Saturday, October 23, 2010

Girl Guinea Gives us an Egg

Girl Guinea egg from 22Oct10

Girl Guinea used to lay eggs every day in the chicken coop, back when she thought she was a chicken.  But now, for over a week, she has been a guinea hen, walking the property with the guinea flock.  She has been very happy being a guinea hen and not a chicken. 

The only way the guineas can get into the chicken coop now is to fly over the chicken pen fence and enter the coop through the chicken door. But as the guineas enjoy their freedom, they do not fly back into the chicken pen like they used to.  In fact, I have not seen them in the chicken pen in the past week at all. 

Guinea Flock

I wondered if Girl Guinea was still laying eggs out in the woods somewhere.  She was laying before, so I assumed she was still laying eggs somewhere.  I thought possibly random eggs in the woods may draw raccoons or skunks or mink or other unwanted animals closer to the chicken pen.  

I mused about what would happen if one of the guinea hens went broody and tried to sit on a nest.  I wondered if the flock would stay by the broody hen area or move on, leaving the hen to deal with any predators by herself.  The flock does a very good job protecting itself because of it's numbers.  Ten guinea fowl are very loud and seem to scare away every other animal.  Randy watched once last week as a fox approached the guineas, and they scared him off.  He ran quickly away from their screams.  No guineas nor chickens have been killed by foxes since the guineas have been set free on the property (some of the chickens often escape from the chicken pen and wander about on their own.  In the past we lost chickens to foxes whenever they got free like this).  I know the guineas ALWAYS chase away poor Jerry, the outside cat, whenever they cross his path.  They take one look at Jerry and they all start running for him, flapping their wings and screaming.  Maybe they chase him because he runs, I don't know.  But Jerry hates them!  

Then yesterday, on Friday, we found a lone guinea egg right in front of the chicken coop door.  Not the small door in the chicken pen where the chickens enter the coop, but the large door in the front of the coop where us humans enter.  I have to assume the egg belonged to Girl Guinea, I don't think the other guinea hens are laying yet - they are only 4 months old now, but Girl Guinea is over a year old now.  The egg had a slight weak spot on one side like Girl Guinea's eggs used to have.  I guess the front door was as close as Girl Guinea could get to the coop, her former nesting/laying area.  Hopefully she keeps laying there, right out in the open, so we can continue to find her eggs! 

Thank you, Girl Guinea!  


Foothills Poultry said...

You might want to consider setting up an outside nestbox. Not hard to build something simple with a roof to keep it dry.


Verde Farm said...

Oh how touching, her little egg in front of the door. I am sure it was Girl Guinea. You have a great flock of them and they are so fun to watch. I know my girl used to have nests around the house in landscaping beds. She loved to be in places that were well covered, under Yucca plants or ivy. I bet you may find that to be the case next year too.
Amy :)

Chai Chai said...

Aww, I don't know why but this story seems a little sad to me. Poor Guinea girl, torn between two worlds.

Terry said...

I've never seen a guinea egg before. It's very pretty.

Knatolee said...

I really want some guineas. I wonder how they'd do in the winters up here. I'll have to find some locals who keep them.

Your flock is lovely!

Are guinea "roosters" (sorry, don't know the technical name!) as bad as chicken ones for bugging the ladies?

Mr. H. said...

How neat to see you talk about raising guinea hens. I have considered getting some for our little homestead time and time again but have yet to take the leap. Perhaps living vicariously through you and your birds will inspire me to do so.:)

Leigh said...

Very interesting Lynn. I love the photo of your Guinea flock. Have you hunted for Girl Guinea's eggs? I think Matt has a good idea about the outdoor nest box. I'd get some Guineas but I doubt the neighbors would appreciate the extra "noise." :)

Razzberry Corner said...

Matt, that's seems like a great idea, but wouldn't the raccoons learn where the outside nest box was? They are smart critters, they return to where they find food (eggs)... that's my only concern.

Amy, today Girl Guinea and Boy Guinea separated from the flock and went off into the bushes beside the house together. I saw them, wondered why they were so far away from the other guineas. Then I heard Boy Guinea's beautiful song. I remembered he used to always sing so beautifully and stand beside Girl Guinea when she layed. It was so romantic!!! She was laying in the bushes! I didn't mean to interrupt them, but she jumped up w/out laying and moved deeper into the bushes. I walked away and let them be. Sweet Girl Guinea...


Razzberry Corner said...

Chai Chai - It would be sad, but Girl Guinea really loves being a Guinea. She didn't make a good chicken. The younger guineas turn to her for decisions. She actually pushes around the young guinea bullies, putting them in their place when they try to be arrogant. She sleeps beside her Boy Guinea in the tree at night. Boy Guinea is so gentle and treats her like his queen. He sings to her. I truly used to hate it when I would see the chicken roosters trying to rape Girl Guinea and boss her around. I believe guineas are so very different from chickens, and now Girl Guinea knows it, too. I think she's happy now. She acts like a new bird now.

Terry, the eggs are smaller and more heart-shaped than chicken eggs. And they have a really hard shell!

Knatolee - do you have wild turkeys in your area? If they survive, I bet guineas could survive. Boy Guinea is nothing like our chicken roosters. He is never mean to the hens ever. I have never seen him having sex, actually. He is so sweet, cleans girl guinea, and sings to her. When he gets mad at the chicken roosters, when they used to pick fights w/ him, he puts his wings up in the air, its makes him look really big. He hated the chicken roosters, but was always a sweetheart to the hens.


Razzberry Corner said...

Mr H - I love having guineas. It was tough when we raised them the first time beside chicks, as our one mama hen didn't accept them. And they had to stay warmer than chicks during a cold winter. The second time we raised keets we gave them to a broody chicken hen when they were one day old, and it was a piece of cake. The hen thought they were her chicks and protected them and we didn't have to do anything special. Guineas are definitely more of a flock bird than chickens. They never leave one behind, the flock always stays together. I love to watch them as they quickly move across the property. But they are loud!

Leigh, yes, the guineas can be loud! Your neighbors may not like them!


John Going Gently said...

lynn that group photo of the guineas is lovely

Chai Chai said...

Lynn, This thread is chock full of wonderful questions, stories, and replies. Thank you for sharing.