I hope it is okay to double-post this in the forum. I put it in "Raising Chicks" but I thought it would also be of interest in the Guinea forum. I am new around here, if it isn't okay just let me know and I will take it down!
Partridge Barnevelder chicks and lavender, royal purple, and chocolate guinea keets 4 weeks old. Sixteen chicks, my guess is 7 roos and 9 hens. Ten guineas, no clue on their genders.
So far, I am getting along great with the guineas. I was warned that "they are not chickens!" and that certainly is true. However, we at one time raised a few pheasants (that was a short-lived endeavor) but the pheasants were great practice for guineas. The keets, thus far anyway, are about 1/2 chicken and 1/2 pheasant in their behaviors. They are more flighty than chicks, but not as easily scared as pheasants. They feathered out and flew much earlier than chicks, but not as early as pheasants. That sort of thing. I find them much more enjoyable than the pheasants were because they are far more tame. The chicks are more curious and bold than the guineas, and usually the first to explore anything new. The guineas tend to stick together. For entertainment, the chicks are into "prizefighting"... two of them will cock-fight and spar with each other while a circle of onlookers cheeps their encouragement. The guineas, however, prefer the peskier entertainment of chasing everyone around and trying to pull out neck feathers. It is important to give them lots of things to do!
First day out!
"Where did the wall go?"
"No, you first!"
The lavender guinea was smartest of the bunch. There are windows in the brooder shed where the guineas have been perching, and those windows face the pen. So the guinea flew up into the window and checked it out... "Yep, it looks the same as this!" Then that guinea flew back down to the door and was the first bird outside.
The guineas found their wings and some bravery (stupidity) and were flying out of the pen, but were not yet strong enough flyers to get back into the pen. Therefore, as far as the kittens were concerned, they were fair game.
Also, despite repeated warnings and threats to their health and safety, the kittens were becoming more bold about climbing into the pen.
So we got out the flight netting and put it over the pen. Guineas in, kitties out, me happy!
The guineas first encounter with the flight netting was fun. One guinea decided to fly into it and see if he/she could get her neck stuck and hang. Fortunately that plan did not work out. One guinea flew up, saw the netting, was very surprised, "WHAT is THAT?" and dropped straight to the ground. And a third guinea flew up, hit the netting, and decided it was a new perch so tried to grab onto it with its feet, but of course it was too small for that plan. After the first round of encounters with the flight netting, I haven't noticed any more trouble, they all seem to know it is there and avoid it now. They do have 6 feet of height for flying, they are not seriously limited.
One kitten just had to climb the fence. He was quite surprised at the netting, that was not what he had expected to find at the top. As it didn't support his weight very well, he quickly went back to safety (the ground).
Edited by BlueShadow - 8/2/15 at 6:16pm