Chickens in the Road Forum

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
guinea hens
May 16, 2010
12:50 am
Avatar
bubbashome
Big Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 22
Member Since:
January 14, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi – I have a question about guinea hens. I got some a year ago and two of the original laid eggs and hatched them and now we have 10 total. We have two nests – one has 22 and the other has 6. How do I know if they will hatch them or should we use them like our chicken eggs?

May 16, 2010
9:43 am
Avatar
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
Admin
Forum Posts: 4921
Member Since:
February 10, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

WOW!  Not many people get successful hatches when the parents try!  Aren’t they hilarious to watch the whole family?  I’ve only seen it once and they were SOOOooooo sweet and funny.  Much funnier than hens and chicks, though of course they are wonderful to watch too. Papa is so much more involved with them though than a rooster is, which is quite interesting.

If you have a broody hen who’s totally dedicated to sitting on the nest, I’d assume they’ll hatch since you’ve already had luck that way, and it’s totally fantastic luck too!

If the hen is not really broody, then no, they won’t hatch and yes, you can use them JUST like chicken eggs… very hard shelled, chicken eggs.

Though, with that many eggs, if you haven’t marked the eggs with dates to show how old they are, I’d worry about their freshness.  If the hens are truly broody, I’d still mark the eggs that are there, and remove any more fresh one’s that are laid to limit the size of the clutch.  If they were chicken eggs, I’d say candle them to see which are developing, but guineas eggs are awfully difficult to see through even with a super good candling lamp.

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 16, 2010
6:57 pm
Avatar
bubbashome
Big Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 22
Member Since:
January 14, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks for the info. I just wasn’t sure since last year we got 8 guineas and they sort of disappeared and some of them returned. Then after my brother and his wife left from visiiting, they brought the babies up and we got to see them so we weren’t sure what to do. I don’t want to move them if they decide to hatch.

 

I guess they’re “wild” guineas since they do roam across all the properties here. I so appreciate them and we did enlarge our “goat” yard. The boys usually roam every where but my hubby has to leave on Wed so I wanted them to have more room to graze and I need to walk them later in the evening!

May 16, 2010
8:15 pm
Avatar
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
Admin
Forum Posts: 4921
Member Since:
February 10, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yep, they’re flighty all right, no pun intended.  The ones I saw hatch out were in an enclosed run and weren’t able to get out to take their keets out and about.  They weren’t particularly tame, just locked up all the time.  I’ve eaten plenty of their eggs and they’re no different in taste from chicken eggs.

I’ve heard and read that guineas that are reared by their parents are more wild, if you can catch any that hatch so you can hand raise them, then they might be a little more social.The lady who had the ones I knew didn’t really care if they got tamed, she just thought the guineas were a hoot to have around!

I’m ‘expecting’ 6 keets of my own in a few weeks, the lady I’m getting them from put them in an incubator and they’re due to hatch on or about the 27th of this month.  I’ll probably be having all the worry of all this myself this summer.  My chickens free range, and I live out in the middle of nowhere, so I really hope I can keep them from going totally wild.  We have all the predators that can be imagined here… I just hope I can either keep them returning to the coop at night, or possibly plenty wild so they use all their instincts to be wary at all times.

Be ready to hold my hand soon when mine get old enough to live in the coop!!!

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 17, 2010
2:44 pm
Avatar
bubbashome
Big Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 22
Member Since:
January 14, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I’ll do my best to help you in any way I can. I’m definitely no expert. These guineas seem to do much better without help from us! lol!

 

We tried to keep them in an enclosure but they just love to roam. They do roost in a pine tree next to the house and now our rooster has started sleeping there with them. We have no clue why he’s suddenly starting that.

 

They roam our land and pretty much stay close to here especially at feeding time!

 

The babies are so adorable and fun to watch and the adults are very, very good parents. Looking forward to hearing when your new little ones arrive!

May 17, 2010
4:04 pm
Avatar
Pete
WV
Moderator
Moderators
Forum Posts: 8497
Member Since:
December 28, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Have found these folks to be very helpful for this first time guinea owner: http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/

It’s been great fun looking at their pics and getting very quick answers to questions.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

May 17, 2010
10:34 pm
Avatar
LauraP
Mighty Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 124
Member Since:
January 26, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Lucky you if you have guineas that are good parents.  I’ve had guineas hatch up to 30 keets from a nest but only had one good parenting pair.  The others would have been good dryland parents — not so good here with them hauling the little ones all over the place through the cool morning dew.  The little ones chilled too much, so I always  catch the keets now and keep them penned until they’d feathered out.

May 18, 2010
9:12 am
Avatar
bubbashome
Big Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 22
Member Since:
January 14, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

They brought them up out of the valley in August. You could barely see the babies in the grass but one was always in front of the group and the other was always behind. One parent would watch while the other ate and then they took turns. It was really neat to see. We’ve got another one that joins the crowd – not sure if he was one of our original ones. He/She comes and goes.

 

They sure did a good job on the grasshoppers last summer that’s for sure!

 

Thanks for the link – they have lots of good info on that site.

May 18, 2010
2:26 pm
Avatar
KentuckyFarmGirl
Kentucky
Mighty Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 282
Member Since:
May 23, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Good luck with your keets.  Guinea moms aren’t the best about raising their young.  A lot of times they take their babies into wet, tall grass and they don’t make it.  I have tried to move a couple of nests before with no luck.  I also had 2 momma’s sitting on 47 eggs in a field.  Something got into them one night and ate some of the eggs and tore some feathers from the momma’s.  I tried to put a cage around them and whatever it was returned and scared the guinea hens so badly that they beat themselves against the cage, got some cuts and abandoned the eggs.  I then took the 36 eggs to the house and put them in the incubator.  I had no idea when they were supposed to hatch and 9 days later I heard the first peeping (eggs were still in the automatic egg turner because i didn’t know when I needed to take them out!).  In the end 35 of the 36 hatched!!!!  I ended up selling most of them.  They get pretty noisy!  We still have 5 and I know one of the mommas is on a nest in the woods right now.  I’m hoping her babies make it.

Living, learning and loving on our little farm in Kentucky! 

Soapmaking for Beginners and My Country Blog of This and That

June 29, 2010
6:43 pm
Avatar
mogoatlady
Banty
Members
Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have had guineas a couple of times and not the best of luck.

The first ones were probably 6 months old, brought them home, kept them penned for 2 MONTHS. Let them out, gone, never saw them again. Hand raised next bunch, something got in pen and had a “hay day”. Finally, I got some keets at the same time I was raising chicks. Raised them right along with them and now they stay right around house and go to roost at night in the chicken house. I guess they think their chickens too. I know some people say sometimes they will get mean with hens, but we haven’t had any problems. wink

July 1, 2010
10:42 pm
Avatar
bubbashome
Big Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 22
Member Since:
January 14, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Unfortunately, our flood in late May took most of the eggs. We haven’t been able to get down into the valley and see what’s going on.

 

Our 11 guineas are still here and hanging very close to home which is nice. They’ve gotten very quiet lately which is also very nice. Usually my chickens don’t like the guineas but basically they get along!

July 12, 2010
8:28 pm
Avatar
MandyP
Margaret, Alabama
Big Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 96
Member Since:
January 13, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My husband's boss has guineas. He knew I wanted some so he sent me 5 eggs today. I candled them & they look pretty far along. I don't know much about guineas, so I stuck them under a broody hen. We'll see what happens.

~Many of you have forgotten this truth but you must never forget it. You remain responsible, forever, for that which you tame.~Antoine de Saint-Exupéryn

July 12, 2010
9:06 pm
Avatar
Pete
WV
Moderator
Moderators
Forum Posts: 8497
Member Since:
December 28, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Forgot to post this pic of our half grown guinea!

Image Enlarger

 

What a handsome face…    surprised

S/he will walk up to me sort like s/he wants to be petted, then sort of look at me sideways as if to say,”Well, I WANT to want to be petted but…” then run away!  Also, s/he very much alerts to my voice if I raise it.  Then I have to tell him/her that it is OK, and thanks for helping.  Funny thing is that s/he DOES settle down when I speak in a normal/calming voice and shuts right up when I say, “Thank you.”

The sun isn't quite right to really reflect it in the above pic, but there are serious purple overtones in those solid feathers around the neck.  The rest is black and white, with just a touch of brownish on the tips of the wing feathers.  And yes, that is a fluorescent baby blue head!!

Can a guinea be the alpha chicken?  Among the girls, this one seems to be, but the rooster sometimes decides that HE is the boss!  They are just too funny!

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

July 20, 2010
10:30 am
Avatar
bubbashome
Big Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 22
Member Since:
January 14, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

No chicks yet from our chicken sitting on eggs but we do have 11 more guinea babies! Their parents brought them out yesterday and they are so adorable. So when they grow up we'll have 22 guineas around here. I must say she is such a good mother! The babies can't be that old – they look like fuzzy golf balls!

 

I'll try to get a pic sometime if I can get one up close so you can see them. Right now we can only see the grass moving!

July 29, 2010
11:13 pm
Avatar
MandyP
Margaret, Alabama
Big Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 96
Member Since:
January 13, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Well we found 3 brand new guinea keets under my mean old game hen tonight! They are SOO Cute! I think I'm more excited about them than I was the baby chicks.

~Many of you have forgotten this truth but you must never forget it. You remain responsible, forever, for that which you tame.~Antoine de Saint-Exupéryn

May 5, 2011
12:02 am
Avatar
emmapetersen
Hatchling
Chickens
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
May 4, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Because of the ticks, we are looking into getting some guinea hens but worry about our cats (which we call the mauraders) and how they were react to the guineas. Can the guineas take care of themselves are is it a serious concern that the cats (which are serious hunters) will kill them?

 

Also we're in Maine so I wonder what we would need to do with them in the winter.

 

Thanks in advance, Em

May 5, 2011
8:09 am
Avatar
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
Admin
Forum Posts: 4921
Member Since:
February 10, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My cats are not great hunters, though they have caught mice and one snake… Guinea fowl are the closest thing to a wild creature you can get… I have to say that if you don't have a pen that has something over the top to start them in, expect high losses but not necessarily from predators. 

Here's the deal.  I started with 17 last fall.  3 died while still in the brooder, two were spraddle legged from the hatchery, one just didn't thrive… ok, sad but that happens, now down to 14.  I gave 4 to a friend who had only one loner left and she missed having a mob.  so, now down to 10, when they got old enough I put them out in the small pen in the coop, kept them in there for a nice while.  They were getting bigger, had to let them in with the hens… ok, but I was letting the hens out and keeping the guineas in still, that was a pain, but it was working… one slipped out and took off immediately for parts unknown… dead of winter, I was sad because I know it couldn't have survived. 

now down to 9.  started letting them all out and they were being ok, but still thought everytime I came in with food, I was going to slaughter them all and they were freaking out like death was near…  did I mention they are crazy?  I grew up with horses, cows, chickens, goats etc etc etc, I know very well how to be 'still' around animals and keep things steady for them.  Guineas are just south of wild I tell you!

It was still crummy weather out and my cats had been inside but we have several feral cats that live in an abandoned house nearby, they walk a wide path around all the chickens and the guineas.  

ok, back to the guineas, one night, one of the G's just didn't come in, no idea what happened to it.  Down to 8, but they were coming in with the hens at night, settling down, and I started letting my cats out.  The guineas would advance on them as a group and chase them BACK INTO THE HOUSE!  (got a cat door, but I lock it a lot cause one hen (chicken hen) figured it out)

A week and a half ago, we had some horrible windy rainy weather, and two more never came back to the coop… I actually think they're off on their honeymoon, I hear something early in the morning that may be them calling in the distance.  …or maybe they found another coop to move into?  Anyway, I'm down to 6 (though on a brighter note, 3 hens and 3 cockerels and I sent a bunch of eggs to a friend with an incubator!).  Out of 17. 

My whole point is,  Guineas are tough, but not inclined to be all that domestic… expect losses, order extras.

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 5, 2011
10:56 am
Avatar
Pete
WV
Moderator
Moderators
Forum Posts: 8497
Member Since:
December 28, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Our experiment with guineas last year was completely unsuccessful.  We are not likely to try again, although I really hate that thought.  There is something about them that I really like, but we are simply not set up for them, and likely never will be.

This is the only critter I have ever known that attacked me!  Spent a few weeks with open wounds, and had to hit the blessed thing with a stick – something that I have NEVER pondered doing with a pet or animal up to that point.  Not good, not good at all.

Not trying to discourage those who want them from having them, but it is much more important with them than with other fowl that you be prepared for them BEFORE you get the keets.  Or at least that is my opinion, based on very little hands on experience raising fowl.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

May 5, 2011
1:32 pm
Avatar
langela
iowa
Mighty Chicken
Members
Forum Posts: 177
Member Since:
February 6, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

We had some awhile back. From what I read, unless they are held for long periods every day as keats, they will be wild. We tried, but I couldn't take the poop. They were very skittish, but I didn't mind because at least they didn't sit on my porch and poop like the ducks did. We had an old barn with a loft that they roosted in at night and they patrolled the yard and fields during the day. We always knew when someone was here, because they alerted us. In fact, if anything was out of place, they alerted us. Seems like the bugs were less abundant around the farm. They very rarely ate anything we fed them, even in the winter! They preferred hunting and pecking around the farm. We also read that keats hatched by their parents were not really possible because they abandoned the nest if anyone happened by it and if any did hatch, they would die shortly because the parents would take them out through the wet grass and it would kill them. Imagine my surprise when I rounded the barn and found 17 of the little buggers. We captured them all. We actually ended up having the peahens hatch out several clutches. Sometimes they made it and sometimes they didn't. Those little stinkers are quick! We sold some. The rest finally died on the highway. They would go up there in the spring looking for bugs and get hit. Seems the only thing they weren't scared by was a car. They didn't even flinch! no I'm not sure how something that would run away screeching if the wind blew, could not flinch at a loud, racing automobile.

We never replaced them because my husband was so afraid someone would swerve to miss them on the road and end up hurt.

May 5, 2011
2:38 pm
Avatar
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
Admin
Forum Posts: 4921
Member Since:
February 10, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I've heard that if you have a tame broody hen, if you get her to set on the eggs, they will be a little easier to manage. 

I agree about them being terrible parents, which is why I sent a bunch of eggs to a friend with an incubator.  I'm actually happy to have 6 left.  I hope they stick around because they are totally entertaining and fun to have.

Located in N.E. Ohio

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 183

Currently Online:
46 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Joelle: 2759

Leahld22: 2738

Ross: 2426

MaryB: 1783

JeannieB: 1500

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 15

Members: 11887

Moderators: 3

Admins: 4

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 14

Topics: 3495

Posts: 67385

Newest Members:

zapravkaprofi, taylordenney43, sxgusarov2, chemcook, fbhackpass.com, ivandarya

Moderators: Pete: 8497, wvhomecanner: 3159, Flatlander: 1643

Administrators: Suzanne McMinn: 7368, emiline220: 16, CindyP: 7942, BuckeyeGirl: 4921





Sign up for the Chickens in the Road Newsletter





Sections

  1. The Farmhouse Blog
  2. The Chickens in the Road Forum
  3. Farm Bell Recipes

Latest Posts on the Farmhouse Blog:

Daily Farm






If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!


Forum Buzz



Site Info

Privacy Policy, Disclosure, Disclaimer, and Terms of Use

Contact