Sunday, July 17, 2011

Night Terror

Our Guinea couple is still keeping a nest...just barely. During the day the Guinea boy keeps a close eye on his mate when she is sitting the nest, and when she is out foraging he sticks right by her side. Unfortunately at night he reluctantly returns to the coop leaving the Guinea girl all alone to face the night predators.

Guinea girls nest is located at the base of a birch tree surrounded by heavy underbrush so she can barely be seen unless you know exactly where to look.

The survival rate of Guinea girls nesting doesn't seem to be very good as both the OhioFarmGirl and Lynn at Razzberry Corner have reported that they have had their nesting Guineas taken by fox or other critters of the night this year.

A few nights ago I heard a loud crash outside and heard Guinea girl crying in terror. Everyone immediately ran outside and a fox was discovered in the vicinity of her nest and subsequently run off. I searched with a flashlight for Guinea girl that night to no avail - she was missing.

Fortunately the next morning the Commander found her outside the coop waiting for her mate to be let out with the others. After a bit of bug eating she was back on the nest and he returned to guard duty. I guess that the combination of a full moon and the security light provided just enough light for the Guinea girl to fly away from the fox attack. She crashed into the house, but at least she got away.

The boys and dogs have been "marking their territory" around the nest area and I have dropped hair clippings as well, hopefully this smell of human will dissuade the fox from returning.


  1. Can you get close enough to fence her off? I hope she wasn't off the nest too long. Close call!

  2. Just wondering, couldn't you put a chicken wire "cage" or fence around her nesting area? It wouldn't keep something especially persistent out, but it might slow them down enough for the dogs to be able to get out there.

  3. Michaele - Any fencing we could put up would sere more as a trap for her than a deterrent for a fox. I figure a fox could dig under of jump over anything I have available. I am not hopeful for anything hatching since she routinely gets off the nest to patrol for bugs...although she seems to be on it constantly for the past few days.

    Danni - The dogs wouldn't be much help as Sara is not the brave "got get them" type and Patch would be just as excited to get the Guinea as he would to be to chase a fox.

  4. So scary! We're battling that dang raccoon that has devastated my chickens and ducks. I hope she manages to make it.

  5. That is interesting, my males don't stand watch, but there are 2 or 3 hens on each nest that I've found

  6. Teresa - We check her every morning and evening, the eggs should time out soon.

    Carla - We have two girls but only one decided to nest this year. Her male is either in the coop at night or watching out for her, he is a good mate I think.

  7. We've had guineas hatch out several years, but their survival rate isn't real high here either. We have managed to keep a few, however, so don't give up! :) I just love our guineas--they are so unique.

  8. Shonya - The tick population here is almost nil, that alone makes the guineas worth their weight in gold. I do like their personalities as well of course.