Springtime Guinea Questions

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by CYGChickies, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. CYGChickies

    CYGChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Hi everybody! I have guineas and would like to know a few things as I get ready for my first Speing with adult birds. When should I expect first eggs? I live in Southeast Missouri and it was a warm winter up to last week when it got below freezing. Should I make a special nesting area for my guinea hens? They live with our Australorp flock in a large coop and run built off of a barn.

    The guineas will (somehow) be free-ranged during the day but not the chickens. We will have a hive of bees in the garden; will this be a danger to the guineas if they are stung--and they will be if they try to feast on the bees. There will be plenty of ticks and grasshoppers to feed them as well. I'm told guineas don't bother garden plants so that I'm not worried about.

    They have been with the chickens in the brooder and pen since their birth in June; will this keep them from refusing to return to the coop? I have one male and the rest females if that makes a difference. If they don't come out until 9 or 10 am and return by 5pm will they lay eggs in the coop or more likely outside?

    Thanks ahead of time. I know there are some experts on here so I thought I'd ask here instead of driving myself crazy with research--after already researching for hours.

    CYG
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Speaking mainly from experiences with my own flocks....

    You could see eggs anytime, or your Guinea Hens may wait until Spring and consistently warm weather and longer daylight hours. One of my breeding flocks has already started laying... they are first timers, and here too it's been a really mild winter.

    Your Guinea Hens may choose to share nesting spots with your Lorps, but more often than not they will choose a quiet corner or hiding spot on the floor in the coop or run... BUT, if they are allowed to free range chances are they will choose to lay/nest in the bushes or other well hidden private spot. I keep my flocks in until I have collected all their eggs for the day, then I let them out to free range. The Hens will lay a little later each day until they skip a day and start over (but not every Hen lays at the same time and not every Hen skips the same day).

    If you do not keep track of the Hens and their egg laying when they are out free ranging, and find their nests (if they are allowed to lay outside), they will eventually go broody after about 20 or so eggs and you may never see the Hens again. Predators take the Hens and the eggs, and it's really common to lose Hens this way unless you do what you can to prevent it. Occasionally some Hens do show up a month later (after disappearing) with some keets in toe, but unless you have a really low predator load in your area it's not that likely. There are many other risks with letting Guinea Hens hatch out their own keets (too many to list!), be it in the coop or out in the bushes... so I highly suggest you do some research on that. You may also want to read up on how the aggression in mixed flocks typically escalates during the breeding and laying season, even for mixed flocks that have been raised together and currently get along fine (lots of hormones, TOO many actually).

    The Guineas will indeed feast on your bees if they can get close enough to the hive. I've read stories where Guineas just sit in front of a hive and snack all day as bees enter and exit.

    You will need to work with your Guineas and establish a routine for cooping up each evening, they will usually choose to roost in the trees if they are given the chance and it's a difficult habit to break once it starts. There's quite a few threads on this subject, many of us use different methods.

    Hopefully I answered all of your questions...
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  3. critters

    critters Chillin' With My Peeps

    My younguns were born in August and a few of them are laying...started about 2 weeks ago, but I have many more that have not...so, any time?
    I have 2 flocks, one made up of the oldest birds and their offspring that free range and one made up of late hatch and hatchery birds that are 'penned' at night.
    The penned birds are the youngest group and the ones that have started to lay ( if the others have I have not seen their eggs yet).
    I return them to the pen just before sundown, same as the chickens and they get an evening meal with dessert ( a treat) , since they eat all day long I want
    them to look forward to returning to their pen...hence the treat they can count on...not to be confused with the random daytime treats.
    I have a dog crate, without the door on it, in a corner of their pen, and except for the first egg, all of their eggs have been in that crate
    .
    We live in Virginia and raise apples, peaches, cherries so in turn also raise/keep bees to help pollunate the trees and luckily the guineas have not
    ate the bees....the honey bees, not to say they won't but ours have not but they have ate wasps though....
     

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