Guinea fowl nesting habits.

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Birdnerd04, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Birdnerd04

    Birdnerd04 In the Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2017
    Hey everyone!
    We have 11 Guinea fowl (6 hens and 5 cocks) and are expecting eggs soon. I have a few questions.
    A. When do guineas start laying their eggs? Are they laying now, or in March and April?
    B. We have two chickens and a rooster. Will the chicken hens raise the keets once they hatch, or do they have to sit on the eggs first?
    c. I have heard guineas are terrible mothers. Our guineas are getting very hormonal and really seem to want to raise young. Should we let them and loose some or eat the eggs and keep the keets from being picked off?
    d. Can this many guineas defend there young from cats? We have one who is a killer. Would the mother guineas fight back?

    By the way, the environment around our house is dense patches of woods with large open areas.
    in case that helps. We're in Eastern NC.
     
    CapricornFarm likes this.
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Since you are in NC, your guineas may start laying in March. Mine here in Wyoming won't start laying until mid to late April.

    If you want the chickens to raise the guineas, you most likely will either let the chickens hatch the eggs or at least go broody and try to slip the keets under them. I would not have chickens raise guinea keets because it causes the keets to imprint on the chickens and when the keets grow up they will not recognize that there is a difference between them and the chickens. Keets raised by chickens still retain their native guinea mannerisms which when used on chickens can cause the chickens severe stress.

    Guinea mothers along with the males can be excellent parents. The reason that get such a bad reputation is that they can lose many keets due to exposure by leading them damp and wet areas. If you keep the parents with their keets in a protected area and only leave them out on good days, they can be be excellent parents. Of course just as with any other kind of life, not all parents are equal.

    I prefer not to allow my guinea hens to sit on nests they have created outside of my coop. Those that set nests in the coop are allowed to have their nests. There is too much danger to predators from a hen sitting outside at night.

    Whether or not your guineas can protect their young from your cat depends specifically on the cat and your guineas. There are cats around here but I never see any in my guinea pen but have seen my whole flock of guineas follow a cat along the fence line making a racket as the cat passes by.
     
    CapricornFarm likes this.
  3. Birdnerd04

    Birdnerd04 In the Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2017
    Thank you so much! :goodpost:
     
    Mraya and R2elk like this.
  4. HeyHey

    HeyHey Songster

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    Aug 23, 2017
    my hen won't sit at night, she roosts with everyone else.
    the nest is in my coop and safe... so my question is will the keets still hatch?
     
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

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    No. If she's off at night the eggs got too cold and are not viable. Toss them.
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Birds get away with things that we can't get away with. You may be 100% correct about the eggs not hatching but I have seen stranger things happen.

    A neighbor's turkey hen was nearing hatch time and his wife locked the hen in the pen so she couldn't get to her nest to sit on it that night. The next day the woman found the nest and was really upset with herself. She decided the eggs must be dead and started to get rid of them but broke one open to find a live poult. Now she was really upset and let the turkey hen get back to her nest. The next day the hen hatched almost all of the remaining eggs. And yes it was in the freezing temperature range the night the hen did not get to set on her nest.

    Some of my own turkey hens were sitting on their nests during a freezing spell at night. As soon as the temperatures warmed up in the daytime, they would leave the nests all day long. When they finally went broody, the poults all hatched the 28 days later after they started sitting the nests normally.

    I would not be in a big rush to abandon the eggs.
     
    red horse ranch likes this.
  7. HeyHey

    HeyHey Songster

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    Aug 23, 2017
    Oh Thank You! I hope it works....
    she and the male are on the nest all day together, he lays beside her.... we have been in the 50s at night so fingers crossed.:fl
     

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