Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Guinea Keets Came Early!

The guineas were born today!  They weren't due until Sunday.  We expected they may be born early - every time we hatched our own (chicken) chicks they always were born one day early.  And the guinea keets were even earlier.

We had 4 broody chicken hens sitting on our own guinea eggs for the past month: 
Lucy, Bella, Jade and Mama Charlotte.  We found the eggs out in the woods and collected them. 




Mama Charlotte
We also had 2 backup hens, Charlotte II and Ethel, who were broody and were sitting on plastic eggs for the past 2 weeks.  They were on the stand-by adoption list just in case we needed them. 

Mama Charlotte


Charlotte II

The birthing process was ALL drama this time.  Right now I don't have time to go into it in detail, but I'll tell you that Lucy was kicked out of the keet nursery and was put on plastic eggs, one keet was pecked almost to death by Lucy right after it was born, Bella was given the injured keet, Charlotte II was quickly pulled in to assist (sit) as another birth was happening under Lucy and after Lucy tried to kill it, too. 

Bella and Mama Charlotte are both excellent mamas. 

And poor Jade, no babies hatched under her.  Jade has 4 guinea eggs and 2 big white leghorn chicken eggs (which were given to us by a friend).  We don't think Jade's guinea eggs are viable, but we think the leghorn chickens will hatch, they just aren't early like the keets.  They are due on Sunday, just like the keets. 

We have 4 dark guinea keets, which may be from our Girl Guinea who recently died/disappeared.  And 1 all white keet, who must have been fathered by our one and only all white male guinea.  We are not sure that Charlotte II has accepted her only baby keet yet, but she hasn't tried to kill it.  Hopefully the poor keet lives until tomorrow.  And hopefully the one that was bloodied by Lucy lives.  It was severely injured before we could get it away from the confused Lucy and give it to Bella.

This is all much more dramatic than the hatching of chickens last year! 
Right now we have 12 keets, and more eggs under the hens could hatch tomorrow.


Country Girl said...

Wow! I was looking at my blog when you posted a few minutes ago! The poor little keet that got beat up! Glad you were there to take out the crazed mama! ~ The little keets are adorable! How old are they when you put them out with the other keets? Can't wait to see the next blog with more baby pictures! Enjoy!

Robin said...

Wow, that was a lot of drama. Hopefully it will even out soon and you will have lots of little keets that think they are all chickens again. :)

Gail said...


Hens are much better mamas, glad you went that way.

Razzberry Corner said...

Barb - I was very glad I found Lucy when I did. I had just gotten home from work and went straight into the keet nursery and saw Lucy pecking away on the baby! There was blood on the baby! I was so mad at Lucy, I didn't think the baby would make it and quickly tucked it up under Bella's wings where I knew it would be safe. It's still alive this morning, but it has scabs on it's eyes and neck. We put some eye ointment on it's eyes to keep them moist so they can be opened.

Robin - it was scary for that one baby when I saw it all bloody. Then when the second one hatched under Lucy and she attacked it, I scooped Lucy out of the nest, found Randy out in the yard, and handed her to him. He brought her back and said it wasn't that bad, she just had to get used to the babies. But when she grabbed her second newborn baby by a leg and shook it like a ragdoll, he, too scooped her out of the nest and handed her to me. I don't know why she hates babies, she acted like they were going to hurt her eggs.

Gail - It worked out ok last year, so I figured we'd let the hens raise these keets. Besides, the guinea hens probably would last sitting in the woods, with the monsters out there killing them.


LindaG said...

I love how chickens will hatch any eggs you give them, but I do hope your hens will be more helpful to the baby keets. Good luck with them!

Razzberry Corner said...

LindaG - Chickens are great at hatching eggs. I don't know what was wrong with Lucy, the bad mama hen. She thought the baby was going to hurt her eggs, she was protecting the eggs. She didn't understand the baby was the goal of the whole month-long ordeal!