It is with a heavy heart that I say that all Guinea Girl's eggs were killed and eaten a few days ago.
Guinea Girl was sitting on a nest with 15 eggs. She was quite proud of her soon-to-be babies. She rarely left her nest. She would have been a great mother, I believe. In the beginning of her broodiness, we tried to remove her from her nest, but she fought and fought us to stay on her nest of eggs. She was willing to risk her life by staying on the nest overnight, despite all the dangers of sitting on the ground overnight. She didn't care, she was a mama, and that's what mamas do. They take care of their babies. Even if their babies are still eggs. Our guineas know about dangers and monsters at nighttime. These are the 3 last ones that survived a terrible month of attacks every night. I believe all 3 of these last guineas were attacked during the month long war on the guineas, but they survived. I believe this because their feathers were all torn up and they were terrified during the days. But they are the survivors.
And Guinea Girl was willing to risk it all again for her babies.
We had decided to take Guinea Girl's eggs away from her, even though she was a great mama guinea. We were going to give them to our broody chicken hens. We now have 2 broody hens, Charlotte and Bella ~ they are the same 2 hens that raised all our guinea keets from eggs earlier this year. Those keets are now teenagers/young adults. And here the same 2 hens are broody again. It was a sign, and so we were going to take Guinea Girl's eggs away because we didn't think it was safe for her to sit on the ground all night. Guineas are blind in the dark, and it is very dark in our woods at night. We were going to take the eggs away last weekend and give them to the hens in the chicken coop. The hens are safe in the coop - no monsters can get to the chickens.
|Guinea Girl following the white Guinea Boy, her mate|
And then one evening last week, before the weekend came, the grey Guinea Boy didn't come home to sleep in the pine tree. We were worried about him, thinking he may have been attacked during the day. We searched for him, didn't find him or any signs of an attack. Girl Guinea was sitting on her nest that evening.
And then, the next morning, Guinea Girl was eating breakfast with the 2 Guinea Boys up at the house. What??? Why wasn't she on her eggs? Where did grey Guinea Boy come from?
We immediately ran outside, crossed the fields and went into the woods where the nest was.
And the eggs were all broken and scrattered about. None was left alive.
We were happy Guinea Girl survived whatever attacked her overnight. She easily could have been killed.
But Poor Guinea Girl lost her 15 babies.
I don't know why the male guinea stayed out all night the night of the attack, or if that even has anything to do with Guinea Girl losing her eggs. But it was just weird. Our guineas are creatures of habit, and he broke his habit for some reason.
Now we know, eggs cannot make it in our woods. We will never let this happen again. I am very sad because I know those eggs were forming into keets, and I know how adorable keets are. I expected at least 7 of those 15 eggs would have hatched ~ our success rate with eggs is about 50%. Sadly, not anymore.
|The grey Guinea Boy|