When guieneas start to lay

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Kmac1, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Kmac1

    Kmac1 ChickenAddict

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    May 22, 2016
    Kingfisher, Oklahoma
    What are the chances my guineas will lay in the nest boxes in the coop? Or is it more likely the will lay in some outside area under brush or other cover? Thanks
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I can get one of my hens to lay in the run, in an old cat house. The other refuses and convinces the other to be a rebel like her.

    Mine have never layed under bushes/brush, instead wallowing out a depression in the center of tall grass, generally within 10 or 15 feet of an edge - the edge of a field crop, edge of my property, edge of a ditch, etc. One of my hens has a rather loud egg song, and the males hang around to guard during laying, so as long as you are home when it happens you should be able to figure out where they ar laying.

    Right now mine are laying in weeds/overgrowth in my landscaping under my living room window, and I'll keep it overgrown until laying season is over. It looks like crap but it keeps them safe.
     
  3. Kmac1

    Kmac1 ChickenAddict

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    May 22, 2016
    Kingfisher, Oklahoma

    Thanks. Tonight when I went to shut the door to the coop there were two guineas on top of the
    Coop and all my other 16 chickens and 8 guineas were in the coop like they are every night. I guess I should have left them alone but I shewed them off the roof and walked them around to the gate to the run but they would not go in the coop. I finally caught one and put it in the coop but the other one flew over the fence and have not seen it since. I'll go check before I go to bed to see if it came back and try again. If I hope it makes it thru the night.
     
  4. Kmac1

    Kmac1 ChickenAddict

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    Update my AWOL guienea made it through the night, it was on a trailer right behind the coop this morning when I went to let them out. I have another concern, I sas on of the guieneas limping yesterday, couldn't tell why because I can't really get close to them. I know the only way to catch one is to wait till they are on the roost but how in the heck wil I know which one it is? I looked for markings or something different but all 10 look the same to me. I can only tell male from female. Thanks
     
  5. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I wouldn't be concerned unless it persists. I had one limp for a week then she was fine.
     
  6. ludwing

    ludwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hello there

    this is our sixth year of owning guineafowls, as that it is nice to have them around as they are very noisy and bullied to our chickens.
    the pic to above is our pair that we got them 2014 brooded by a chicken hen called bella. we love them very well.
    the pic below is a male and a hen down the street, as that they have already hatched some keets.


    as i know that the domesticad guineafowl is originated from this type of guine.

    our guneas are not supper strong layers as i heard about yours. the hens seems to lay at their manner of time. many people say that they begin laying about 5 or 6 months old. our hen\s first egg was when she was about a year or little older.

    TO ALL BACKYARDS FELLOWS I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW SOME DIFFERENCES ABOUT THE ORINAL GUINEA AND THE DOMESTICATED ONE,BASED TO THEIR LAYING,NESTING,SEXING.

    how old they begin to lay, what to feed them compared to yours....


    WISHE\S
     
  7. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ludwing - you have beautiful birds and the photos are stunning. I am impressed by your six years of experience with Guineas. I have only just started, receiving my mail order shipment of 16 French Guinea keets from JM Hatchery - on May 6th and have gone through many ups and downs since then, as you can imagine!

    I cannot give you any information related to wild Guineas and actually have been having some difficulty finding research on both wild and domesticated Guineas. I have read some articles coming out of the University of Kansas and the University of Connecticut that quite frankly have incorrect information in them based on my experience and others' experiences. It would be good to have a field researcher to converse with. At this point, I feel like I'm doing my own field research as I'm sure you are as well.

    I'm happy to share some of my experiences related to laying and nesting and will give you the parameters in which they occurred since that might have an influence on their behavior. My birds free range on 10 acres which is mostly tall grass. They come in to a covered run and a coop (that is opened to the run) every evening about an hour before sunset. I started noticing eggs on occasion when they were about 3 1/2 months old. At 4 months, one of my five females (originally my ratio was 1/3 female to 2/3 male) went broody and was out on a nest (I think a collective nest based on the number of eggs) for 2 nights. When she realized she had been found, she abandoned the nest, which was located in a patch of the tall grass closest to the coop, about 15 feet in from the edge. Two of the eggs had cracked, but I gathered up 36 just to take a picture.

    [​IMG]

    Some people have had good luck moving an existing nest (Guineapeeps) using a large plastic tote or their Guineas have laid in the barn / coop (again, Guineapeeps has some laying in a wheelbarrow). Others (SunHwaKwon) can remove eggs from the nest and incubate, then place them back for final hatching.

    I'm not at this stage yet, being a newbie, but I have some ideas I'd like to try to encourage them to lay in the coop this spring. I'll keep you posted if any of them end up being successful. Even though Guineas are domesticated, when it comes to nesting, their natural instinct is to go wild so we have to be creative, or provide safe places in a coop to let them be creative and encourage laying inside rather than outside.

    Based on what I've read from other postings, my gals started laying early... but this summer has been extremely hot and dry; I'm not sure how much weather factored into this. My neighbor, an experienced poultry person, mentioned that her pullets were laying young this year and she thought it was due to the weather. No empirical data, just observations and hypotheses.

    People have mentioned that you seldom see them copulate and mine copulate at my feet inside the coop! I think they are way too comfortable here and having so many males to females increases the chances that I would be a witness to their mating. I also spend a lot of time with them...

    They lay eggs at all times during the day, which means keeping them in until late morning won't work for me for egg collection. I just take what has been left in the coop.

    As for food, they free range all day. I draw them back to the coop at the end of the day with their food - Purina Flock Raiser Crumbles - and have oyster shell available for them. Again, these are French Guineas - a bit bigger than the Pearls. I'd be curious to hear if anyone raising regular Pearls with an early May hatching had their Guineas lay this fall. Typically, it's not until the following spring.....

    What are you currently doing? It looks like you've had some success based on the picture you posted. Best wishes and thank you for sharing!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ludwing

    ludwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GLENNLEE, thank you,Thank you for your very lovely response information. I' really loved it and well appreaciated a lot. and sorry for replying too late.

    I' sometimes try to read post of folk about their guineas so as to compare them to mine. but most of the time i' find some few expirience on their posts. but sometimes i' research.
    Our guineas are Tamer, I' must admit. But when it comes to laying,they are very wild and like to wander far to find hidden spots.
    About your guineas hens, Glennlee that you observe some eggs at the age of 3 ½ months, I' would congradulate those hens very as that mine at that time are very younger and the blue,helmet,wattles are still not fully develop.

    Well for now our old hens (3) are laying, i' have followed them during the late mornings to find where the spots were located. although we never lost a guineahen to a predator, but im very worried about them on their nest. our oldest hen Herry is broody (18 eggs) about 1 ½ km far away beyond the stream. and others are still laying. i' been seing lynx around during the day sneaking among tall grassess which makes us very worried about the broody hen.
    I' am planning to sell some guinea keets this year as that, most of our hens seem to come out with good success. we love them very well but too many of them will cost us a lot. I' had already sold a lot of week old keets. we love them but we don't want them to fulfill the whole world of our property as that our hens always come out with very good success that i' somes take them and raised them before exploring the world.

    Thank you
     
  9. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central New York
    LUDWING - it sounds as though your guineas like to go out far to nest. The farther they are away from the coop and home, the more vulnerable they become to predators, like your lynx. We don't have lynx here, but there are bobcats (similar) in the area. Our main problem most recently has been coyotes. We have several packs around us and quite often they can be heard in the middle of the night. One of our neighbors had sighted a coyote in her barn - early morning - and it took a chicken one day and a duck the next. We had 4 guineas taken just recently and I have kept them in their coop and covered run for 2 days, then let them free range for the afternoon only for a couple of days. Today was the first day they were out all day. So far, so good, but I know I am only biding time and a hen on her nest is an easy target for a lynx or a coyote.

    [​IMG]

    While they were in their coop / run area, I found this collection of eggs. I had put the tub in there with some hay to encourage nesting. It looks like it may have worked - at least for the time being. Since they have been out again, I'm not finding the number of eggs in the tub. My thought was to maybe cover the top with something for more privacy to encourage them to stay on the eggs. I did see one laying on the eggs, but she didn't stay, and mine are still young - I think they are only "playing mama". I'm sure they will be more serious in the spring and then I will have really work to keep them safe. One of my neighbors mentioned a moveable covered fencing apparatus she had seen for sale at Tractor Supply. Maybe rather than trying to move the nest and mama inside when the eggs are laid in the tall grass, I'll consider "fencing" her in. It won't be foolproof, but it might keep out some predators. I think I'll just have to try several things and I don't think anything will ever work 100% of the time with guineas. Unpredictable and ever changing are embedded in them.

    Are you able to check on Herry on a daily basis and does she now have more eggs? Do you let her hatch them and have her raise the keets or do you incubate and hand raise at some point? What about the weather for you this time of year? Do you have to worry about dampness and cooler temperatures that may put the keets at risk? That is good that you are able to sell some of the keets. You are correct - they are a cost and keeping the flock manageable helps with the cost. How many do you have now and how many acres are they ranging? It looks as though they have plenty of space. Thank you for sharing the pictures and your accounting of their nesting habits. Very interesting....
     
  10. ludwing

    ludwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glennlee- that's a lovely nest you got out there but it seem to public, which you need to put some cover over, and place it near the wall. as i' have had notice about their nesting habits, they prefer to nest usually in thick grass close to fallen brachens or close to wall or log.
    ...................................
    Most of our guinea hens like to go far away to lay their eggs. Harry is on her 15th day today. her nest is very far away, i' don't go everyday to check up on her. it is far away close to the riding horse where they sometimes go for free-ranging. I' don't incubate eggs myself as that, most of the time our guineas go broody, their keets usually survive about 55%-79%,
    for the keets i' don't worry about lost, most of the time, we allow the hens to do their thing raising their babies helped by the flock. recently we have 6 Adult females harry as an older hen ( 6 years of) and the rest are her babies 2 males and 3 hens. it is very warm here with very cool mornings, having a mediterranean climate, from the south cost of South Africa.....
    .............
    They forange very far away during the day, they were never cooped so we let them see the world as much as they please. And sometimes i' hear them coming running from the riding horse that might be located 1,9 - 2 miles away but that make us happy about them,because they do come back, and roost near the coop on a short tree.

    *long time ago, when herry was 2 years old, she once nested at the riding horse, so they called us to collect her and her 16 keets. i' sometimes believe that they can be stupid sometimes, because she was like " ohw No i' don't know where home is, its too far for my babies to take the distance" she was wandering at their riding horse up and down *
    i' love them very much,especially hens when they chase me when im not giving their yammy meal.
    Thank you
     

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