Dads make better Mothers

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by robin416, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    My wiggy opaline Guinea decided she was going to have it her way and made herself a nest under our porch. I figured close to the house, close to the dogs, I'll just leave her.

    Fast forward to Sunday, by 10 AM five were arranged around her while she stayed on the nest. Several hours went by when two more were spied. Then she vanished. Shoes on, quietly step out on the porch. There she is in a new position but still on her eggs. Watching, watching, watching. Gone again. This time she's trying to get her first five back that were following a couple of males that didn't appreciate them tagging along. I scooped them up, put them in the Dutch coop and waited.

    She left the nest with her two last to hatch. I went to open the pen in the Dutch coop where they were going to reside. Dad was already there, he had found his missing keets. Mom arrived with her two little ones, I carefully helped her two in to join the rest of the family. Even Dad was charging at me trying to protect his keets. To add to the excitement there was one more keet not fully out that she abandoned that I finished in the bator and was able to sneak in to them.

    That night he decided to go to the Guinea coop for the night. First thing this morning he heads up to his family, enters the pen and calls the keets. They came rushing up, checked his beak then he showed them the feed in the feeder. So far he's done more of the tending as far as food. She is keeping them warm at night.

    I learned something important about this Sunday. It may not be all about the Moms losing their keets so much as the keets wandering off with other adults in the flock. She did try to get her five to come back to her but wouldn't abandon the two keets she knew were not ready to be moved yet.
     
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:I found a YouTube video a while back and dang I didn't book mark it. But it showed a male and female guinea sharing the rearing duties even showed the male taking his turn at chick warming... I think there is sooo much we still need to learn as 'keepers' about Guineas with regard to behavior. Soo much of their wild nature has been removed out of convenience through domestication. Same for chickens too.... I would love to have some time to observe the wild ones.
     
  3. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    That is really interesting, I notice with mine that the males are good nannies, keeping all keets together in a pack following mom. My females other than the hatching mom show no interest or even mild aggression even though some of their genetics are no doubt in some of those keets.

    Meanwhile, multiple males seemed to help out the mom at first, except my poor lowest ranking male who wasn't allowed to help. On the nights when the keets were learning to coop, males would monitor any strays while mama got the main group in. Then she would come back out and call them. It's just interesting to watch. Mine are not banded so I have to go by wattle shape to keep an eye on which males are helping and which are not. So I know there was more than one that was consistently helping, but I could never swear how many exactly.

    Now at a few weeks old the keets are starting to spread out more and form groups that hang out with one or the other adult guinea for a few minutes, then return to Mom. There's also starting to be a little pecking, as in "you are lowly, mind your manners", pecking from adult to keet if they get too pushy around treats.

    I'm hoping my poor lonely guy will snag a few nice young keets to make a flock with.

    I love watching our guineas. I had hoped to raise chicks as well, but just can't deal with a rooster. Guinea family dynamics seem really restful in comparison to chickens.
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:I have heard that in the wild (I still haven't located a book on the subject so this is stuff I have heard over the years or hearsay) The female will be tended by several males helping out with the herding and raising of the youngsters. As well as protecting her from predators just like a Rooster would. What you described is fascinating. I would love to see it for myself.

    LOL roosters are a hoot. I love em. When I get my Keets raised up and self sufficient I hope to start my next project ...
     

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