Monday, March 28, 2011

The Guineas are Laying!

Now that spring is soon to come to the east coast of the US (I hope), the guineas hens have started laying eggs again.  
We have 9 guinea fowl: 
1 Pearl Gray (Boy Guinea)
1 White
1 Lavender
1 Royal Purple (Girl Guinea)
5 Coral Blue
The colors can be seen at the Guinea Fowl Color Chart.

Here comes the gang!
Look at those wattles! Look at those horns! They hold their heads high and walk with a purpose! 
These guineas mean business!

And there they go...guineas on a mission

The female guineas have started making their nest and laying eggs in an old brush pile.  
We see them sneak into the brush pile and the other guineas leave them alone and wander off without them.  We see the females off by themselves a lot these days.  We wondered if any females are getting broody, but so far no one has continued to sit on a nest overnight.  We did lose one guinea back in late February, possibly it was a broody female who thought she could sit on a nest all night and didn't survive, but we really aren't sure.

I'm just happy that we know where the guineas' nests are located, so we can monitor them.  We'd like them to have babies in the summer, but not this early, as it's too cold out now.

We cannot let the guineas see us near their nest or they will move to a different nest.  Nor can we take all eggs from their nest, or they will go elsewhere.

And so I got some plastic Easter eggs that open to put candy in for kids, but instead I filled them with dirt and snapped them closed.  Sorry, guineas, you don't get any Easter candy!!! 

Easter eggs filled with dirt to make them heavy
Guinea eggs in nest

Guinea nest with Easter egg

Taking out the new guinea eggs

When I remove a guinea egg from the nest, I replace it with an Easter egg.  So far the guineas haven't moved their nest, and they continue to lay in the same places every day.

Three new guinea eggs in the nest today

Easter eggs in nest
When the weather gets nicer and if a guinea gets broody, we will leave the eggs and maybe they will raise some keets this summer!

Has anyone had guineas that raised their own keets?


Farm Girl said...

My Dad did every year.He always had a huge flock of guineas. He just let them lay their eggs and I know he maybe lost some to snakes and stuff but he always had enough to sell at the poultry sale in the summer.

Danni said...

How fun! I was finally able to see guineas in action personally, when I visited Morning Bray Farm in New Mexico. Their next door neighbors have a bunch. They were so much fun to watch and the resident turkey tom had adopted them as his flock - very cute.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Oh I love those sweet guinea faces!I never realized guineas came in so many different colors, are their eggs white? I know nothing about guinea hens, I will keep checking in. Happy spring to you!

Chai Chai said...

I giggled every time I saw one of the replacement Easter Eggs in the guinea nests.

Do they ever get broody in the coop with the hens?

What are you doing with the eggs?

Chai Chai said...

I think I noticed something about the Guineas today and you can see it as well in your pictures. Guinea girls have small waddles that go back on their faces while the boys have larger waddles that hang down from their jowls - what do you think?

Teri @ Love From the Farm said...

Guineas are a hoot! We're getting more keets with our chicks this year and I'm eager to have these entertaining bug eaters around again. I like to have them the same age as my chickens, or they get so dominant. When we had guineas before, we could never find their nests. They're tricky!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Guinea gang! What great shots.

I guess the easter eggs don't have a different feel?
I think it's great you can do this and keep an eye on their nest.

Knatolee said...

Loe those guineas!!! I enjoyed this post a lot, but then I always love your posts. :)

Ronna said...

Love those guineas! Great pix. And I just love those Easter eggs in their nests.

Leontien said...

I'm with chai chai i giggled and giggled! what if you neigbor kid comes and thinks, whoo that is a nice easter egg???

Thanks for sharing and great pics!

Gail said...

That is wonderful news.

Mom and Dad used to let the chickens hatch the guinea eggs.

Razzberry Corner said...

Kim - That's what Randy wants to do, to have a huge flock of guineas so that some will survive year after year. And I've learned to love them, so I guess I don't mind!

Danni - Didn't you just loveeee them? I could watch them all day! maybe Critter farm should have some???

Julie - the eggs are a light brown. Some have brownish spots/markings. The eggs are smaller than chicken eggs. Happy spring to you, too - hopefully it will come soon!

Chai Chai - They can't get into the chicken coop anymore. The chickens have been penned in and now have a roof on the pen, so the guinas are locked out. But previously, when they could get in the coop, they laid their eggs on the coop floor, and none ever got broody before. But we only had 2 females back then.

And we eat their eggs right now! I only scramble guinea eggs, I don't like them hard boiled. We eat them all the time for breakfast!

I used to think that about the guineas wattles - I've studied them for a while now. But look at Girl Guinea - she's the dark one that doesn't have alot of spots. She has long, hanging wattles. And she DEFINITELY a girl. But I think maybe with the lighter color (colal blue and white) birds that the hanging wattles signify a boy and the smaller wattles that pull back on the face signify a girl.


Razzberry Corner said...

Teri - It IS hard to find their nests!!! I am always on the hunt for a guinea nest! I was excited to find 2 nests this weekend - I found them by watching the guinea girls when they separate from the group.

Toni - I was worried the easter eggs would be too smooth, but thought I'd give it a try anyway. The dirt in them makes them the same weight as real eggs. I just hate to leave real eggs out there because they always disappear overnight - coons or oppossums or fox or something take them away or eat them. And once a fox or coon learns where a guinea nest is, they will continually return, and if a broody guinea is setting there overnight when the fox makes it's rounds, that's not good...


Razzberry Corner said...

Nat and Ronna - Thanks!!

Leontien - Lol, I don't know if a kid would find the nests, they are really hidden! If they did happen to find it, they'd think we are WEIRD people, putting dirt in Easter eggs!!! They'd go tell their parents about the weird neighbors who hide dirt-filled Easter eggs!!!!

Gail - Hmmm, now that's an idea. Maybe this summer I'll put a batch of all guinea eggs under a chicken. Guinea eggs take a week longer to hatch than chickens. Previously we put day-old keets under a chicken, so why not the eggs? Thanks!! :)


AJ-OAKS said...

I am finally able to catch up with you.
Great idea with the Easter eggs!
i can hardly wait until the Guinea chicks I ordered arrive. They aren't due until June.
Hmm,never knew spurs could be removed.
It is so funny how animals pick who they want to live with and where.
I really enjoyed going on a 'run' with you.
Now that's some firewood you have there! Wow!

Terry said...

Those guineas sure are laying some colorful eggs, lol!

Robin said...

I love that first picture!