Is this the norm for guineas?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by trickiredhead, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. trickiredhead

    trickiredhead In the Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Oct 26, 2009
    I have 8 guineas, 7 males 1 female, ( I know not a good ratio). They started a nest several weeks ago, I now have 7 keets, but I noticed it was a male sitting on the nest the whole time, a new nest has been started and a male is sitting on it. AND its males keeping watch over the keets. My hen has her little companion and she and he go off to themselves. I wasn't sure if this is th norm, I think its great and the males are VERY PROTECTIVE of the keets. I can't get within 2 feet of them without a male bowing up at me. Just wondering. Thanks
     
  2. cracking up

    cracking up Songster

    874
    3
    131
    Jul 29, 2009
    So Cal
    Are you sure it's a male? Usually the female sits on the nest at night, the male will keep her company during the day. The male and female both take care of the keets.
     
  3. trickiredhead

    trickiredhead In the Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Oct 26, 2009
    Well looking at the waddles they indicate male, they are huge, and the female has small ones. I am trying to catch them, waiting on a friend to come help me becaue there are 5 males keeping watch. I learned yesterday how protective they are I picked up a keet and one of the males hit me in the leg with his claws, TG I was wearing jeans and rubber boots, or that would have hurt. I do have 1 keet inside that hatched after they abandoned the nest and then I have two more that were hatched out 3 weeks ago from the incubator. I don't have them together because of the size difference, so I do need to catch the other little guys and get them with the one for company. The single keet is hanging out wiith a little stuffed bear right now.
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    You can herd the care taker and the babies in to the coop. It takes a while but it does make it easier for snatching keets if you've got a way to isolate them in the coop from the parent. Or keep them and the parent confined in the coop.
     
  5. trickiredhead

    trickiredhead In the Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Oct 26, 2009
    I have officially ticked off my group and it only 9:30 am, I did get away with one little keet and it is inside with the other, now 6 more to go. But my group is avoiding me. HMMM, wonder why? [​IMG] Treats aren't even working. I guess I will wait until they come back into the yard.
     
  6. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    First of all...there is no "norm" for guineas!!! [​IMG] I had a male that would do the same with my lone female guinea. I think that the guineas seem to be much more "group oriented" than chickens. Kind of the whole "...village to raise a child" idea. When I got babies from Damselfish, my adult female ran past me into the house and would stand in front of the brooder and scream for me to let them out. Then, when I had them in their outside pen, she actually broke it and let them go and took over raising them.

    This past spring my baby girl from that group raised a small clutch of eggs and had 2 male co-parents. They sat on the nest, brought her food, followed the babies around, and didn't leave her side during the whole nesting and brooding period.

    I would leave 2 babies outside for the mom to raise. You'll still have your 4 or 5 and she'll get to raise her babies. Mine was much happier that way, and 2 were plenty for her and the rest of the flock to keep up with. Then, when you go to integrate the others, they'll fit in easier. At least that's been my experience. [​IMG]

    Good luck!

    Shelly
     
  7. trickiredhead

    trickiredhead In the Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Oct 26, 2009
    Thank you Shelly, I am so torn on what to do I would like to bring them in the house until the get a good size because I don't want them to end up as hawk or fox snacks. And there is everyone telling me that the adults make bad parents because they will lose the keets or the keets lose themselves. I just don't know what to do. The little coop I have is useless, they would never stay in it so the just free range around our property. At night they go back to the same tree and roost. Since the babies have arrived 1 male stay with them and they have been bedding down right next to the house inside the fenced in yard so they have that protection at night. I fixed them up a little spot to protect them from the rain and for the past 3 nights thats where the male and babies have bedded. But during the day the run around everywhere with the bigs guys. So what do I do?
     
  8. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    This is what usually happens when they are allowed to free range with the adults. First there's the issue of wet grass whether from dew or rain. It leaches body heat from the keets which they can not regain and being so small don't really get the advantage of the sun to warm and dry them. Next the adult responsible for caring for the keets is more than likely going to take them in to some very thick, harsh range. The keets get tired trying to fight through it or to break free but the adult Guinea keeps on going gradually losing keets as it goes along.

    Our fields and brush are very different from their native lands and it makes it less forgiving for the very small keets. An adult Guinea will defend a keet from a perceived attack to the death but they do not recognize the bramble a keet is caught in as a threat.

    The open area the adult and keets are in is fine as long as a raccoon or two do not find them. Guineas can not see in the dark so they will not see an attack coming.
     
  9. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Songster

    2,335
    19
    216
    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    Quote:Can you go out after dark and catch them? You might get pecked by the adult, but the ones in the tree shouldn't come down....so you only have to deal with 1. I've been pecked and it's really not bad. Wear gardening gloves, the kind with the rubber palms, to get a better grip on the keets. I would just snatch them all. Stick them in a cage or box and bring them inside to a brooder. I have 8 week old's I put out last week and they follow the adults around like 1 big pack now. It wont be long till yours are all outside together again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  10. BetsyOK

    BetsyOK Songster

    1,428
    103
    206
    Jun 9, 2009
    Near Tulsa
    I think it is likely that your broody "male" is actually a female. Large wattles is not necessarily indicative of a male; nearly as many of my females have large wattles as small--some one large one small. I had one hen that I thought was a male until she was nearly two and made a very shaky puh-track call right in front of me. She became a fiercely protetive Mom. I doubt the males could brood eggs really effectively, as they don't have that special skin patch (I don't remember what it is called) that heats up to incubate the eggs.

    You'd undoubtedly be better off if you could catch them or herd them into some sort of shelter where they'd be safe until they are older. However, it would need to protect them from snakes, too, which is often difficult. The entire flock can be trained to go ito shelter at night, but it takes quite a bit of dedication. If you can't get them into something, is it possible to erect something around and over them where they are?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by