It is very difficult to find the guinea fowl nest if you free range guinea fowl like I do. The guinea fowl love to lay their eggs in a nest in the middle of a nettle or bramble patch which obviously makes the nest difficult to find. In addition to the problem of locating the nest, I also have to beat the magpies that are nesting in this area as they are rather partial to the guinea fowl eggs as well. Magpies will eat eggs and small chicks. At the moment we have 3 pairs of magpies that are circling our fields on the lookout for my guinea fowl eggs.
Well this morning I have foiled both guinea fowl and magpies by finding a nest of 20 guinea fowl eggs. Hurrah!! I went out early this morning and tried to observe the location of the poultry and just before I came in to sort lunch, I thought I would have a walk along the hedgerow. It was about 11.15 and I could see a group of guinea fowl forming in the hedgerow. My guinea fowl can lay their eggs any time from 9am until 2pm but this grouping looked like a good sign.
Whilst the females are laying their eggs, the males stand guard and watch for predators. They have obviously forgotten that I feed them because as I casually approached the group, more flew towards me in an attempt to protect their large clutch of eggs. I was not deterred by the birds in flight and as luck would have it I quickly spotted two eggs in the nettles. When I carefully pulled back the nettles, it revealed a whole nest of shiny guinea fowl eggs.
I quickly filled my boiler suit pockets with my find and headed for the kitchen to count up the eggs. It is important to try not to leave any signs that the nest has been disturbed so I made sure that the nettles were put back carefully, whilst trying not to sting myself!
Although this is my best record for finding my guinea fowl eggs, I have not collected any for four days as the guinea fowl had moved their nest. Lets hope that they do not move it again in the next few days, but I won’t hold my breath though!!
2 Comments »
What do you do with them? Do you eat them? Hatch them out? If you eat them, is there a chance there will be a chick inside? Just curious. We’ve always considered keeping chickens.
Comment by Michelle — May 24, 2007
Thanks for dropping by and asking great questions.
We eat the guinea fowl eggs and we hatch them out too! We have just had 10 guinea fowl keets hatch out and now have more eggs in the incubator.
Lots of people wonder if there is a chick inside the eggs that we eat. Eggs that we eat may be fertile but you shouldn’t find a chick inside as they need the correct conditions (high temperatures) to hatch out and the incubation period takes 21 days for chickens and 28 days for guinea fowl and the eggs in the shops are normally refrigerated and should be fresher than this – we hope!
I would highly recommend keeping chickens AND guinea fowl for many reasons.
Thanks again Michelle.
Sara @ Farming Friends
Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends — May 24, 2007