Monday, May 30, 2011

Pies and Cupcakes

This past week I was busy in the kitchen.

Caramel cupcakes

Lemon cupcakes

Butter cupcakes
I was very disappointed with the meringue on my key lime pie.  It's been so long since I made meringue that I didn't really remember details.  So I used a meringue recipe that I really don't like, but I didn't know that till after 2 hours of beating meringue.  And so I used it anyway, but it didn't get all big and fluffy like I like.  And I cheated with this pie and used a pre-made graham cracker pie crust.  Don't tell anyone!
It was still a great-tasting pie, but it just would have been more impressive looking with higher meringue.  And without that store-bought crust!

Key lime pie with graham cracker crust
Happy Memorial Day!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Easy Way to Clean a Poopy Chick Butt and How to Sex Chicks

All our keets and chicks are doing well.  We got 4 Rhode Island Red (RIR) chicks and 4 Cuckoo Maran chicks from the farmer's market yesterday.  They were all 1 day old.  They were incubator chicks, we were told.  They all did great bonding with a mama hen, especially the RIRs.  The Cuckoo Marans really just wanted to sleep yesterday.  Today they are bonding with their mama hen very well.

Of course we wanted pullets, so we tried these methods we found online:

To determine the sex of a Rhode Island Red chick:

  1. Look at its feathers on the edge of the wing. If the chick has two uneven rows of feathers its female. If both rows are even, male. 
  2.  Females have dark spots on her head or back.  Males have stripes
  We really noticed a difference in the wing feathers- some were even, some were definitely uneven.  We chose all uneven.  It was hard to tell about the spots or stripes.

To determine the sex of a Cuckoo Maran chick:
  1. Females are darker, males are lighter. 
That sounds easy enough, but they all were generally the same shade of black.  Some had more white spots.  We chose the darkest ones available.

Today I checked all the chicks (and all the keets, too) for signs of a poopy butt.  Sometimes poop sticks to the bottom of a chick and dries, making the chick unable to poop.  This can kill the chick.  Mama hens will try to pick the poop off the chick.  One of the cuckoo marans had a poopy butt, and so I brought her in the house and had a great idea.  Last year when we had chicks, I used to wipe the chick's bottom with a warm damp wash rag and try to wipe the poop off.  The chick would scream and fight.  It wasn't a happy time for the chick.

This time, I put some warm water in the bathroom sink so it was just high enough to cover the chick's butt when she stood in it.  Then I put her in it and swooshed water around her bottom.  I held her there for about 5 minutes.  At first she fought, then she calmed down and almost went to sleep in the warm water.  It was a relaxing spa for the chick!  I took her out and wiped her bottom with a wet tissue, which is much softer than a wash rag.  The poop easily wiped off her butt in a second.   It was so easy!  I thought I'd share this concept, since that's what blogging is all about - sharing ideas.

I lightly dried the chick with a tissue and put her with her mama hen.  She took 2 steps and made the biggest poop I've ever seen come from a chick.  Then she flapped her wings and bounced around with the other chicks.  Problem solved!   

Monster Hunting and New Chicks

Just a quick post with no pictures.  The camera is out in the chicken coop, and I don't want to walk out in the dark.  Besides, Randy is out there hunting all night, and I'm not allowed to disturb the area.

First - the horrible news.  Another guinea was killed Saturday morning.  We got up at 4:30 AM and Randy went out to hunt the guinea-killing monster, but he was too late.  The small female guinea was already killed and missing, leaving feathers behind.  That makes 3 guineas in 3 nights.  And so Randy is spending the night outside tonight.  On the previous nights the guineas were killed I never heard a sound, and I was up by 5AM.  Most likely they were killed before I got up, and that's why I didn't hear them. 

On Friday Randy cut down the tree in the woods that he thought held a monster nest.  He thought it was a hollowed out tree.  A trail of guinea feathers had gone from where the guinea was killed at our front door to the tree in the woods.  The tree had a big hole in it, and the trail of light colored feathers was easy to see going into the hole.  But there was no nest in the tree.  The monster must have sat in the tree and eaten guinea dinner??  Hmmm, that rules out fox, I think.  I still do not think that raccoons are fast enough to hunt, chase and kill a guinea.  But that's just my opinion.  Owl, maybe?  Today after doing the crime scene analysis of the latest guinea victim, we noticed the biggest, strongest guinea feathers were just sheared off in half.  Something very strong grabbed that bird and ripped it's strongest feathers into 2 pieces like they were twigs.  Hmmm, great horned owl???  Eagle?  But it's a night hunter.  Scratch eagle.  Great horned owl.  We will see tonight.


Just as I was writing about the monster, it attacked outside.  I honestly didn't hear anything inside the house.  With the new windows we have, noise doesn't travel inside at all.  Randy just came in to replace flashlight batteries.  He said suddenly all the guineas screamed and flew out of the pine tree, scattering all over the yard.  And of course Randy's flashlight started dieing at that moment when he turned it on.  He never saw or heard what scared the guineas.  Luckily he was able to pick up the white male guinea off the ground and put it in the chicken pen for the night.  One is safe.  The hunt continues into the night.


In other news, today we got 4 Rhode Island Red chicks and 4 Cuckoo Maran chicks.  We wanted some dark brown eggs.  And so we will have 8 new chickens in our flock.  Probably 4 will be roosters anyway and we'll sell them!  We gave the chicks to 2 of the broody hens in the chicken/keet nursery.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keets and Chick Update

This is an update on the guinea keets who hatched Thursday.  All keets are still alive and are getting very bouncy.  Mama Charlotte, who is being named just "Charlotte" has 7 keets
Bella has 4 keets
Charlotte II, who is being renamed Cheryl, has only 1 keet
And one white leghorn chick hatched under Jade last night.

All White Keet
The keets were up and bouncing around within hours after their hatching.  They started pecking and eating guinea keet food just a few hours after their birth.  They need keet food that has more protein than chick food.  They love to jump and boink around, stretching out their tiny wings.  They all learned how to drink from the waterer after being shown only once.  They still stumble and fall over a lot when they bounce around, but they pick themselves up and continue their jumping around.  They like to explore everything, even if it means leaving their mama hen for a while.  Then they bounce back to mama hen.  I think they are much more active and inquisitive than chicks (as in chicken chicks, not guineas).

Keets checking things out on Day One, shortly after hatching

The keets were bouncing so much after they were born that one of them jumped out of the nestbox where Charlotte was sitting with them.  We put up a "baby gate" to keep them in the box that first night.  The second day the hens were removed from the nest boxes, and separate areas were made for them to walk around the coop, all partitioned off with the mesh fencing.  The mother hens attack the other mothers and the other babies, so everyone must be separated while they are inside the coop for now.  When they get big enough to go outside then the keets will be more hardy and will be tougher and faster.

Mesh stapled in front of nest box overnight on night one
The guinea keet that was pecked almost to death by Lucy right after hatching was given to Bella.  Bella has been an exceptional mama, feeding the babies, showing them how to drink, talking to them, spreading her wings to keep them safe.  The injured keet wouldn't jump around at all on the night of it's birth.  It only screamed bloody murder if it moved at all.  It was in pain.  It's neck and eyes had been hurt by Lucy.  It didn't eat or move that first night, but by the second night it was walking some, and ate and drank. It's not as boisterous as the other keets.  One the morning after it's birth both eyes appeared to have dried scabs over them, we put antibiotic eye ointment on them so they could be opened. The other injuries have scabs on them, too.  I think the little guy is going to make it. I hope.

Injured keet on the night of it's birth
We have 12 keets.  I don't think anymore eggs are going to hatch, and so we will remove them from under the hens this morning.  We started with 26 guinea eggs, but 3 weeks into the sitting process, 1 egg was cracked and thrown away.  That's a less than a 50% success rate on us hatching our own guinea eggs - not really that impressive.  If anyone is going to do this, make sure to have double the guinea eggs you really want.  We started half the eggs in an incubator and half under broody hens.  About a week and a half into the incubation process, 2 more hens went broody, so all the incubator eggs were put under them.  I think it's better to use a hen than an incubator machine.

Last night one of Jade's white leghorn chicken eggs hatched.  Jade was terrified of the sound of the shell cracking.  Jade did not like the chick at all, she was freaking out and pecked it once, but it wasn't a vicious, trying to kill it peck like Lucy did.  I stayed with Jade and kept her from pecking the chick, and let it stay under her wing.  I rubbed Jade under her chin whenever the baby moved and Jade started to panic - the chin rubbing calms her.  Eventually it got dark outside, and so Jade and her baby went to sleep.  I checked on her this morning, the baby is fine, Jade has accepted it.  The chick is a little yellow puffball.  It's much bigger than the keets, but not at all active like the keets. 

Chick hatching under Jade

Just the beak is broken out!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Goodbye Guinea Boy

Last night as I left the chicken coop keet nursery, the guineas greeted me and walked with me to the house.  Guinea Boy is the flock leader, the most aggressive male.  He chirped to me, and I told him he has some children in the nursery. He puffed his wings up at that moment as if he was proud, and I couldn't help but laugh at him.  Evidently the white male guinea, the next in the male pecking order, laughed, too, because Guinea Boy had to turn and chase him a couple feet.  Guinea Boy walked away proud, with the wings up in defiance.  White Guinea shook off the shame and followed Guinea Boy.  I told White Guinea he should be proud, because has at least one child in the nursery.  I watched as they all turned and flew up to their resting place in the big pine tree for the night.

And that will be the last time I ever see Guinea Boy.  He was killed this morning by our front door, just like the coral blue guinea who was killed there yesterday morning.  Guinea Boy ran to the door for protection.  And he was murdered and his body was drug away into the woods.

Goodbye, my dear Guinea Boy.  You had quite the personality.  White Guinea will take over your flock duties, but the flock will never be the same.

I vow vengeance to the monsters in the woods for killing my guineas... Your time will come, and it will be when you least expect it.

Guinea Boy

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.

One Less Guinea Hen

We lost another guinea hen this morning.  She was chased by a wild animal and killed.  She died directly in front of our front door.  Following the crime scene investigation this morning, it was determined she was attacked in front of the chicken coop, she fought and ran, tried to hide under the chicken coop.  She was drug out from under the coop, got free from her attacker, and ran to our front door for help.  We were not there for her, and she died there.  If only I heard something and opened the door I could have saved her.  But I didn't. 

From the door her body was drug into the woods and up a tree.  We assume it was a raccoon this time, because the animal climbed a tree.  A nest is up the tree in a hollow of the tree.  We assume baby raccoons are in that nest. 

Poor girl.  It appears she did not die quickly, because of all the feathers around the yard.
We now have 2 female guineas and 4 male guineas. 

Plus 25 guinea eggs due to hatch this weekend.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bob and that Lizard Tail

Bob has become an important part of the farm.  He's a permanent fixture here now.  During the day he sleeps on one of the porches, and at night time he sleeps in unknown places in the woods.  He's always out there somewhere, we just have to call for him if he's not already under our feet and he comes running.  That's our Farm Cat Bob.
Little Bob
The Bobster

Bob has many important jobs around the farm.  He is the friendly furry little kitty who keeps us company outside.

Bob waiting impatiently for food
Bob with a puffed-up tail

 Bob makes sure our legs get rubbed whenever we go out back.  If we should decide to sit down outside, he warms our laps by sitting in our laps.

Bob is Jerry's BFF.  Jerry doesn't have many male cat friends.  Actually, I think Bob may be Jerry's only friend.  Jerry needed a friend.  Because Bob is so friendly to us, it has made Jerry more friendly.  
Although Jerry still will NOT let us pet him.

Bob already ate breakfast. Now Jerry is eating.
Jerry, the original feral tomcat at Razzberry Corner
Jerry goes on his way, Bob stays at our house after eating breakfast.  Bob has chores to do.
The Bobster
Oh, I almost forgot Bob's #1 job.  Bob has been told that he must keep our yards and porches mouse and lizard-free.  And he does a good job at his work.  We used to have many pretty blue lizards on the back porch.

Not anymore!  Here is a lizard tail that Bob left behind.  The rest of the lizard ran for it's life.  The tail separated from the lizard, as it's supposed to do.  Bob was busy with the tail and the lizard lived another day.  Eventually the tail stopped twisting and turning and Bob lost interest in it.  Then the ants had their breakfast.

Tomorrow I will continue with the stories about the remaining photos...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cupcake Week

I will now attempt to explain some of the photos from my last blog post.  Life has been busy, and I haven't been able to post much here on the blog.  But here we go, without wasting more time~~~~

 Last week a lot of baking was done.  Cupcakes, to be specific.  It was Randy's birthday, and so he got a butter pound-cakey type of cupcake.  Then there were many celebrations at my work, as three people were leaving the office, and I told each of them I'd make whatever flavor cupcake they wanted.  Of course I made recommendations of my favorite flavors.  It finally was decided and I made 2 dozen lemon, 2 dozen orange cremesicle, and 2 dozen carrot cupcakes.  All with vanilla buttercreme icing.  They were enjoyed by everyone, especially me!

I was lucky because I was supposed to make even more cupcakes for a picnic, but it was post-poned due to rain.

Randy found these cool carrying containers so I don't have to use the good cupcake carrying cases I have.  I'm concerned I'm going to forget to get the carrying cases sometime and they will get lost at work.  Now I don't have to worry anymore, as these can be disposable!  The carrying cases were made for cakes, but they do fine for cupcakes, too!

This week I'm going to attempt to make variations on the traditional buttercreme icing recipe.  I'm wanting to try some new flavors.  I'm thinking caramel cupcakes with apple buttercreme icing.  One of the co-workers recommended chocolate cupcakes with mint icing.  

The possibilities are endless...and I want to try them all!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Every Photo is a Story - You Figure it Out

Although I've been laying low in the blogging world, life has pushed on with full force here at Razzberry Corner!

Every picture tells a story... You can just imagine the stories I have to tell... 
I'd love to hear what you think the photos are about!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New Guinea Keet Nursery

In preparation of the new guinea keets which are due at the end of this month, we decided we needed to do some coop rearrangement.

We were having an issue with the other chickens constantly disturbing the 2 broody hens.  The other hens just wanted to lay their daily eggs, and the 2 broody hens were taking the 2 most desirable nest boxes.  At one time yesterday morning all 9 of our nest boxes were busy and one hen was laying an egg on the floor near the nest boxes.  We have 18 hens.  I tell you, those nest boxes are busy in the mornings!

New coop area with door going into guinea-only pen
 Luckily our chicken coop is a large building and two thirds of it was setup as storage areas for straw and feed.  Yesterday we moved all the extra straw and made another chicken coop area for the broody hens and for the keets when they arrive.  We made 2 closeable chicken doors from this new coop ~ one enters into the current outside chicken pen, and the second door will enter into a new outside pen which is yet to-be-built.  This new pen will be for guinea keets and mama hens only - so they can go outside before they are integrated into the entire flock.  The new pen will be temporary and will be removed when the keets are big enough to free-range with the other guineas.  Then the new coop area will be dedicated to guineas, if they should want to return to the safety of the coop at nighttime instead of sleeping in the trees.

We built new nest boxes for the hens and the eggs.  We learned last year that keets like to sleep in the nest box where they were born, and last year the nest boxes were very full of young growing keets and their mama hen Bella every night.  The new nest boxes were made bigger to accommodate growing keets who haven't yet started to sleep on roosts and still want to sleep beside their mama in a nest box.

Both broody hens were very happy with their new home.  They settled in quickly and told us to leave them alone!

Mama Charlotte

Happy Mother's Day!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Skinny Spider and Mice

I saw this really long and skinny spider hiding out in the doorway yesterday.  Anyone know what it is?  I Googled it, but didn't have any luck.  It was 2 inches in length.  It really freaked me out.  I DO NOT like spiders of any type.  The fact that this one was so skinny, it could probably easily slip inside the door crack or underneath the door ~ that freaked me out, too.  But I'm sure one of the cats would happily eat it if they caught it.  Crazy cats.  Jack is so picky about the flavor of cat food that he eats, but he'll happily eat a bug without hesitation.  They should make bug flavored cat food...

Speaking of the cats, last Thursday night we were going to sleep, we were actually in bed, and it was seconds before I turned out the light on the nightstand.  Randy had already fallen asleep.  And then Shadow jumped up in the middle of the bed with a live mouse in her mouth!

In the springtime mice somehow always get into our old house.  The 2 cats have a great time hunting and catching them.  And now Shadow likes to bring them to us!

I was so shocked and concerned that if we startled Shadow she'd drop the mouse in the bed, all I could do was sit perfectly still and repeatedly bump Randy's arm to wake him.  The only words I could get out were "The cat has a mouse! A live mouse! In bed!" 

Luckily Shadow turned and took the mouse down to the kitchen, where Randy dealt with it.  Both cats continued to look for other mice all night that night.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Incubator Vs. Broody Hen

In the last post we had just collected 25 guinea eggs from nests in the woods and decided to incubate them.  On the day I wrote the post Randy collected one more guinea egg from a nest in the woods, so that made 26 eggs.  No more collecting guinea eggs, we have enough!

There are two ways to hatch eggs - use a bird to do all work for you, or use a incubation machine.  

Eggs in incubator
Previously, a friend had given us an egg incubator, and so we decided it was time to open the box.  It was a Little Giant Still Air Incubator.  It's not the newest model, but it should get the job done.  All the eggs sit in the machine, and there's a rotating motor that rotates them slowly back and forth.  We have to put water in the incubator below the eggs which creates humidity.  The machine must remain heated to 99.5 degrees F.  We must check the water and the temperature of the incubator daily.  It's much more complicated than just putting eggs underneath a chicken.


On May 1st, May Day, we setup the incubator, heated it up, got the humidity going, made sure the egg rotator was working properly, verified the exact temp, and finally put 14 guinea eggs in the machine.  It's so weird hatching eggs this way.  They are in a quiet, sterile environment.  No noise, just their back and forth rotations in a perfect environment.

"Cooking" eggs

Bella decided to go broody this past weekend, too.  Thank you, Bella!  I used to hate broody hens, but this time I was very happy!  I really didn't want Bella as a Guinea mama again, but I didn't have a choice.  She was the only broody hen.  Last year she raised our day-old keets we bought from the farmer's market.  She did a great job in the first couple weeks, although she didn't do a great job talking to the babies.  She's a quiet hen.  Then she gave up on being a mama early, but the keets were already integrated into the flock and they did fine on their own.  So she'd just have to make do this time.

We put 12 guinea eggs under Bella on May 1st, and she was very happy with them and proud of herself.  Then, lo and behold, Mama Charlotte went broody last Wednesday!  Mama Charlotte raised a batch of chicks last year, and she was the best mama hen we had. She is an excellent protector, no one dared to even look at her babies or she'd show them her wrath, and she talked constantly to the chicks.  So on Thursday we moved 6 of Bella's eggs under Mama Charlotte.  (We call her Mama Charlotte because there's 2 other hens that look identical to her and they all started with the name "Charlotte".  Since then one has been renamed "Singer", so now we are left with a bird named "Mama Charlotte" and a plain "Charlotte".) 

The only problem with 2 broody hens sitting on eggs is the constant interruptions they receive.  Other hens constantly push Bella out of her nest box and lay their chicken eggs in the guinea egg pile.  Often I find Bella sitting on the wrong nest because she was pushed out.  Who knows how long she was away from her nest.  So far I haven't noticed Mama Charlotte being pushed around by other hens, but this morning Jade was sitting on top of her in the nest box.  Somehow Jade had already laid her egg and it made in underneath Mama Charlotte, but Mama Charlotte wouldn't allow Jade to sit on the eggs, so Jade unhappily sat on top of Mama Charlotte!  Of course there were 7 other nest boxes available at the time.  So every day I have to go remove the chicken eggs from the 2 broody hen/guinea egg nest boxes.  I'm glad guinea eggshells are hard like rocks, or for sure they'd have been broken already, with all the interruptions they've been getting.
I can't help but compare the 2 incubating methods ~ the sterile and dead-silent environment, or the busy chicken nest boxes, with the eggs being shuffled and stepped on by other hens, where the temperature and humidity surely isn't constant.  Screaming laying hens are all around, broody Mama Charlotte screams all the time at everyone who enters the coop.

I wonder which eggs will do better?

Bella and Mama Charlotte sitting side-by-side on guinea eggs.  Mama Charlotte is sleeping.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Future Keets!

Follow the guineas
This past Saturday, after Guinea Girl's disappearance, I searched high and low for her in the woods.  At first the guineas followed me, then I started following Guinea Boy in this frantic search.  With the assistance of Guinea Boy, I found two new guinea nests.  New to me, not new to the guineas.  I was so excited to find the nests, although I was still so sad to know that Guinea Girl most likely had just been killed by a predator.  But this post isn't a sad post, I don't want to mourn the loss of Guinea Girl any more.  This is about a new beginning, many new little guinea lives.

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
The first nest I found had 5 guinea eggs in it.  It belonged to the white male guinea and his coral blue mate.  I first saw White Guinea standing tall in the woods by his lonesome and I knew something was up.  He was standing outside his nest while his mate was in there doing her business, laying her daily egg.  The nest was in a patch of wild old rosebushes, full of thorns.  The guineas like thorny nests.  I took a photo of the male guinea beside his nest, but didn't disturb him or his mate.  Later I returned to the nest after they departed and I saw that it contained five eggs.  I hated to disturb the nest, but I photographed and then took the eggs.  I hope I'll give the babies a better chance of survival.

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????

Decisions, decisions....

Guinea Eggs!