It is great that you have a fence around the property! Guineas love roads and I have lost quite a few that way! Good luck!
TOTAL GUINEA FOWL NEWBIE...questions galore - Page 2
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we have dirt roads that go thru the vineyard with the ocassional quad runner with a worker zipping thru...but I'm guessing they'd be ok from that. And of course I can tell the workers to be careful of the birds...
...when do they offer them if we don't get them by September this season??? Will I have to wait a whole year? Or can I get them in a few short months from September??? (need to get the turkey coop back in shape so they can just be down there from the get go, it's in the middle of the area they would be free ranging...so I think it's best for them to always be where home will be...if that makes sense??? Maybe it doesn't matter???)
It matters, sort of, where the coop is located. Mine is about 200 feet from the house and chicken coops. My Guineas can usually be found up here by the house or hanging by the other coops. If there is enough to keep them busy where they're at they'll spend time out there. But they do like to be where the action is so will spend time where everyone is.
And do not count on them scooting out of the way all of the time. Some are the masters of the universe and stroll away. The males will dodge in front of a moving vehicle to rescue his mate. So the same care and caution given to any other creature applies with these guys too.
TN State Rep for the American Silkie Bantam Club
TN State Rep for the American Silkie Bantam Club
Aw yes...another guinea newbie here...but....I've had pretty good success with my flock so far..(knock on wood).
First thing to do, is go buy the book, Gardening With Guineas". Any local book store can get it for you...it's by,
Jeannette S. Ferguson...it's a wealth of info complete with pics for the breed and even housing plans.
Now, I got my first 6 (ya never want to have just a few) off Craigs List from a local breeder...I kept them the amount
of time confined and then put them outside to "weather" before turning them loose...first night out a coon broke in the
flight cage I had them in and killed them all.......
As I wanted to reinact my youth out on Grandma's farm, I was bound and deterined to have more...this time I got 6 more
that were all 2 months old..........perfect..........after 2 months I went back and got 6 more again....these were a couple months
behind the first "herd". LOL....but everyone got along perfectly..........now they all free range together....grazing over and around
I'm not sure what I have yet, be it hens or cocks, but they all get along with my chickens, the dogs and the cats....yes they can
be noisy and loud..as soon as I open the back door here they come...ready for a treat...
Mine go in the coop at night with the chickens and roost right along beside the chickens...in fact, I have one guinea who pretty
much tells the little chicken roo where he can go!
Mine eat what the hens eat....cept they also get millet each night...it's a guineas favorite snack and a good way to train them
where to go at night...mine do not roost in the trees...they may fly up there, look around, but not stay up there long...
Guineas can fly very high!
Their poop is dry...not wet and has no amonia (sp?) like chickens does.
I like the way ..if one goes the rest follow and they meander all over the place...
Guineas are creatures of habit...you can almost set your clock by them...I can pretty much guess where they are during the day just by glancing at the clock...and every afternoon around 1pm they gather in the hen house and roost...must be nap time! LOL...then around 2pm they take off again....
Guineas love to look at themselves too...put out an old mirror and watch them...they'll stand there for ever and look and turn their heads and look and make that soft content sound they make (not the CHIII CHIII CHIII or the come back or buckwheat sound).
I intend on getting more next spring...older birds however, no keets for me...too much trouble.
-and so it crows, up here on Eagles View
- Veggie Chick
We are currently raising guinea keets with a few chicks in a tractor coop/brooder. The 'master plan' (heh) is to move the chickens and some of the guineas into a regular coop that's currently sitting empty -it's got a run that's partially covered but we'll let the guineas out to free range in that area (hopefully with the chickens). I'm thinking we'll move em at around 6-8 weeks, or whenever they are as a group outgrowing the 4x8 tractor coop. (they are almost 4 weeks old now)
The other half of the guineas will be moved, along with the tractor coop they are currently in, out further on our property (we have 25+ acres). Hubby is thinking this will work better for tick control. I'm wondering if the two groups will meet and just run around together anyways.
So my big question is - what age can they start free ranging, assuming they are in group #2 and have been locked in the same coop since almost birth? (I doubt they'll notice it's moved since they have not been outside of it yet. ) 8 weeks? 12 weeks? 16 weeks?
Edited by featherz - 8/4/10 at 10:44am
These birds will not be pets...because eventually they will be a meat bird on the table -or- food for some wild animal (which I'm hoping is NOT the case, but either way, eventually they will become food for someone or something)
The barn is a few acres away from the house...so their action will have to be whatever it is they find down there in the vineyard. If they came up to the house, the dogs would kill them immediately. The dogs spend all day hunting random creatures, so if a ginny popped up to the house to say hello, it would be saying goodbye pretty fast. The dogs nab any chickens that jump the fence from their area to the dog's area...and for the past few weeks, I've been locking the chickens up when the dogs are out and letting the chickens free range when the dogs are indoors...poor dogs spent all day today in crates so the chickens could have some ranging time...but now the chickens are locked up in their coop/run so the dogs can run around. (waiting for the hubby to build a netted in run for the chickens and have a contractor coming this week to give me an estimate, because I'm tired of waiting on hubby...the estimate will 1) get hubby moving or 2) be cheap enough he says to just pay for someone else to do it.
I'm hoping to have very little contact with the ginuea fowl. I want to put out food and water...and hopefully not get attached. Otherwise I'd have chickens as meat birds, but my hubby refuses to kill a chicken for me, but he will agree to kill a ginny and keep ginuea fowl because they will eat the ticks off his shooting range...soooo a ginny is what I get as far as organic fresh meat birds to feed the family. (unless I got brave and was able to kill a chicken...which so far I'm not)
The coop down by the barn is nothing fancy...we'd most likely keep the birds in a brooder in the barn until they are older, then put them in the coop for a while, then one day just open the door and leave it open so they can come and go as they please, but continue to leave food and water in the coop area for them if they aren't finding enough food and water out on the property.
You can see the raw land (the side we are throwing pumpkins to) is the land the birds will live on...it will be raw land with oak trees and vines (like you see in the second picture) but at least 3 to 5 or more acres away from the main house. I hope they find enough to do down there...I don't want them coming up to the house 1) because they are loud creatures & 2) the dogs will kill them.
(we have an annual pumpkin toss contest...this is a pic from that event)
(this was taken during harvest picking a few years ago)
Do not ever let your guineas out and unattended initially. You can let one out on the first day and then 2 the next day and so forth, but you will need to mark them so you know who is going when. I think the best method is not to feed in the morning and let them out around 5 to 5:30 and sit with them for 30 min to an hour, then put their feed in their pens and run them back in. Do this for about 2 weeks and you will not have a problem. Under no circumstances should you release them earlier them a month after being in the pen and having sight of the surroundings. I would love to hear other people's views on this.
I was guessing they would be in a brooder for 2 months, then the coop for a couple months...then open the door and let them out...I'm not planning on spending much time with them, because I really want them to be as wild as they can possibly be...if they die, they die...we need survival of the fittess down there...
Is your purpose for letting only ONE out the first day so it explores, but stays close? and then two so they explore farther but stay close? Or do you have another purpose for that plan?
Why do you think if you let them all out at once it would be a problem???
And I wasn't planning on feeding them daily...rather having free choice feeders down there for them....so I'm not sure what the purpose would be to have them fed at night??? Or the morning only???