|Follow the guineas|
I decided right then and there that I was going to attempt to hatch any guinea eggs I found. I especially wanted a Guinea Girl baby, one that looked like her. There are too many predators in the woods that will quickly snatch up a guinea or gobble up their eggs for dinner, and I cannot really help that. But I can help by protecting the keets and raising them, making sure they at least survive into adulthood. Guineas lay eggs in a nest until they have approximately 20 to 30 eggs, then the female sits on the eggs for 28 days until they hatch. During this sitting time the female guinea is vulnerable to any night predator which finds her on the nest. The rest of the guineas leave the female alone in the woods to fend for herself. And a guinea in the dark is helpless - they are blind in the dark. In my woods, I doubt that 20 to 30 eggs would last 28 nights, not to mention the female guinea surviving without the noisy flock, sitting on the ground overnight by herself.
|White Guinea and his nest|
|5 eggs in nest|
The next nest I found also had a coral blue female guinea sitting on it. The male for this nest was a coral blue guinea, too. I photographed and retrieved the eggs later. There were 20 eggs in this nest! I'm sure the female guinea was so upset when she found her super-size stash of eggs was missing! I am surprised that a 20-egg nest was found in this area - this nest was right beside the spot where I saw a fox a couple weeks ago. He was standing right beside this nest licking his little fox mouth. I wonder if he wasn't finishing off some guinea eggs when I saw him. I guess not, because if he knew about the eggs then he would have returned for more dinner, and there wouldn't have been 20 eggs piled up in this nest. All I can say is that the guineas were darn lucky to have gotten 20 eggs saved up in this location. It's pretty far from the house.
|20 eggs in nest|
The eggs were all collected and brought back to the house. There each egg was labeled. I candled them, but saw nothing. The eggs don't start developing until incubation starts. Incubation starts after the female bird sits on the eggs or they are put in an artificial incubation machine, and then they start developing on the inside. That way they can be physically laid by the bird on different days, but all hatch on or about the same day.
And so now the fun begins! In about a month, I hopefully will have the very first keets hatched from my guineas own eggs. I am very excited to see what colors they turn out to be! Heck, I'll be excited if they hatch at all! If a miracle should happen and I end up with 25 keets I'll have to find a buyer for some of them! But any that look like Guinea Girl will be keepers!
In my next post I'll go over the incubation process for the eggs. Will it be a chicken, or an incubator????