My Guinea is Laying In Winter -

Asked December 13, 2019, 10:13 PM EST

My Guinea Hen who is just 20 weeks old (december 13 2019 ) is on a clutch of 25 eggs on the hill side. She has been coming back to the coop each night up until tonight She is firmly on the nest in the woods - but I fear for her life - as she is one of 4 surviving hens from 13. We have plenty of predators. So my question is -- can I move the eggs into the Coop - which has nesting boxes - in the hope that she continues to brood on them in the coop,, safe from predators? If so, do I need to use gloves to keep my scent off the eggs in the transfer?

Arkansas

6 Responses

I haven't heard of guineas laying in the winter, especially at a young age unless the light has been manipulated. That does not appear to be the case if she is in the wild.

If you are afraid to lose her to predators, you have two options. Either build her a protection around where she is sitting, or move her inside. She may reject the new nest, but at least you would save her. Make sure you use gloves when moving the eggs so you don't leave too much of your smell on the eggs. Find an out of the way place for the nest in the barn.

They are definitely laying --
And I do have a light on in their roosting area in the coop for warmth.
I did move the eggs - to a nest I built out of the same materials where she had created the nest
But she is having nothing to do with them.
And I found 25 eggs in that next which I have to believe was the result of the three hens deposits, not just one. I think they have created a new nest somewhere cause there are no new eggs in the coop.
I have decided that I need to collect the eggs as they cannot stay on the ground out of the coop.
I did use gloves but .....
And oh, the cry she gave when she found her nest empty.
But I value them alive more than potential keets in the winter.
Thanks for your response.
Another friend who grew up in LA (we are in AR) said their guineas laid egges all year long.

It it now January 29th The brooding hen did not have anything to do with the eggs in the coop.
However another hen did - I left 2 eggs in the coop and then there began to be more. By Dec 25 there were 19 eggs and she began brooding. Yesterday, the first keet was born, with a second a half day later. There is another on the way tonight. Its most interesting that these young guineas have defied the odds of not only producing eggs but bringing them to full term. I do have lights in the coop which may be the odd factor here. It is a miracle that we have two new keets and another on the way and possibly 8 more that the mother is sitting on.

Thanks for the update. Definitely unusual, but glad your guinea fowl family has increased.

Dr Jacob - question about the viable eggs.
I put them all in water to test viability.
All of them were - even the new ones she is adding almost daily.

My question is -- if the keet dies inside the shell - would it then drop to the bottom in a water test?

Putting eggs in water to test for viability is a myth. You do more damage doing that.

Candle the eggs to see what is inside and if embryos are alive.