- Jun 20, 2011
So far this year, I have had 5 guinea nests started. Only 1 guinea is still sitting. The other 4 nests were abandoned by the hen within one week of the expected hatch. In one case, I took about 20 eggs from the abandoned nest and gave them to a friend with an incubator, who got 15 keets out of the bunch so we are not talking about all the eggs dying. I am not rushing in too early. I know the mamas get off during the day to go eat and drink. In the past, the mama would take about 20 minutes for these activities. This is not that but a total abandonment of the nest, the mama having left and still being gone several hours later. The one that left her nest this morning had the eggs spread out everywhere when we went to check later in the day. Just yesterday, we saw the weird sight of the mama (before she abandoned this nest) running with an egg on her beak and depositing it about 20 yards from the nest. We went to look at the egg after she had left it, found it broken, and with what appeared to be a well-developing embryo inside. Can anyone tell me what would cause the mamas to leave at the very end? I had timed them from the day they began to sit so I am sure of the dates. I didn't bother them and made sure they were not bothered. The only theory I can come up with is that there are some bad eggs in the nest which are attracting ants that then force the mama to leave. But don't the mamas push out the bad eggs before this happens? Any /theories/advice would be appreciated.