Need Help Concerning moving a Nest.....

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by appychick, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. appychick

    appychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just found my missing ~5 month old hen setting on a pile of eggs larger than herself. I am a newbie to guineas. Is there a chance the eggs are fertile at this young of a age ? May I move her to a safer place after dark with the chance she will continue to set ? She is fairly tame & can be handled(prior to setting,not sure what her disposition is now).. Recently lost one guinea to a predator so concerned about having her out at night anyway,whether or not I save the nest. She is my only mature hen so really don't want to lose her. If I do move her,do I take her mate also as he spends the days with her, but goes inside with the others at night. If I attempt to move the nest,do I just find her a safe hiding place in the barn or crate her ? For her safety,I must move her really soon.
    Thanks for all your help in advance !
     
  2. southern oaks

    southern oaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can attempt to move her and the nest. BUT, when I have collected the eggs from my hens when they went to set. #1 the were very protective and would attempt to come after us when doing so.
    #2 most of the time( from what I heard if you disturb the nest, they will abandon it. Do you have the option or someone close to you to incubate them? If so I would get her off the nest. Take the eggs and she will go back to her routine with the rest of the flock. If you don't have that option you can attempt to move her and the nest but I am not sure she would accept it again. If you do try I would try to put her in a hidden spot in your coop and just see what happens. or if you or someone has a broody chicken. You can put the eggs under them and try and let them hatch them. Last choice. If you care most about your hen. Get her off the nest take the eggs away dispose of them or give them to someone and she won't go back to it. this is just my opinion. You will get more replies and poss someone with a better idea.. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. melroseladi

    melroseladi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may need to take the eggs from her and incubate them but if that is not an option then I would move the nest and see if she will keep setting. I have one fairly tame hen, except when she has keets, who's nest I have moved several times and she continued to sit. I would get a secure area set up, like a large dog kennel before trying to get her and the eggs. What I do with mine is I have an isolation cage with a drop down door (old wire rabbit cage0, I open the door so that the door is laying flat on the ground, then I scoot her in it from behind and pop the door closed. Then take the entire nest and put it in the kennel and then put her in and lock her in. Try putting the nest far back in the kennel then cover that part so it is darker. I use a folded over sheet so it gets better ventilation.
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern oaks is right on the money with her reply [​IMG]

    If you have at least one male in your flock that's at least 15-16 weeks old, then yes your Hen's eggs can be fertile (and so would any other Hens' eggs that have may have added to the pile). If you think she's been sitting on them 7-10 days or so, you could try candling them to look for development.

    Unfortunately Guinea Hens are completely unlike broody Chicken Hens, they will usually abandon the nest if the nest or they are disturbed at all, especially first time layers that have not actually gone thru the entire experience of successfully brooding and hatching a clutch, they just don't quite have all of their motherly instincts in check yet.

    I agree, you must move her soon, or you will lose her (and the eggs). If hatching keets from her eggs are not that important to you, then I'd try moving her and the nest to a safe secluded spot in the coop and see how it goes. If keets from her eggs are important to you, then I'd opt for incubating them or sticking them under a broody chicken Hen ASAP like southern oaks suggested, especially if she's been sitting on them for a while and they are already developing... you don't want them to die from getting cold.

    Be sure to break up the nest (scuff/mess it up and put a log or large rock in it) or the Hen will return to it, especially if other Hens are possibly laying eggs there also.

    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  5. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ......everyone has pretty much covered it, but to expand on what Peeps said.....if there is another nest somewhere, she may steal that one after hers is destroyed! So...if you think there might be one, the best bet is to keep her penned for a few days to break that broodiness completely.

    Good luck!
     
  6. appychick

    appychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the helpful info on guinea behavior ! Well it went easier than I thought....Saw her off the nest to get a drink as was 95 degrees out so grabbed a gal can & run up to the nest to steal the eggs. Well I got most of them canned before she got back & caught me. She raised a fuss & tried to act tough but was calm once I talked to her & she let me take the rest of the eggs from under her. I stole 42 eggs from her nest. Then moved her off the nest & covered the area with junk like Peeps said to do.She went back & checked the nest 3 times & then joined back up with the 4 males to hunt grasshoppers,never did she go back to the nest. Upon leaving the nest area,I saw some hatched out guinea eggs with membranes so.....decided I had better give the eggs a chance and crated the last 2 RIR broodies And traded eggs as theirs were dirty & beyond hatching condition. One happily took on the responsibility & other wasn't as pleased. So now to try to candle the eggs.....What kind of light works for candling guinea eggs ?
    I use just a bright flashlight for the chicken eggs,,,,
    All hens accounted for so no chance of her stealing a broody chicken nest,
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow 42 eggs, score! There was definitely more than one Hen laying there! Better keep tabs on those girls for a while... and the eggs may not all be developing at the same rate [​IMG] Congrats on one broody, maybe the other will kick it into gear for ya [​IMG]

    Check out this thread, for egg candling tips (post #15):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=568002
     
  8. appychick

    appychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No,only one hen -mid April hatchery origin that does the buckwheat with flatter head knob. Other 5 are definately testosterone crazy males with high upright knobs on their heads that fight & run constantly.I color coded them for awhile & tested them by isolation separately.The alpha male was the one that got killed & the rest have really settled down now that he is gone. When starting to lay,quite often there would be an egg every AM & PM with the hen coming back by herself to the coop to lay.Then she started laying in free range chicken nests but the eggs weren't fertile yet to hatch as moved them from hen to hen as the chicks hatched to make up the extra week. I threw out some of the definite bad first lay period smaller eggs so the RIR could cover their piles .With that number of eggs,there will be a poor hatch as many on the perimeter that hen couldn't cover. Peeps,Thanks for the lead to the candling post. Almost a gallon of eggs under that gal. Wish my chickens could produce with dedication like that !
     
  9. southern oaks

    southern oaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have found the absolute neatest way to candle. I have an ap on my phone for an led light(and its free). and dang it is bright. Works better than any other system of candeling I have tried. and its mobile. and I dont have to have a complete dark room.. just an idea for those thinking of spending money for a candle system..
     

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