Saturday, October 13, 2012

Surprise! Surprise!!

They hatched! The Guinea Babies hatched sometime today while we were at the 3 soccer games plus a Health Fair. (For those that don't know and because I've said nothing via blog, we have a Guinea Hen who has been nesting for 3 weeks now. We have no idea if we own a male (apparently we do) and we've just been waiting to see what she would do. She smartly built her nest in my squash patch in the garden where the dogs and goats can't get to her).
I told Luke just before dinner that I wanted to make sure the momma and her nest were covered properly before the storm hit. I honestly wanted to see if we could simply move her and her nest because there is hail and isolated tornadoes predicted. She is extremely wild, so the moving her was slim at best, but I wanted to try. When I got out there, 6 of the 7 eggs had hatched!! These tiny little balls of fluff were peeping madly and darted into the tall grass when we bumped her off the nest. I shrieked in surprise and yelled for Luke. We were able to easily scoop them up and the little nest she had built (I think because they were so little) and Luke brought over the nesting box we were borrowing from a friend for a different hen. (Who, by the way, had not hatched her eggs due to her nest being raided by our stupid Lab pup).
We tried for over half an hour to get her to go into the box. Her little babies were peeping at her from inside and she kept circling around and around the box. Finally, one too many lightning flashes later, we headed for the house with me praying all the way that at least they would stay in the box in the downpour that was about to commence.
After the crazy amount of rain and lightning stopped, I begged Luke to look at the radar to see if the storm was past enough for me to go out and check and see if they were still alive. The radar showed that another, much larger, front was on it's way but that we had a short lull before it was to hit. I ran outside. The now soaked mother was still running in circles around the nesting box and all 6 of her babies were peeping at her (dry) from inside. I hollered for Luke and we just scooped the whole box out of the garden and hauled them to the garage. I feel bad for the momma hen. She is frantic. But everything I have read says that mother Guinea Hens are not very successful at raising young. Mainly because their nests are out in the open in the elements and babies often drown when it rains. They are now tucked neatly in the same nesting box in the garage with a heat lamp and I am going to google how to care for Guinea babies. Any suggestions?

                                         Good Lookin' has a little friend spending the night who
                                         was excited to be part of the discovery.
                                         Captian America excitedly holding the chick.
                                                    Where's momma?!?!

No comments: