My lonely guinea problems

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by chickenology, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. chickenology

    chickenology Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday was a bad day at our house. I came home and found one of my female guineas ("Mo") dead in the front yard, punctures over her shoulders. The male guinea ("Larry") is missing but there are lots of piles of feathers in the front yard and back yard. I am afraid something really ugly must have happened and he is not to return. [​IMG] I have one remaining female guinea ("Curly") who happened to be sitting on her nest in the coop when all the commotion must have happened. She is VERY lonely as you could expect, buck-wheating her head off, and not eating yesterday. She was actually roosting facing the back corner of the coop this morning and let me pick her up - not normal, but maybe she was still sleeping. She grew up with a few chickens, and I put her two favorite ones (barred rocks) in with her after the attack so she is not alone, but it isn't the same for her. She is eating today, and I haven't heard a peep out of her all day, so I think she might be feeling a little better. I have been wanting to increase my flock of guineas, and trying to incubate eggs for the last month. I have two that might hatch next weekend (I say might because my hatch rate has been really poor for various reasons). I put 22 eggs from the nest in the incubator this morning, as I don't expect her to hatch any herself. She is on and off the nest all day long, and sometimes leaves it for long periods of time. Assuming I can get some of these eggs to hatch, do you think that she might accept the keets and take care of them in the coop? As I said before, she is quite lonely and somewhat broody feeling these days, and I think she would be thrilled to have some guinea company. I can put hardware cloth along the bottom of the run so the keets can't escape, and I can keep her enclosed in the coop portion if needed. The coop section she is in is 4 ft by 8ft, and the run is 16 ft by 20 f, so she should have plenty of room. I really liked my male guinea and want the new keets to be his, so don't want to mess up this chance. If this is possible, what would be the best way to give her the keets? She won't let me get close to her when she is on the nest, she normally runs out of the coop terrified if I come too close. Oh, one more question, the dead female guinea weighed 9.5 lbs, and the male was larger. I suspect that these were French Guineas, but the fellow I purchased them from did not mention this. (one of the possible reasons for low fertility I suspect...) Is a 9.5 lb guinea likely to be a French guinea? Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. chickenology

    chickenology Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My two keets hatched this past weekend, and I purchased two additional day old keets. I kept the keets in the brooder for 3 days because a couple of them seemed a little weak, but they are doing well now. It was time for them to go visit mom. I evicted the chicken friends from the guinea coop and cleaned it out, including the nest that the guinea hen sometimes sits on. I removed about 45 eggs, rebuilt her nest with 3 eggs, and added the two egg shells that the keets hatched out of. In the corner of the coop I placed a wood frame and hardware cloth covered box for the keets to live in, which is enclosed enough to keep mama guinea out, but allows the keets to enter and exit when they want. I put their food and water inside, and a heat panel on top. Mama guinea didn't know what to do when she came home tonight, but ate most of the broken egg shells. She is aware that the keets are there, although they haven't left the box. She doesn't seem thrilled with her tidied up nest that I left her, but there were a lot of changes in the coop for her to deal with. I am really hoping not to find a massacre tomorrow morning...[​IMG] I am planning on keeping her confined to the coop for now. Has anyone ever done this? Any advice??
     
  3. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    sounds like you are on the right track, i would be a bit nervous too... keep us up to date on it- poor little ginni...
     
  4. chickenology

    chickenology Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No massacre this morning, keets are chirping happily in their box! Mom was off the nest eating this morning. Her food is next to the keets' box so I am hoping she was over there checking them out. She seems content.
     
  5. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    Muskogee OK
    i'll bet in her guinea mind it will be healing...[​IMG]
     
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    sorry for your loss. I bet the sounds of the keets will have her feeling better in no time.
     
  7. RingedTeal

    RingedTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope she gets better and adopts the keets. I used to have some white ones and they were pretty
     
  8. chickenology

    chickenology Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday one of the keets I purchased died. It was smaller and weaker than the other three, but was not being kept from the food or water so I am not sure what happened. None of the keets had ventured out of their box yet, and the adult guinea seemed calm with her new companions so I took the three remaining keets from the box and set them in the coop for mom to see. One of the pearl colored keets that I hatched ran to mom and stood at her feet, seemed to know just what to do. Mom looked it over but didn't act motherly at all. The other pearl keet explored the coop with mom watching, no reaction. The third keet, which I purchased from another farm, and is smaller and buff colored, stood pretty still taking it all in. Mom walked over and pecked it HARD three times before I could get to it. [​IMG] The keet was a bit dazed but OK, and all three are back in their box in the coop, out of harms way. Mom has rebuilt her nest and is laying eggs in it. Do you think she would feel more motherly toward these little keets if I were to destroy her nest? Is this just hopeless? Has anyone else noticed behavioral differences with different colors of keets? Guinea behavior is so interesting I could sit and watch all day, wondering what is going on in her tiny little mind...
     
  9. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:Sigh Guineas are not very good mothers. I wouldn't try again till the keets can defend themselves by being able to get away. There is a reason many Guinea breeders take the keets away from mom right away....
     
  10. melroseladi

    melroseladi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My keets are with mom. I had the rest of the flock in with them, 2 males and another hen, and all seemed to be going fine. On the second day my second hen ate my only lavender keet. They are separated now of course, but I had also wondered if perhaps it was due to the color. All the rest are pearls.
     

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