What? My Guineafowl are nesting in the field?

I have 6 guineafowl: 5 white and 1 pearl (black with white dots).  I was noticing my pearl guinea was here one day and not the next and I would occasionally see it and then not, for a few days.  Then my husband was mowing the pasture and said there was a nest of eggs in one patch that he almost mowed over, including the pearl guinea that was sitting on it hidden in the grass; it would not move out of the way of the big noisy mowing machine.  So now, we have a patch of very tall grass in the pasture housing the nest. 

I have been checking on it.  I know the chickens take approximately 21 days to hatch eggs.  I researched and found guineas take longer, like 28 days or so. I really don’t know how long she has been on this nest; it seems like forever.  What I did notice is she comes off the nest during the day and gets a dust bath, eats and drinks, then scurries right back.  Sometimes she has a white guinea sitting with her,  for company  I guess.  Yesterday I was checking on the progress and see if any have hatched, so I had a long stick to move the tall grass out of the way.  She did not like that one bit and hissed at me, like a snake sounds.  I didn’t want to upset her so I left her alone.

I find it interesting that most recently there was a predator that killed a couple of my guineas (including my beautiful Lavender guinea) and made off with four of my bantam partridge silkies over a period of a few nights when it was hot and I wasn’t closing up the coops.  I now close them up each night, but what keeps this guinea on a nest in a field so protected from a predator?  Very curious.  We think our predator was a racoon.

I have no clue if any of the eggs are fertile so I guess we will just wait and see what happens.  There is quite a clutch of eggs so I may have surplus keets to sell in the future if she has a successful hatch. Here is a link to more info on Guineafowl. http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Guineas/BRKGuineas.html

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