Spazzy Guineas Who Are Trying To Over-Populate The Earth
I discovered while getting hay for Belle one morning that we had a guinea broody in the corner of the hay room. I began to check on her every morning when I would go milk, to see if any babies hatched.
We've let guineas go broody and hatch out their babies in the past, but unfortunately for the babies, they never survived. The mothers would always run off and leave their babies, or their babies would just disappear. To sum it up, they are awful mothers.
So my plan was to sneak out there one morning and snatch all her eggs and let them hatch in the incubator. I don't know if you've ever chased a mad mother guinea around the barn trying to catch her babies or not, but it's not fun, plain and simple! So from past experience, I knew it would be better for all the parties involved to take the babies away before they hatched. Oh, I tried several times, and each time the mother would try to kill me. I kid you not! I would come up to her nest and she would start making this weird "puffing" noise and then she would just stand up, ruffle her feathers and start slowing coming towards me...think a gun-slinger, how they walk when they're fixing to fight somebody, that is extremely accurate, as to how she was coming at me. She meant business! Well, she sure scared me so I left her alone after that. I had no intentions of coming away with a face full of scratches.
Several days later, Mom and I were out doing chores at the barn, I was inside the hay room cutting some new bales open when I heard a little muffled "peep peep" coming from the direction of Momma Guinea's nest. Oh dear! We waited too late!! I told Mom what I heard, so after we finished feeding and separating the cows, we went back inside to retrieve a flashlight, and a basket (to get her eggs). It was dark by the time we came back outside, so I quietly shoved Momma Guinea off her nest and onto the other side of the hay room, I kept a sharp eye on her, while holding the flashlight for Mom, who was quickly placing eggs in the basket. Meanwhile, 10 minutes later she finally finishes! That Momma Guinea had a ton of eggs stashed in her nest! I suppose she had gone broody on the "Community Guinea Nest", so while she was broody all the other guinea-girls would come along and lay new, fresh eggs under her. Mom had to dig down about a foot and a half, and even then there was some eggs that she couldn't dig up without breaking, so we left them. Our basket was overflowing with guinea eggs now, and by this time the two little ones had come out to see what we're up-to, and we all four walked back to the house with our basket full of eggies. I suggested that we should each guess how many eggs were in the basket, everyone agreed and we had guesses anywhere from 50, 60-something, and 70 (< that being my guess). I took them back to my room, turned out all my lights and proceeded to candle them, whilst Mom counted them. Guess how many we had? 70 on the dot, I'm such a genius, of course y'all already knew that! ;)
About three dozen were fertile and growing, and the others were no good or had stopped developing. I put all the good eggs in the incubator, several of them were already cheeping, so I knew they would hatch either that night or the next day!
Looky what we have now:
Eleven guinea keets of various shades and colors.
Just sayin', I'm very glad we humans don't try and have 70 babies at one time.........
Can you imagine trying to raise 70 toddlers..all at one time?! I can't and don't want to! I like babies, but not that much!
These boogers are sure cute right now, but just wait until they turn about a month old and then tell me what you think. They get ugly fast. Or as I like to say, a face only a (guinea) mother can love! ;)
Just another reason, why guineas are crazy, anything that tries to hatch out 70 babies must be nutz!
Remember, how I said I had less than a dozen eggs in the incubator? Yeah, well, that isn't true anymore, and it looks like I still have to be a babysitter for awhile yet!
Anybody want some guinea keets?