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Guinea care in the winter?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone! I'm new to Guinea Fowl and would like to start raising them for their bug control and watch dog tenancies (plus I've seen them before at other farms and they are hilarious to watch!)

 

I was hoping to free range them after they are old enough but maybe provide a little shed of some sort to keep their food and water covered. I don't have very high hopes of them sleeping in a shed at night as we live on 25 acres and have woods behind the house with lots of nice tall trees. I have a large coop and flight pen for peafowl and a few chickens but I don't really want to put the guineas in with them as I don't want to overcrowd my peafowl and the peafowl do not free range.

 

My question is .. do they require a heat lamp and substantial care in the winter? I live in NW Ohio and the winters here can be pretty brutal with the wind chill sometimes taking the temps below zero for extended periods of time. How hardy are guineas?  

post #2 of 9

My hairdresser lives here in SW Iowa and her birds make it through the winter with no problem so yours should be fine, we get -20 for parts of the winter.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicklover 1998 View Post
 

My hairdresser lives here in SW Iowa and her birds make it through the winter with no problem so yours should be fine, we get -20 for parts of the winter.

That's great to hear! I don't really want to run another electric line out to another shed. 

 

Does anyone know what the ideal number of guineas to have in a small guinea flock to increase chances of thriving? I picked up four from our feed store but am wondering if I should go get another box of them :rolleyes:

post #4 of 9

she just had three this winter and they survived but if you want more that is up to you, although she does get up to 20 in the summer because of all of hers hatching, but since she free ranges a lot of hers get killed every year, it is what you have to expect when you free range but the benefits I think out weigh the negatives.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicklover 1998 View Post
 

she just had three this winter and they survived but if you want more that is up to you, although she does get up to 20 in the summer because of all of hers hatching, but since she free ranges a lot of hers get killed every year, it is what you have to expect when you free range but the benefits I think out weigh the negatives.

Right, my peafowl and my chickens are more of "pets" and are penned up but I'm thinking of free ranging the guineas just for the benefits so maybe I should get some more just to account for loss/predation. We've got lots of coons, possum, fox, etc. since we've got the woods behind the house. 

post #6 of 9

I would get more, I think they are cute most people don't but that is my opinion and so I would always go with more but it is up to you, you have the same predators she has around her place and so it may be good to get a couple extra that way you don't have to worry.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by blondie34 View Post
 

That's great to hear! I don't really want to run another electric line out to another shed. 

 

Does anyone know what the ideal number of guineas to have in a small guinea flock to increase chances of thriving? I picked up four from our feed store but am wondering if I should go get another box of them :rolleyes:


It has long been that because guineas are a flock bird, the recommended minimum is 10 guineas.

Welsummers, mixed breed chickens, Blue Slate turkeys, Sweetgrass turkeys and guineas.

In wonderful Wyoming.

Bob

 

My photo album

Reply

Welsummers, mixed breed chickens, Blue Slate turkeys, Sweetgrass turkeys and guineas.

In wonderful Wyoming.

Bob

 

My photo album

Reply
post #8 of 9

Guinea require pretty much the same care as chickens. They are native to Africa and not equipped to survive in our climate with our predators without help from us. Honestly I think you are just setting them up to die a very very early death. 

Guineas have a strong homing instinct, especially if raised from keets in the same area they will live as adults. You can teach them very easily where "home" is, and they will return every night. Letting them roost in the trees is just letting them be picked off one by one and killed. Our flock live with our chickens and everyone gets along great. They go out and free range during the day and go into the coop on their own at night.

In winter we provide them with heat lamps in the coop. This isn't necessary. But it is necessary for them to have shelter. If they don't have somewhere to get out of the cold damp weather they will get frost bite. And again, be picked off by predators.

post #9 of 9

As far as how many to get, for free ranging a flock of 10+ is recommended.

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