My guinea fowl are laying their eggs in the nettles bordering the orchard at the moment. Where are you guinea fowl laying their eggs?
Sara @ farmingfriends
My single female guinea is now laying in her home, the mobile chicken tractor. Only one thing is puzzling me: She has dug a hole, but she keeps kicking out the other eggs, so they are strewn around the tractor. I have used spoons to move them back into the nest, but she kicks them out like soccer balls.
Does this mean she doesn't want them around? Will she gather them when there are enough eggs? Any advice on how to handle this?
Thanks in advance,
Welcome to the farmingfriends forum and thank you for your contribution.
It is normal for the hen to dig out a hole to lay her eggs and I know that guinea fowl like to turn their eggs and this can be quite vigorous which might explain why the eggs end up all over the place.
If she has more than 20 eggs than she may not sit on them as she isn't broody or doesn't think that the eggs are fertile. If you do not have a mle guinea fowl then the eggs will not be fertile.
If the eggs are fertile and you want her to sit then I would probably remove most of the current eggs and leave one or two in the nest to encourage her to continue to lay and to sit.
You could candle these eggs and see if any are fertile. http://farmingfriends.com/candling-eggs/
Hope this helps. Let me know how you get on.
Sara @ farmingfriends
I didn't identify myself clearly, but I'm the same poster from the FarmilngFriends blog as the "AustinCoopTour". This is just my personal account.
So, I have 1 female guinea and 3 males. I did actually see them mate briefly once. (I was pleasantly surprised to see that!).
After my post above, I once more carefully moved the scattered eggs back into her dug out hole. At that point, there were 4. I used gloves, just in case the human scent would make her abandon the nest (is there any truth in that??).
She has since been laying in the nest as best I can tell. Today she laid her 7th egg.
You mentioned removing eggs to keep her laying. Is this still the case with 7 eggs, or only as it gets closer to 20 or so?
I read the candling link you noted, and I'm assuming "incubation" starts when the guinea hen actually starts sitting on the nest. Is that right?
Like you I have only once seen my guinea fowl mating and that was last season when some of the young guinea fowl had just started to mate. They obviously like to have privacy when they mate unlike my ducks and drake!
Guinea fowl are very clever at realising if a human has disturbed their nest, so I think you are right to use gloves to disguise your scent on the eggs.
I am glad to hear that she is laying in her nest. With regards to removing the eggs. Your guinea fowl hen should continue to lay until she has a clutch of eggs without you having to remove them and then hopefully she will go broody and sit on them. You are right, incubation only starts when she sits on them permanently. if you don't want her to go broody and sit on the eggs then you can remove all the eggs and she will continue to lay until the end of the season.
Hope that helps. Do you have names for your guinea fowl? Do you have any photos - if so I could email you my email address and if you want to share your photos I can add them to the forum.
Sara @ farmingfriends
That does help. Of course, today she laid a new egg, but booted 4 eggs out of the nest. Grrr... I may just collect those.
As to your question on names, yes, they do. They were all born in April 2008. There names are:
Buck (the leader of the pack - umm... flock)
Crazy Pie (tonight I thought about renaming him to Crazy NINJA Pie!)
Bluey (yes, a lavender guinea)
Mighty (my female...short for Mighty Whitey)
I'll be glad to send photos or feel free to download guinea pics from my Flickr set at:
Hi Michelle, I love the names of your guinea fowl. I have 29 guinea fowl at the moment and 5 have names.
I love these quirky birds and it's great to exchange stories, advice and share photos with other guinea fowl enthusiasts like yourself.
Hi..I'm new to this list, and fairly new at raising Guinea Fowl. I have one older Pearl Hen, Cobra, that actually went broody last fall, but on a nest with 50 infertile eggs! I chased her off after 6 weeks and got rid of the eggs.
At the current time, I still have Cobra, along with Pearly, another Pearl Hen, Lacey, a Pearl Pied Hen, Lucy, a younger Pearl Pied Hen and my one cock is Choco, a chocolate. Cobra was my first Guinea Fowl, Pearly, Lacey and Choco were bought as a trio at about 6 months old (last September) and Lucy is one of a batch of 8 week old keets I got last September. I am getting 3 eggs a day, without fail.
I originally got Guinea Fowl as insect control for my Rabbitry. Since then, I have sold all but one very old rabbit, and the Guinea's still live in the enclosed Rabbitry (our detached garage). We still have the Rabbitry time lights (14 hours a day) with 24/7 music. We hope to move them to a shed in a week or so, and are hoping Cobra doesn't go broody before then! The hens laid well into January of this year, then went in molt, then started again laying in March.
Last year, we put an old rabbit nesting box under the attic access ladder, with a board propped above it, to prevent soiling from roosting on the ladder. This year, I notice one egg being laid there, in the old nest box, but the other 2 strewn all over the floor. So, I moved the box to a "better" location and put 3 eggs in it...and the next day those eggs were scattered all over, but a new eggs was under the ladder! This happened for several days, until I finally just moved the box back under the ladder.
I handle the eggs, as I did last year. When I put the box back where they had it last year, they started laying in it, and as of today, they have over 30 eggs in it. So far, none of the hens are sitting on it, and we're hoping we can get the flock moved to the back shed before they do go broody! We will move the nest box with them, with the eggs, and I am hoping they continue to consider it their nest!
The rabbit loves to run and play with the Guinea! It's funny to watch..he's an old rabbit, almost 10 years old and they have even layed eggs in his winter hay house! He even was laying with eggs under his belly at one time!
Any suggestions on the nesting box move???
Deb (The Crystal Bunny), Northern Indiana, USA
Welcome to the farmingfriends forum. Your guinea fowl sound wonderful. I now have 21 guinea fowl as I lost my beautiful Lightening II to a fox only the other afternoon, so my guinea fowl have been kept in for a few days in the hope that the fox will move onto new prey!
You are luck that your guinea fowl will lay in a nest as mine lay all over the barn when they are kept in which they have been for the last two days due to the fox killing Lightening.
I would move the nest when you move the guinea fowl and place it somewhere dark and secluded and maybe place some of their egg in there already so that they are inclined to lay as it will be familiar when they do a search of the new place.
Hope this helps.
If you have any photos of your guinea fowl that you would like to share then please let me know and I'll send you my email.
Good luck with the guinea fowl move.
sara @ farmingfriends
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