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Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by thechxwhisperer, Sep 3, 2014.
I heard that Guineas are NOT good moms. Is this true?
I've never heard anyone say they were good, like a chicken or turkey. We've had them free ranging for years and have never seen a keet hatched by a guinea hen. The chickens nest in the safety of the barn and we have 2 hens with chicks now, but the guineas seem to nest out in the fields and either abandon the nests or get taken by foxes.
If you had the hen confined in a small area and helped her, they would probably be fine. I am expecting to put all the eggs I get from our confined guineas into an incubator, not trust them to the guinea hens. Besides, I want them to keep laying, so the fact that they are terrible mothers makes no difference to me.
Contrary to what most think, my females are very good mothers. This is the third season they have successfully hatched out keets totally on their own - inside their coop. I think I'm probably lucky they lay their eggs inside there, as opposed to other places outside. This summer, I had 5 females lying on 3 nests inside the coop. A couple of them were laying together two to a nest! Luckily for me, as I really don't need or want any additional guineas (I'm currently up to 37!!) out of those nests, only 7 keets were successfully hatched. After the females had given up on the nests, we found maybe 4 or 5 dead keets that apparently suffocated. By this time, only two of the females were interested in raising the babies - the others went about their business, and soon after, one of the remaining females also left - leaving one mom to watch and rear the keets. We kept mom and the babies inside the coop for about 6 weeks, with the rest of the flock coming back nightly to be with them. She has been really great with the babies - teaching them how to come to me for treats......how to dust bathe outside.......how to watch out for hawks flying over head, etc. I guess if you really wanted to enlarge your flock and were depending on getting additional keets to do so, your best bet might be to try to hatch them yourself. Otherwise - its really fun to watch the mom and her babies interact.
My Guinea's are growing up in a coop and some have been spending time in the nesting boxes. So they probably will hatch in the coop, hopefully.