Guinea Hen hatching question

msjay2u(7)May 22, 2008

I am thinking about gettng about 6 guinea hens to control this horrible tick problem on my lot. I have not found anyone locally selling live birds so I am going to have to get the eggs, which are easier to find in Guina breeds. I know they love to wander so I plan on keeping them in the coop/run for at least a month. I am thinking of getting a chicken to sit on the eggs. What kind of chicken would be good> It is obviously going to be living with the guineas, I want a breed that is easy to handle. what do you suggest> Also do I get the chicken first then put the eggs under her or do I get the eggs first and sit the chicken on them?

I would like to get an easy to handle chicken as I am a little skittish around birds(I am going to try to get over that). a super energized or difficult hen will not be easy for me to start out with. suggestions??

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nobody have an answer for me?? :(

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 8:25PM
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You can't just buy a hen and expect her to set eggs. She has to go broody (setting fever). Which won't happen on demand. May never happen. I have 40 hens and only a few set each year.
Your best option would be to order Guinea Keats. You can order them from a number of hatcheries. They are hard to raise so buy at least half again as many as you want.
Guinea's are a lot different from chickens. They'll roost in the trees at night if not penned. Predators (owls) pick them off rather easily. They fly. They are as noisy as a football stadium of cheering fans. You'll need to deal with the over abundance of guniea rooster ratio to hens. The hens love to hide the nest and show up with a couple dozen keats. They are lousy mothers.
that said, I enjoy mine very much. Love to hear the rackett and watch the antics.
And if you have a horrible tick problem you'll need many more than six. I have 28 on my three acres and still have tick problems...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Check out a great site! They also have a message board and a breeders list (it's a map of the USA, click on your state to see if anyone has guineas for sale). I am taking orders for keats but I'm in Pa. Also you wouldn't want to wait for a hen to go broody, the eggs could rot before that happens. If you don't mind getting 30 keats, MurryMcMurray hatchery sells them too. Or check out to see if anyone is selling them there.

Also you may want to get the book Gardening with guineas (for sale on, which has a lot of great info in it. Good luck! The more guineas the better for tick control.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:34PM
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LOL well hens notbeing naturally broody is news to me. I thought all you had to do was get a chicken and let them sit. Well I borrowed a book from the library yesterday called Barnyard in your backyard and I am going to read a little more on the subject. Obviously I need help. I thought silkies are natural egg sitters

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 9:32AM
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My little boy came in today and said there was a "pile of guinea mama's on a big old batch of eggs" down behind the feed barrel in the barn. lol
Seems there are 3 hens sitting on about 40 eggs. Don't know what I'll do with them. They've only just began to sit as they've only been missing since Wed. Guess I'll put a cage around them for protection to lock them up at night.
My sister wants guineas, guess she's going to get
You know we all have a lot to learn when it comes to barnyard critters. I've never ceased to learn something with each waking day.
I always wondered if a chick from a double yolk egg would be huge. I sat one with this last batch, chick just normal.
Now I know.
Don't get discouraged just remember if you provide, feed, clean water, a safe place from predators and a few kitchen scraps you'll have some happy guineas....

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 9:02PM
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You would not be in N Carolina would you? I wonder why Guineas are so dang hard to find here. I asked the feed store yesterday and he said he does not order them unti July. Maybe I should just forget it!!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 11:42AM
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Double yolker eggs won't hatch.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 7:44PM
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I would have thought double yolks would yield twins. LOL

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 8:52PM
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I am determined to get some as well, I planned on ordering mine from Ideal but they are out of a lot of things now. Our tick problem is unreal here. We have 10 acres and I had originally planned on 10 or so guineas but I think I will double or triple that amount after doing some reading. A woman I work with says that years ago when she was a teen driving by my property on her way to school, there was most always guineas out in the road. I doubt they lasted very long because the traffic flies by out here. My neighbors will probably hate us for it but I don't think I would mind the noise. Lori

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 2:16AM
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I would think if you either buy them day old or hatch your own and keep them confined for about a month or so they will stay sort of close. Although you did say you have 10 acres so you probably want them to wander around.

Have you tried McMurrays? they sell them in minimum of 30 birds per shipment. I only have 1.25 acres so I figured I would get about 6 or so and that is where the problem comes in. Buying from a hatchery I would have to buy too many and I can not find anyone locally. Ebay sellers sell the eggs but I do not have nor do I want to invest in an incubator and my only other option with that is to get a broody hen. Now I find out the hen already has to be broody before you can expect them to hatch some eggs. sheesh! So many complications!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out McMurray Hatchery

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 12:13PM
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cheribelle(Z5 IA)

Ralph Winters, in Iowa, and has a lot of colors. I bought chicks(Keets) there before.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Twins, ha ha ha! Thats a good one! I'd love to see twins hatch out of an egg....

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 5:44PM
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r u laughing at me? LOL yeah it was a pretty wacked out idea. It made sence to me at first but then when I thought a baby comes from an egg but twins come frome seperate eggs. wait a minute what is the yolk anyway? wouldn't that be like identical twins coming from one egg? Isn't the yolk the actual chicken. I am back to my twin idea. someone explain why it can't be twins.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 11:59PM
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I've guineas for seven years now. They're fun to watch as they LOVE to chase each other and fly quite well. Our tick and mosquito population went down a lot.

As SimpleMe mentioned, they do make lousy parents. Only once has one brood been brought up successfully without human intervention on our farm. We usually have to raise the chicks from egg ourselves using an incubator. I have seen my aunt use a Bantam hen to raise guinea chicks, but the timing has to be...well, perfect. Our guineas hide their nests so well, we may only spot a nest once or twice a year. Good luck, and enjoy your guineas.

PS: They are LOUD, and make good watch dogs LOL.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 4:03PM
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okay here is where I am at. I still have not found a source for guineas either eggs or chicks. Since the idea of finding a broody hen is going to be just as hard as finding a baby guinea then it is best I just leave the idea of eggs alone. All places I found to ship chicks will not ship less than 10 anyway. I also had the intention of just making a circular pen out of chicken wire. I am thinking that is a bad idea now so in a way I am glad I have not found a source for them. The reason being is I think they will just fly out the first chance they get. LOL

what is a SIMPLE set up for Guineas? Can some of you guys send photos? Also how big does the area need to be for 6 guineas? I was thinking of letting them out when I am home and locking them up at night.

Thanks guys!!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 4:47PM
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I give up. chickens being delivered tomorrow!
2 Cochins and 3 Wayondettes

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:15AM
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