Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guineas and Their Eggs

Spring is in the air, and our guineas have the spring fever.  We have eight guineas, four males and four females, which is perfect.  Everyone has a mate.  

Guinea Boy and Guinea Girl

Guinea Boy, who is pearl gray in color, has paired with Guinea Girl, his mate from last year.  She is royal purple in color.  They are the last of our two original guinea keets.

The white male guinea has paired with one  of the coral blue hens.  A coral blue male has paired with the lavender female.  And the last couple are both coral blue.  

The male guineas spend much of their time chasing each other around the yard with their wings up in display.  The females sit in a nest every morning.  Often the males will assist in nest preparation before the females enter the nest.  While the females lay their daily egg, the male will often stand guard nearby.

We decided to let the guineas hatch some eggs and we stopped collecting their eggs about a week ago.  After a clutch of 20 or so of eggs is laid in a nest, the female guinea may sit on them to hatch them.  Until they get that many eggs, the guineas don't sit overnight on the nest, but instead roost in the trees like normal.

We never got near having that many eggs in a nest.  All the guineas lay in different nests.  We only knew where one nest was located, the rest were hidden from us.  They move nests when they realize we know where their nest is located - they're sneaky like that!  

Tuesday night we had three eggs in the nest, and then on Wednesday afternoon all the eggs were cracked open and destroyed.  A coon or a opossum or some other critter got to them!  The guinea eggs just don't stand a chance with all the wild animals living in the woods.  Who doesn't just love scrambled eggs?

And so tonight we collected the one guinea egg from the nest, and we will continue to collect guinea eggs.  When we have a clutch of eggs we will try to incubate them.  If we have a broody hen we will give them to her to hatch.  Tonight the chicken hen named Bella appeared to be starting to go broody.  She's the first possibly broody hen of the year.  Last year Bella raised all our guinea keets for us.  We got them when they were one-day old keets.

We'll see how we do raising our first clutch of our own keets from eggs!  
Any recommendations are welcome!

Egg  #1 from today ~ each egg will be dated


Chai Chai said...

Very exciting. I am curious how the chicks (when grown) will look since the colors are going to be all mixed up.

LindaG said...

Wow. Exciting and lucky. Thank goodness the guineas agreed to make couples and not a threesome somewhere.

Just found your blog from Danni's blog. :)

Farm Girl said...

I have always wanted to do that, I will enjoy watching you do it. My husband isn't a fan of guineas.

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

that is a good idea to date the eggs...i found a link for you that sells really pretty bottles like the ones on your property. you could sell them to this company and make some money! here is the link, just copy and paste. ;)

Knatolee said...

Good luck with the eggs. I love that group photo of the guineas!

Razzberry Corner said...

Chai Chai - I am very curious about the genetics! Will the guinea keets have spots? Will some be light, some dark? Or will they all be just one darker color? I can't wait!!

LindaG - Welcome to Razzberry Corner!!! The guineas really do pair up, but - when they are all hanging as a group in the afternoon, and one male decides to have sex with his mate, oh my, it turns into a gang bang! All the other males get involved, too! If I'm around I break it up, but I'm sure it happens alot when I don't see it.

Farm Girl - My husband is the one who introduced me to guineas! I wasn't sure of them in the first place!

KK - Thanks for the link!!!! I'd love to sell those bottles!

Nat - Thanks for the luck! I will need it!