Guinea egg this week! [​IMG]

    should be soon for you too.

    RobertH
     
  9. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats, RobertH. My guineas are penned, and I'm seeing some "divets" in the straw and the hens seem to be seeking privacy, so I'm hoping any day now, too. This weekend I'm going to give them an old door, leaned up against the wall to get under for more nesting opportunity. I have a large plastic bin turned upside down and they seem to like that. I see them going in and out all day and that's where the divets are, sooooo......patiently waiting, patiently waiting (okay, not so patient).

    I keep forgetting you and KrisH are in SC, which is practically my neighbor. Our weather signals to these stubborn birds should be about the same. !!!
     

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