Introducing baby guinea chicks to a broody hen...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ameador1, May 29, 2008.

  1. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    We have 3 - 1 week old baby guineas. We also have a hen that went broody and has been sitting on a nest of eggs 4-6 days. We want to go out at night, steal her eggs and put them in the incubator, and put the baby guineas under her.

    The baby guineas at 1 week old look like brand new baby chickens - they were smaller to start with (well, at least for our chickens - broody is a Buff Orpington). Anyway, we want these guineas to stay with the chickens in the chicken house, so we figured this would be a good way to work them into the groups - with a protective momma hen.

    Broody hen is a little over a year old and has not been broody before - but she seems VERY dedicated. More so than a few of our others that have went broody.

    We are debating some of the following issues:
    * Is it too soon to try this with her?
    * She is setting on probably 15-20 eggs - Should we remove them all and put the 3 babies under her, or add babies and leave some eggs, or...?
    * We figure on doing this shortly after dark so they are together most of the night - the idea being to get them used to the idea of staying with her before it gets light and they all run off in different directions. Is this a good idea or are our chicken instincts off?

    Please advise and add any additional input you may have on the subject.

  2. Chickemee

    Chickemee Songster

    Jul 30, 2007
    I don't reccomend mixing chickens and guineas because someone told me that the guineas could give the chickens a deisese.
  3. CindyS

    CindyS Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    Geneseo, Illinois
    I have given guineas to hens before. Every hen is different though. I have some oegb that are excellent mammas, I have given them babies in the daytime before. A good test that I use is, put a baby under her, if she does alot of clucking, its promising. Then, sprinkle a little food in front of her, if she makes the coaxing sound and picks up pieces of food to feed the baby, you will be sucessful giving them to her. Make sure she and babies have bonded well before you move her from her original nest. If she pecks at baby or makes that " what the heck was that" growl, its going to be more tricky. Hope this makes sense, but if you know chicken language, it can help you alot:D
  4. Broke Down Ranch

    Broke Down Ranch Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    It all sounds good except the keets probably will not accept her as mama now - you should really try this with day-old babies. At 1 week they are already used to the fact they have no mama and they probably would not stay under her or listen to her.
  5. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    Well, I didn't go well at all.

    The hen did not want to take them. I think maybe she thought they were some kind of nest invaders! She would leave them alone for a little bit, but if they got too close to the outter edges around her sides, she'd grab them and toss them out. So long as they stayed under her, she left them alone.

    Anyway, the guinea chicks finally stayed under her and she lef them alone. I worked on trying to get her to take them from around 10:00PM to 1:00AM. I stayed until it seems that everything was fine - they had all settled down at least.

    So, I got up before daylight to make sure she wouldn't kick them out again in the morning once it got light. It seemed that they were all ok, but then about 30 minutes after it stated getting light, she kicked them out again. So, back under the heat lamps they wen't.

    I figured if she kicked them out, even when she could see them that there wasn't much hope.

    We'll just have to raise them ourselves and try introducing them to the chick clan once they're older/bigger so they can at least take care of themselves.

    We also kept the hens eggs - they wen't into the incubator just before trying to put the chicks under her. I wonder if we should have taken the eggs that night and tried putting the chicks under her the next much stress too close together? The next morning I tried taking one of the chicks out where she was walking around - being bruddy/grumpy - and put it down where she could see and hear it, but she just came after it aggressively trying to peck it, so I kept her back and re-collected the baby and brought it back in to the brooder.

    None of the babies appear to have been hurt and have been inside allday yesterday and today and they seem their typical selves.

    Oh, well. She is/was the only hen we have that is being broody, so we don't have any other to try with.

    Live and learn.

  6. earthcare

    earthcare Hatching

    Aug 25, 2012
    When my guinea hen started nesting outside and didn't go to the coop at night for days, I thought I had lost her. I bought more keets, 4 at a swap and 4 at agway. I had put them in the brooder. When I realized the hen was just nesting and not dead, I decided to put the keets in the coop. The male had been returning to the coop at night. One day I put all the keets (8 but 4 of 2 different ages) into the coop. Mr. Guinea thought they were his babes and looked after them immediately. Mrs. Guinea finally decided to come off the nest prematurely (within 2 days of the introduction) as a predator was chasing her at night. You could kind of tell she wasn't buying the fact that they were hers, but decided it was easier I guess. The whole family free ranges together and there's never been a problem. I find it amazing though that Mr. Guinea takes care of the little ones. I would have thought the female would.
    Now I have a cochin hen sitting on guinea eggs and hatched out one already. She's being the mom to this keet. She's been broody for so long, I think she's loving it. But I wonder if the guinea will join the others or hang with the chicken later. Any one have any thoughts? Thanks

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