Guinea Keets


Two of our guinea fowl hens have been sitting on a humoungous collection of eggs for weeks, assisted by Zita, the white chicken. Recently, some of the eggs started hatching, but this gave rise to great confusion. Who did the keets belong to..?? In the Great Motherhood Wars that followed, a number of the keets got squashed. We decided this was not a good idea, and separated Zita with the keets that were still alive. There were 11 keets – 7 brown ones and 4 whites. Zita also adopted the chicks that resulted from our school hatching project, bringing her total of babies up to 17!


Zita is a good and experienced mother hen. Since we got her, she has hatched a batch of baby chicks every year and looked after them for months. Interestingly, she is an ex-battery hen, who was laid off at the age of 2, was rescued and eventually brought here, together with two of her sisters. They were our first chickens. Anyway, Zita proved to be a great mum and I have no doubt she will raise these babies admirably.

So that leaves the two grey guinea hens with the remaining eggs. They hatched 2 more keets but one of those died, too. I put water and food right next to them and hope any other keets that might still hatch will survive… Their track record isn’t too good at the moment!

But there is another chance for a good hatch of keets. A white guinea hen sits hidden in the bamboo by the duck pond, on a more reasonable nest of about 20 eggs. Without disturbance and other hens fighting, she might hatch them all. We will see!



About tarnegolita

Dutch expatriate, mother of 3 boys, freelance translator and pet zoo keeper in a kibbutz in Israel.
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4 Responses to Guinea Keets

  1. I had no idea battery hens were every retired — better yet, rescued! That’s awesome. Hope the rest of the eggs hatch successfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tarnegolita says:

      I think this doesn’t always happen, but if someone wants to adopt them, I think they will let them go rather than cull them. I also didn’t know this, I got them from someone else, who knew where to look! And these hens are fantastic layers, ours are five years old by now and still lay every day, summer and winter! After two years they are considered spent by the commercial factories, but they still have many years of laying in them. Also, Zita proves that they can go right back and behave as nature intended. I think I will have to write a post about this! šŸ™‚ Thanks, another few eggs have hatched but these particular guinea fowl are erratic mothers it seems! Zira got another few babies to look after! šŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been interested in raising guineas! Compared to chickens – which do you prefer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • tarnegolita says:

      Oh, chickens and guineas are totally different! It would depend on what you need or want. They don’t lay as many eggs as chickens and are not very “pettable”. But they are awesome as pest control and for general decorativeness! šŸ™‚ You might want to have a look at my post


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