My question is concerning raising guinea hen chicks. Here's the back story-
We have a few adult guinea hens on our 2.5 acres in the mountains of California. We get a huge amount of wildlife including regular bear and bob cat this year. We have Lgd dogs that help keep them away for the most part.
Well my female guinea became broody and had been sitting somewhere in the woods for weeks and finally came tromping home with 4 babies today! Absolutely beautiful to see. We were overjoyed and then realized that she had to have been sitting on 20+ eggs and there she was with 4 babies. We decided to take the babes from her and raise them ourselves under a heat lamp until they're large enough to defend themselves and fly in the trees at night like our adults do.
My dilemma is that mom and their dads are going crazy wanting their chicks back and the chicks of course want mom. I feel horrible separating them but feel it's probably best for survival of the chicks.
What does everyone think??
Also, when I go to reintroduce them when they're old enough... Will they most likely fight or accept them? Will I need to wait until they are fully adult size to defend themselves from the other guineas just in case?
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! Has anyone gone through this themselves???
Thank you so much! -ilanna