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Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by frigginchi, Dec 20, 2012.
I don't know what "normal" is but my guineas can be found sitting on 25 - 30 eggs at a time.
They usually don't begin sitting on the eggs till they feel they're done laying them.
I usually take some of the eggs and divide them amongst any broody hens I have at the time.
Is that one hen or a communal nest?
I never see them lay their eggs, but it's always one hen who sits and hatches the eggs.
I just assume it's her that laid them all.
I really don't know.
And I always discover the nest quite by accident because they're always somewhere in the woods or in the bushes.
Guineas are aweful moms, so I'm thinking that's why they incubate so many eggs.
If left to them to raise the keets, only 1 or 2 might survive.
That's why I let my chickens hatch them.
I've even seen a Guinea leave the nest with her brood just as another keet was emerging from its shell.
Fortunately, I was there to see this and I scooped up the little guy and put it in a nest with one of my broody chickens.
Normal varies with my flocks... sometimes I have 1 Hen on a solo nest, or 2-3 (or more) Hens sharing a communal nest.
A normal clutch for one Hen in an undisturbed nest can range anywhere between 18 and 30 eggs, give or take depending on certain circumstances. If a Hen's been laying all season but predators or dogs keep disturbing her, taking her eggs etc and she constantly has to relocate to a new spot, (or if I've been collecting them every day which can also make her relocate) she can either keep laying the rest of the season in new locations (anywhere from 150-250 eggs per season) or she can eventually decide to go broody on just a few eggs. I always try to leave a few old marked eggs or marked incubator duds in the nests to keep the Hen or Hens laying there, but I collect the fresh eggs every day. I've had some Hens just give up, stop laying and not go broody at all in a season, but some have been so determined to hatch at least a few babies that they will try to hatch the marked eggs. Once they go broody on the duds I will break up the nest (take all the eggs and destroy the nesting spot), and usually within a week or so the Hen or Hens will have relocated and started laying again. Also older Hens in my flocks will lay a few less eggs each season, and are usually the Hens that are more determined to go broody.
Communal nests are pretty common with my Guinea Hens, (actually more common than solo nests), and those piles of eggs can get up to 75 eggs or more depending on how many Hens are sharing the nest. Usually at least 2 of my Hens will go broody on a pile that large and then they try to hatch them all (which they usually never accomplish... because they can't cover all the eggs or sometimes Hens lose interest and stop brooding because of there being too many Hens on the nest for their liking etc (they really prefer private, solo nests when brooding). And they are very secretive about their nests, nesting in very well hidden (from me) places... which leaves the predators great opportunities for a buffet of Hens and eggs. Keeping track of my Hens and their eggs during the laying season becomes a full-time hobby, lol.
Ahhhh. Look at all those eggs in nests. Spring is closer than we think! .
All of those are eggs and nests from previous seasons... tho I have already been collecting 1-2 eggs a day from one of my flocks for the past 4-5 days now. I refuse to check for fertility yet and have just been cooking/baking with them up to this point, lol, without looking for the bull's eye!
AHHH IT'S STARTING ALREADY!!!! AGAIN!!!!
Peeps, are you serious? You have eggs and not checking for fertility? Talk about self-control! Keep repeating, "I'm doing the right thing. I'm doing the right thing." LOL. But if you do break down and start incubating, I want to know so I can get a vicarious thrill out of it, okay?
I can't wait until I can start collecting eggs from my hens. It will only be a two or three a day, but that's just fine with me. In 10 days I'll have 20 - 30 eggs (nice math, huh?) which will be a nice hatch for me. Then I can stagger my hatches by 10 days and keep an assembly line going.
LOL, yah, I'm serious. I know mostly what colors will hatch from that flock, so there's no rush about setting/hatching their eggs yet (altho some some cute little keetsies and then the extra cash after I sell them would be nice, lol). Now... as soon as my Chocolates start laying, believe you me I'll be completely ecstatic... and won't be eating ANY of those eggs, they will all go in the incubator, lol.
I had to chuckle about your hatching plan... and how you already have it all planned out, you addict you! . Good plan, should work out perfectly for ya
I just wish I could hatch the quantities that you do. You're an Olympic Gold Medalist hatcher and I'm in the Pee Wee league. Oh well. Fun is fun on whatever scale. Because I hatch such small quantities, it really is a hobby of love. I never make any money!