BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Guinea Fowl › Guineas attacking younger chickens and pest control question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Guineas attacking younger chickens and pest control question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

We recently got into raising chickens and guineas. We have 15 guineas. (Well, 14 now) I have a couple of guineas that are worse about bullying the others, but we recently started free ranging some young chickens. (Black Australorps and Barred Rocks)

 

1 or 2 of the guineas immediately attacked these young birds very violently. 

 

It was pretty disturbing, but also kind of funny. I have been accused of being the chicken whisperer around here, but my wife sure went into Crazy Chicken Lady mode when those guineas attacked her babies. 

 

The guineas were way faster than she is, so she couldn't catch any of them. Good thing too, because I have no doubt she would have killed them with her bare hands! She doesn't usually cuss, but the 4-letter words were flying that day.

 

Anyway, we got them all back in their respective coops for the night and I decided that I would be ready the next day. We let them all out again and sure enough, 1 of the guineas attacked the chickens with a vengeance. I took him out with a .22 rifle and we had him for dinner. Guinea really is delicious. The rest decided maybe they didn't want to attack any more that day.

 

In the last couple of days, a few of the other guineas are still bullying the young chickens, but not as badly as at first. 

They never bother the larger barred rocks or buffs at all. In fact, my barred rock hens rule the roost around here.

 

I'm just wondering-  are guineas better at keeping ticks and other insects down than chickens can? 

 

Guineas are thugs and bullies compared to chickens. I just wonder if it's going to be worth it to keep them around long term and the pest control factor is probably a big decider for me unless someone has some other points I should consider.

 

I'm out on some land, but I have people coming and going regularly. They must be used to this, as they don't tend to make any noise when cars come and go. They mostly make a huge racket when they see me doing something they're not used to seeing me do....or when I have some food for them.   Not the best security alarm when I'm the one they alert on the most. 

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 8
I'd love an answer to this too, as I just found one of my guineas with my biggest chicken's neck clamped in its beak, while the poor chicken was just squawking and trying to run away backwardz. He is famous for jumping on the backs of my bantams and trying to bite and attack everybody. This guinea is a mean, agressive little jerk, so I actually just logged in to find some info on how to clean (dress?) a bird. I may be brand new to raising chickens and guinea, but I will have no problem with making him my first.
post #3 of 8

   Once in a while a guinea will just be too aggressive with the chickens. One of my original guineas was mean to the chickens and he was sold. I've noticed over the years that it is usually the alpha male that starts this. And he usually has a buddy or two joining in the 'fun'.  Is he protecting his flock from a perceived threat? Or just a depraved sense of humor? I don't know the answer to that, but the behavior is probably ingrained in him and he will probably always be mean. So I think the 22 or chopping block is probably the best answer for a problem bird.

   When I sold my aggressive guinea and his 2 partners in crime my problem was solved. A male with a  good nature  took over as alpha male and In the 4 years since there has been no problems between the chickens and guineas. In the beginning I heard that 'Guineas Rule'. This is true in a mixed flock but aggression that causes harm should never be allowed. ;)

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by red horse ranch View Post
 

   Once in a while a guinea will just be too aggressive with the chickens. One of my original guineas was mean to the chickens and he was sold. I've noticed over the years that it is usually the alpha male that starts this. And he usually has a buddy or two joining in the 'fun'.  Is he protecting his flock from a perceived threat? Or just a depraved sense of humor? I don't know the answer to that, but the behavior is probably ingrained in him and he will probably always be mean. So I think the 22 or chopping block is probably the best answer for a problem bird.

   When I sold my aggressive guinea and his 2 partners in crime my problem was solved. A male with a  good nature  took over as alpha male and In the 4 years since there has been no problems between the chickens and guineas. In the beginning I heard that 'Guineas Rule'. This is true in a mixed flock but aggression that causes harm should never be allowed. ;)

Good to know. We have 9 more mature guineas and 5 younger one's. The older one's always run the younger one's away from food, etc, but they don't harm them. Hopefully, we can have another guinea meal or 2 at most and we might be OK from there. 

 

My buddy is an old hand at skinning and dressing game and he carved up the guinea the other night. I need to have him show me how to do it as well....

post #5 of 8

    In answer to your question about pest control, my guineas do an excellent job of eating the grasshoppers that are a plague out here. We've had the hoppers destroy our horse pasture in just a matter of days. But since getting guineas it's hard to find one in our pasture. In the spring and summer my flock of guineas will cover 25 to 30 acres every day. My chickens don't usually go more than a couple hundred feet from the buildings so they aren't as effective on large acreage. Guineas will also kill mice. We don't have a tick problem so I can't speak to that, but a lot of people say they do a good job of keeping the ticks under control. All in all, guineas are good at controlling insects and I think mine more than earn their keep.

:thumbsup

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by red horse ranch View Post
 

    In answer to your question about pest control, my guineas do an excellent job of eating the grasshoppers that are a plague out here. We've had the hoppers destroy our horse pasture in just a matter of days. But since getting guineas it's hard to find one in our pasture. In the spring and summer my flock of guineas will cover 25 to 30 acres every day. My chickens don't usually go more than a couple hundred feet from the buildings so they aren't as effective on large acreage. Guineas will also kill mice. We don't have a tick problem so I can't speak to that, but a lot of people say they do a good job of keeping the ticks under control. All in all, guineas are good at controlling insects and I think mine more than earn their keep.

:thumbsup

Thanks. The guineas do seem to be behaving better now. Maybe this will work out after all...

post #7 of 8

Thank you for sharing, I too am new to guinea's and I got them as keets, they are now 7 months old and follow me everywhere!  Up until a week ago I had no problem mixing the flock, but something changed and they are trying to kill all my Polish Hens, don't know if its the Hair do or what but it is scary, they had on hen from every end and I thought they would tear her in half, and they are now taking the baby's and throwing them, one they did actually kill, I to would of killed them if I had gotten my hands on them! LOL  I'm not a violent person but I am a mother hen! Unfortunately I am waiting for my son the build another coop for me but in the meantime after reading this I will have to confine them as I breed my chickens for people to buy!  Thank you and Happy Holidays!

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Guineas are just thugs! 

 

They don't seem to want to bully any of my bigger chickens, but like to bully the smaller chickens and younger guineas.

 

It hasn't been as bad lately since my youngsters are getting a lot bigger. I'm certain they will attack any younger birds in the future that we introduce to free range with the rest. 

 

I'll just shoot and eat any that act that badly and if we end up with no guineas eventually, I'll just let all my chickens exist in peace.

The chickens will just have to be good enough pest control...

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Guinea Fowl
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Guinea Fowl › Guineas attacking younger chickens and pest control question