12-week old guinea flew the coop

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Mammachix, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Mammachix

    Mammachix Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2013

    I'm a first-time guinea fowl owner...have five that are now 10 weeks old. Boy, they sure are a bunch of dumb clucks. We named them Rikki, Bobbi, Cal, lloyd, and Harry. Can you guess which movies?

    Anyway, they are in a coop with seven chicks of the same size. The chicks will go back inside the coop at night, but one or two keets can't seem to figure it out. We turn a light on in the coop and still have a heat lamp at night, as it's getting down to 30 degrees at night. They have a high roost in the coop and usually sit there, above the heat lamp.

    One of the knuckleheads got through the netting over the coop and onto the garage roof. She wouldn't come back down and flew into the mulberry tree. All alone. On a freezing night. What are her odds do you think?

    Any more ideas for trip aiming them to get into the coop each night?
    Sometimes the chicks get very upset when their friends are 'stuck' outside at dusk and bleating in confusion.

    P.s. Had to look at a calendar to be sure, but this one is about 10, not 12 weeks old.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  2. Moochie

    Moochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    I kind of have the same problem with older guineas. My pair flew off into the neighbor's tree. I left them in their closed coop and run for a couple of months and I thought they would know to come back when I free ranged (in my backyard) them today. Apparently not.
    Have you tried luring them with treats or food?
  3. Mamma Athena

    Mamma Athena Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 6, 2013
    Delmar, New York
    But will it survive? It's only 9 or 10 weeks old. It's freezing out. Will it freeze to death or get eaten?
  4. Dreyadin

    Dreyadin Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2013
    Mine would be the last to go in as they were being bullied by my roos. Without fail it was always the guinea hens.. as they are automatically lower on the pecking order. More than a few times we had to catch them and get them in the coop. We turned on the car lights and shined it on the coop so she could see where to go. The other ninja manuver we used was a dark wire dog cage. The girls would run along the fence and then into the cage. .. from there we'd bring them to the coop. Always my sweet gentle buff guinea hen was tormented at night constantly by roos who weren't letting her go in the coop. The guinea cocks would be in the coop calling for the hens.. huge racket. If the girls were too far away from the coop- we'd call them and they'd respond. Made finding them easier in the trees... not any easier getting them out of the trees.

    We finally would round up the misbehaving roos and hold on to them so the guinea hens could go in and get on the roosts safely. (Many of the roos went to freezer camp- I had a LOT of them. The bullies were the first to go.. and no issues from then on getting them all into the coop at night.)

    To do it over again... I'd have a seperate enterance & roost up top for only the guineas if they had to share with chickens. Ideally.. they have their own coop. I want more.. but only once we have an enclosure built for the girls when they go broody. And floodlights.. so they can see where to go.

    Ours we got at 2 weeks- handled & hand fed them all the time. It made them easier to deal with and less tweaky as they got older- but spoiled rotten... and still paranoid. They taught the chickens to keep an eye out for predators during the day.

    Your keets are rather young. They'll get it in time. I'd guess the ones stuck outside are girls. If they are feathered out enough, they'll handle the cold... just hopefully nothing else finds her.
  5. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2010
    Greene County, PA
    Freeze? Probably not. Eaten? If you have owls or coons there is a good chance (guinea are almost blind in the dark). Can you see the guinea in the tree? If so try throwing something at it to get it down (sticks). Can you reach it with a long pole? Once down lock it up again with the others for 4-6 weeks before letting them out to free range. Make sure to give them treats at dusk every night and continue to do this once they start free ranging again. The trick with guineas is to do the same thing EVERY day. You will get them trained. Good luck!
  6. Hotcookie

    Hotcookie Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2012
    Tomingreenco is right - you have to start a routine asap with them. Do you give them anything as treats? Mine love thawed out frozen peas and/or corn......chopped romaine lettuce, scratch, and best of all, unsalted peanuts in the shell. Try giving them a snack to lure them back home at nite.

    Poor little thing - hope its not too cold for him......or worse yet, that a predator gets him. Please keep us updated!
  7. Mammachix

    Mammachix Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2013
    she made it! Once in the tree, it seemed as though she went into a 'frozen mode.' She wouldn't move or peep. It was too high for us to get her. As soon as dawn broke though, she let us all know she was still around. What a racket. But she wouldn't come to us for scratch or treats or anything. We let one other keet into the run and closed the door so she was alone. She didn't like that! Her squeaking drew the other keet home though. We opened the pen door and the lost keet went right in. I guess we thought that because they run to chick, chick, chickee with the pullets, that they would do it on their own. Apparently not.

    I like the idea of giving a nightly treat. I was thinking of trying the system of letting two out to free range each day and keeping the other three in the run to draw them home each night.

    Too young? Too cold? Too few? What do you all think?

  8. Dreyadin

    Dreyadin Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2013
    We just had the 6 and let them out. The guinea group followed my roosters Karen & Roy- so they didn't fly very much and stuck close to home. If 1 was stuck/trapped somehow- the stew pot gang stayed close by- probably because the group was so small. They had their daily routine down before 10 weeks (unfortunately included serenading their reflections in the glass of the sliding door everyday.)

    How long have you had them? Once they get "home" wired into their heads they're good to go.

    Once the hens start laying- you'll want to watch them. They'll lay in a communal nest of sorts- and then one of them will decide it is big enough and not come home. Their little routine will be like clockwork. Ours- once the first was sitting on eggs.. the group would go out to check on her. We actually had to hide and watch where they went to find her. If they saw us- they'd change direction and not go to her. (Ever see that Far Side cartoon with the cows.. standing on 2 legs and talking.. then one yells out "Car!".. they go on all 4's and eat grass... soon as the car is gone they are back on 2 legs and talking again? ... Guineas do that. lol) Just may want to consider an enclosed pen for spring to keep the girls nesting at home- toss some of their eggs under a broody hen just in case.

    Tomatoes are the favorite here... and seedy cucumbers... and oatmeal (w/ apples & sometimes peanutbutter)
  9. TallJ

    TallJ Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2013
    This sounds almost exactly like a post I put up a couple moths ago!!!
    We are on our first batch of fowl - chickens and guineas. We have 13 hens and 5 guineas. 21 weeks old now. (Hatched late June) We moved them outside in to a coop late August, kept them locked in it for a week to teach them where 'home' was. I gave them treats every night. Sure enough, as soon as we let them in to the pen the guineas escaped in short order. ((WHY they feel the need to fly on to the coop roof and raise a racket at the end of the day.....*sigh*)) They then fly in to a tree in the run.
    Anyway, the first few times this happened we worked and fought to get them in. It is hard to get a guinea to let go when it is holding on to a branch or pole!!! Finally we just couldn't get a couple in they flew too high. They weren't much older than yours. They were fine in the morning. However, one night only 1 stayed out (the rest went in to the coop on their own) and we never saw it again...which is why we have 5 guineas instead of 6. I did hear and see a couple owls, so I am guessing that is what happened. I figure without the buddy system it was easier prey.
    Now we free range everyone and in the evening all the hens go in the coop by themselves, and usually 1 or 2 guineas as well. All the others roost in a tree. I was very concerned on frosty nights, but they have been fine. I was impressed that they seemed to get a personal memo from Mother Nature on the couple colder nights we had - we dipped in to the 20's. ALL the guineas came in to the coop on those nights. Otherwise they are happy as can be in their cedar tree!!
    Good luck!!
  10. Mammachix

    Mammachix Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2013
    So, I let the chicks and guineas out today. I've been raising them together since they were a week old. They now think they are a flock and roost together at night. One keet is getting a little agressive though, so I wouldn't mind if they became more independent during the days. It was fifty degrees today and we were working in the garden with our old hens ranging around ( we have two coops). So, the chicks and keets stayed around pretty good and we fed them in the late afternoon and closed them up. Hope it keeps working. We are on 11 acres in an undeveloped area, so plenty of coons, owls, and cayotes.

    Please share any other ideas you all have to help domesticate these crazy creatures. Three of the four of us in my family have had Lyme disease, so we desperately need these guys to help us out with the ticks!
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by