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Guinea's Laying, Now What?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Euphemia, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Euphemia

    Euphemia Out Of The Brooder

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    Last night when I went to shut up the chickens and guinea's for the night I found a small egg in a nest box. This morning there were these small eggs all over the coop floor. After wondering why the hen's started laying these small eggs, it dawned on me that these were guinea eggs! So now what? I know I can eat them or feed them to my animals, however what if I want to incubate them? Is it rare that they might brood their own keets and if so what should I look for? What is the protocol for storing these eggs until one is ready to incubate or put them under a broody hen? I am lost at this point. Any help or the recomendation of a good book of instruction would be appreciated. BTW. I kept my guinea's in the coop for about two months and they come in at night just like the chickens. Thanking you in advance for any input.
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They may or may not be fertile yet, if you want to crack a few open you can check for a bulls eye on the yolk. You can store Guinea eggs for up to 14 days in a cool place (under 70 degrees), out of direct sunlight (I try to incubate my collected eggs within 7 days tho). You'll want to turn them a couple times a day to help them stay viable (I store mine in egg cartons with one end elevated up on a couple books and change ends a few times a day). They take between 26-28 days to hatch instead of 21 days like chicken eggs. I try to average 45-50% humidity for incubation, turn 3-5 times a day if I'm not using an automatic egg turner, and then raising the humidity for lock-down to around 70-75% seems to help my keets hatch easier.

    Hopefully your Guinea Hens keep laying in the coop... normally the pullets will just start laying eggs wherever for a while (they have no clue what's going on), then when their natural instinct finally kicks in they find a well hidden secretive place out in the bushes. Sometimes 2 or more Hens will share a nest, and the piles of eggs add up quick. If you can find where they are laying, you can mark a few of the eggs and leave them in the nest to encourage them to keep laying there, take the rest and then keep collecting the fresh eggs every day (when they are not on the nest, and when they can't see you collecting the eggs). If the pile gets to a good size they will eventually go broody on the pile and stop cooping up each night. If they see you bothering the nest they may choose a new spot to lay, so you need to be sneaky when checking for/collecting eggs.

    Usually tho, depending on your predator load and where the Hen or Hens chose to nest a predator will get the Hen/Hens and the eggs before they are able to hatch them out. It's not rare that they will brood their own keets if they've found a safe secluded spot... but predators, weather, tall wet grass, getting chilled and other dangers etc can reduce the keet numbers really quickly. It's a good idea to collect eggs and incubate them instead of letting the Hens go broody (unless it's in the coop), or collect the keets as soon as a Hen shows up with a batch of keets in tow and put them in a secure area at least until the keets can fly and avoid danger better. The keets may also need protection from the rest of your flock at first... sometimes the flock (Guineas and or chickens) will see them as a threat and can kill them all in under a minute.

    I keep my Hens in my breeding flocks penned until they all lay their eggs for the day, then let them out to free range. I have let them hatch and brood their own keets, but not any more, I try to collect all their eggs. Mainly because I hatch and sell keets, but also I'd rather not feed the predators.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  3. Euphemia

    Euphemia Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you SOOOO very much for all this info.It is very, very helpful! I see you are also an expert on peafowl! I am also new to raising them and may need your help in that area if my two India should breed! I am afraid I jumped into the guinea and peafowl thing without doing enough research! Which is not like me.Thank googness for people like you who are so knowledgeable and willing to share your years of experience with a newbie like myself.
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm pretty experienced with raising/breeding hatching Guineas, but I'm definitely no expert on Peafowl. I've only had my Peafowl for about 2 years now, lol so not much experience with them... this will be my first breeding season with them (all but one of my Peahens are young). I am definitely anxious to find eggs from my girls tho. My Peacock has a very beautiful train this year... finally, he's no longer a baby [​IMG]

    I did the same thing lol, and jumped into getting Peafowl not knowing much about them. BYC has an excellent Peafowl Forum section... I've gleaned tons of Peafowl info there. Check it out.
     
  5. Euphemia

    Euphemia Out Of The Brooder

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    Again' thank you! I cracked the first egg and there it was, that bulls eye you spoke of! So I guess we are off to the races! I have posted a couple of questions on the peafowl list already. They were very welcoming and forthcoming with answers. I feel like I have to apologize for my lack of fundamental knowledge. I read everything I could get my hands on before I started raising chickens! However, you just can't learn everything from a book. I have learned more from my mistakes than anything else. I have a great deal of money invested in these peacocks, there is not a lot of wiggle room for mistakes! lol.
     
  6. beachcivil

    beachcivil New Egg

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    I have only 5 guineas left due to predators, so they stay in the fenced in area with the chickens, (about 25 chickens). They do not go into the coop, even to roost. They roost on a perch outside the coop. What can I do to encourage a place, outside the coop, but in the fence, that they can start laying or will lay? Suggestions?
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guinea Hens like private places to nest... like pieces of plywood leaned up against the coop or pen wall at an angle (and secured so they do not fall), large (solid) dog crates with the doors taken off, and even a bunch of brushy branches stacked against a corner. Get creative, and be sure to stuff all these places you make for them and all of the corners in your coop and pens with lots of straw. I even have 2 pallets secured together to make an A-frame stuffed full of straw that my Hens love to lay their eggs under (they will stand in line for this spot with their legs crossed, lol... and other birds like to roost on top of it - dual purpose!). They may use nesting boxes, but usually go for the oddball nesting places.
     
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I want to incubate guinea eggs but the pea eggs are next in line. :/
     
  9. Euphemia

    Euphemia Out Of The Brooder

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    Update: sadly I lost three guineas to the cougars. However my remaining six have continued to lay in the hen house at night. I had a hen go broody so I stuck about a dozen under her and am hoping for the best. Not sure if this was the best choice but the guineas did not seem to care much about them. They just laid them wherever and did not seem to be to bothered to lay on them. I will let you know if we have a successful hatch with our chicken mother.
     
  10. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whatttt... no broodies for back up? Guess you need a bigger incubator, or a 2nd one, lol.
     

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