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Sexual maturity questions about guineas, and predator management

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Dropped Pedicle, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Hello,
    Novice guinea owner here. Our guineas are coming up on two years old. Unfortunately there are only two survivors of the flock which was decimated by predators. There is a cock and a hen and they are good buddies. I have read a variety of answers about sexual maturity ranging from 8 months to two years. The hen has started laying an egg or two a day this spring, and we've set two groups and find that they are infertile when candled at 7 days. Since I'm not home watching these guys, I've no idea if they are mating, and since they won't tell me and I have never had "the talk" with them, how to know if they know what to do and if they're doing it!? Does the fertility rate increase as the days get longer and warmer? I read also that they start laying eggs after the rains have stopped. We had some spring sunny warm weather for about two days after which the hen started laying, but we've seen nothing but rain and cold since.... so maybe she isn't into it yet? Should we keep setting or are the first eggs of the season usually infertile? Thanks for any thoughts, and any advice on deterring foxes and bobcats would be so appreciated. We've trained the guineas to go inside their very secure coop at night, but their comrades didn't learn so fast and we've lost our beloved peacock and peahen because they insisted in roosting int the trees.
     
  2. Hillaire

    Hillaire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2017
    Hudson Valley NY
    hello,
    As far as the guineas go you are sure that you have both a male and female right? You're male just might be slow to go when it comes to mating. 2 years is an awful long time though. Mine were born last spring and have already started laying, I didn't know they could take up to 2 years to reach maturity. I would say just keep trying if you don't want to eat the eggs then why not keep incubating to see. As far as predators go I personally use live traps and relocate them when and if I catch them when they aren't in season for hunting. I live in the country so during there legal hunting season I will hunt them so I can help keep there numbers down. I've seen a rise in predation here on the east coast as prior years it was kinda rare to have a run in with them. The peafowl roosting in trees must have been taken out by an owl because a fox or bobcat wouldn't be able to reach. You could always get some gametrail cameras and they make those predator lights to put on your coop or around your property, although I really don't think they work. The cameras work great for knowing what is lurking and when.
     
  3. ludwing

    ludwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2013
    SOUTH AFRICA
    HILLAIRE, adding

    i live in south africa.....
    and live with guines for many years. they are quite similar to chickens in growth but seem to grow fast. The guineas we have are the origin of your guines,the release of the domestic guinea wich ( WICH CARRIED THE GENE CHARACTER OF THE WILD GUINEA, HAVING A FAST GROWTH WITH A GOOD PRODUCTION)


    it seems like the wild guineas take longer to fully develop than domestic guineas.
    the sexually matuarity is usually a year or over.
    most of our guinea hens begin laying over a year on less, their breeding coincide or after the rains usually at the end of winter rains
    to take the advantage of food that followed or fostered by winter rains.


    for infertility, guineas are good egg produces and usually have a high rate of hatching rate. but it depend on their routine. guineafowls that free range most days of their lives,picking bugs and greens have a very high fertility rate than guineas that are cooped and feed commential feed for laying. they like to freerange far during breeding season,and will mate in none of your worlds sight. when they mate a hen runs to hid while the mate follows with his wings downd. you blink you miss it.


    in predators, we lost so many hens during the bredding season to lynx and bob cats,
    so it is bett to trap the predators to see whats behind your flock before you notice the zero number


    best wishes....
     
  4. Hillaire

    Hillaire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2017
    Hudson Valley NY
    great info. You have lynx and bobcats in south Africa?
     
  5. ludwing

    ludwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2013
    SOUTH AFRICA
    yes HILLAIRE, we have lynx and bobcats around here and large spotted genets, sneaking off our guineas. i once caught one lynx trapped by a net close to the coop.
    a lynx is a very dangerous predator to guineas because they sometimes climb up into tall tress to scoop guineas while roosting in tall trees...


    my best...
     

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