Guinea Hens

 

IMG_2069We let our guinea hens free range during the day because they are very good at eating ticks and bugs. The only problem with this ( other than the noise) is they will lay their eggs outside in a place they think is hidden. In the evening I call them home and lock them in the coop for the night.

A few nights ago one did not come back, which most likely means she has decided to sit on eggs for the next 28 days to hatch them. Unfortunately, she would be a sitting duck (well hen) for the many hungry predators that live in the woods. I looked but didn’t find her. The next night two did not come home. This means her mate has decided to stay and guard her. The bad news is a predator would probably get both of them. The good news is it makes it very easy for me to find the sitting hen. Sure enough I could see the male at the bottom of the hill standing on a fallen tree. All I had to do was search the weeds nearby and I found her, she was not happy about it either. I explained to both of them that I am very sorry but since I found them that means the raccoons, fox and fishers could find them too.

I finally was able to get her off the nest though she complained bitterly and I don’t blame her a bit. I removed the 31 eggs she was sitting on and brought them back to the barn. They did not follow me so I had to go back down the hill and herd them back to the chicken coop. The first time we let a guinea hen sit on a nest she was killed on the first night out. After that I did my best not to let them stay out. Last fall one didn’t come home  and even though we all searched for her many times we never found her, and then one day she came back with 12 keets ( their babies aren’t called chicks) which we then had to scoop up and get warm under heat lamps. I really wish they would lay their eggs in the coop, but I’m keeping a look out for the next nest.

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