I need advice on caging a setting guinea hen please :)

Debbienmousey

Songster
10 Years
May 26, 2009
519
2
129
Washington, Georgia, USA
It's that time of year again. When guinea mothers go out into the wide blue yonder, pick a nice spot for a nest, lay their eggs, and peacefully and undisturbingly hatch their keets, right? NOT!!!
(Is undisturbingly a word? Lol)

One of our two remaining guinea hens stayed out last night on her nest. Thankfully she made it through the night like most hens do on their first day. We've already lost at least 2 other setting guinea hens and cannot afford to lose this one. We have a nice, fairly large dog crate which want to put over her and her nest of 21 eggs, but we're unsure whether or not she'll accept the fact that her nest is SAFER with the crate. So my questions are:

Should we put the cage over her nest now? During the day so that she can get "used" to it?

Should we wait and put the cage over her as soon as it gets dark?

Do we need to somehow block her off for the first few days so that she can only sit on her nest and not have any room to walk unless she steps on her eggs?

If we do block her off, how long should we block her for? How long can she go without food and water? Will she poop on her eggs and therefore make a disgusting mess of them?

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

(We're definitely building them a special pen for nesting next year)
 

Munchies

Songster
10 Years
Apr 23, 2009
145
1
119
Cumberland, Maryland
Debbie,

If you can get the cage over her in the daytime without scaring her off the nest, go for it otherwise at dark would probably be better then you can add food and water inside it during the day. You may want to remove the food at night as this might attract other things to where she is. She does need room to get off the nest to eat and drink so she won't soil the nest. You only need to confine them to the nest if you are moving the nest to a new location.

Hope this helps,

Munchies
 
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