I’ve written before that guinea fowl make terrible mothers. So terrible that we had to “rescue” 40 eggs from a haphazard “nest” that no one was sitting on to incubate it ourselves. We have 20 healthy, thriving young guineas as a result of our efforts. Adding 20 brings our number of surviving guineas to 28, which is the perfect number of bug-eating helpers here on the farm. The coop is the right size and our acreage in perfect ratio of land to guinea.
But those damn guineas. Right when I think I have figured them out, they do something completely different. Soon after we took the abandoned eggs to incubate, we discovered a new “nest” out in the planting field. By “nest” I mean sitting right there in the open, like “if you close your eyes this nest is well hidden”. Sometimes a guinea will develop motherly instincts for about a minute and then stupidly sit on the unprotected nest and not come in at night. The next morning all that remains are some feathers. A predator had already gotten to this nest and had eaten a handful of eggs. We decided to collect all the remaining eggs (about 50 of them) and put them in the coop to discourage any of the guineas from staying out all night.
We fully expected that these eggs would end up in the compost pile after a week or so of them just sitting in there. None of our guineas have ever expressed an interest in being more than part time mothers. But not this time. One of the guineas began to sit on the pile of eggs….like all day long sitting on the pile. A week or so later another guinea decided to join her by shoving her way onto the nest. Last week a third guinea parked her fat ass on the nest as well.
So now there is a daily game of tug of war out there. They bicker and peck at one another as they try to claim the eggs. They shove one another so hard that I am certain the eggs will break. Gentle, nurturing, maternal types is not what comes to mind while witnessing these female guineas. To be honest, they remind me of Joan Crawford in “Mommy Dearest”. Two of them are pretty tenacious and do not give up the fight easily, but the third seems to say “the hell with this” every now and then and can be found wandering around outside the coop for a few minutes, until she plows back in there screaming about wire hangers.
By our best guess, if these sister-wives really stick with it and don’t break all of the eggs while fighting, is that they should hatch in the near future. My only question: What the f*%k are we going to do with 50 more guineas?