We’ve had a guinea sitting on 6 eggs – and we didn’t know when she layed them, so we had no clue when they were going to hatch (gestation usually 26-28 days). Wouldn’t you know, just as I was ready to nap yesterday afternoon, all three of our adult guineas were raising such a ruckus that DH couldn’t even talk on the phone – so, I went out to check it out. There was the mama, with baby keets running around her feet.
Now, we’ve already lost 6 adult guineas to some varmints – DH suspects feral cats, but it could be any number of things because they’re free range. And the mama was under an agareta bush and not otherwise protected, so we had to move her and the keets to a special area of the coop that DH and DD#1 set up last week.
Have you ever tried to get a guinea mama? DH’s arms are all scratched up from the bush as those babies were near-impossible to see on the ground. We finally got the mama away, after being attacked a half-dozen times, and picked up 4 keets and took them to the little swimming pool we had set up. Then, we realized one hadn’t hatched yet, so DH got that egg over to the pool. The pool has bedding in it, but it has sides that are high enough that the baby chicks or keets can’t jump out for a few weeks – great place to keep them contained. So, there was 1 left, but DH had to get a fax from his mom’s and then go get the girls.
DS and I finally got the mama into the pool without being attacked anymore, before DH left. But, we could NOT find that last baby (see the pix above to see how hard they are to see in the grass) – and we were so scared to step on it that I told DS we needed to wait for DH & the girls to come home to see if we could let the mama out and see if she could get the other one.
Of course, this being the first day of school for the girls, we had to hear all about their day and didn’t get a chance to get back out to the guineas until my men left for scouts. When we went to the coop, we found that the lost baby had made it over to the pen and had crawled under the chicken wire and was sitting outside of the pool.
SO, my next adventure was to get that baby into the pool where the others were, as well as feed and water. OY. I have a small prick on my finger where the mama attacked me. I finally had one of the kids go get one of DH’s garden buckets and put it on top of the mama and picked that baby up and put it in the pool. Mama calmed down and we left. Whew.
We still have to see if that last keet will finish hatching – will open it later this morning. I know she originally had 14 eggs and threw a number of them out of her nest, but the girls saw the keet moving inside the egg tonight, so we’ll pray that it lives and finally hatches before morning.