On July 4, I posted this photo of a new mother guinea with her 18 keets. As of Monday, she was down to 12. We decided to catch them and put them in the jr. guinea house. They adults take the babies through the wet grass, through water puddles, and anywhere else they want to go obviously not realizing that the water kills them. I put the two females in the house with the 12 babies. The Mom's can hop over the screen to enter a larger screened area for bugging or eating. Obviously they were not at all happy with this arrangement, they managed to stomp all but 4 of them to death. So, we took the babies away, put them in a brooder box and we are now handraising four guinea babies.
I found this clutch of guinea eggs in my perennial garden today. Ten so far. I'm going to wait until there are a dozen or so and then I'm going to put them under a broody austrolop hen. Miranda, the Delaware chicken did such a great job raising hers that I'm thinking this black hen should do just as good of job and I'll have healthy guinea babies that I don't have raise myself.
Miranda's babies are young guineas now. She herds them into the guinea house to sleep at night. I sit at my dining room table and watch them jump in behind her, one by one. They all get on a roost pole next to her and they stay there until I let them out in the morning. Obviously it doesn't matter in the fowl world whether Mom is the same breed or species. Miranda has taught them to bug and pick and they travel all day long picking up stuff and picking bugs right out of the air. She's also taught them to be in front of the big barn doors at 5 p.m. and there will be a corn treat waiting for them :) I'll be sure to post how this experiment works out.