1st time Guinea mum (almost)

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Kymw90, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Kymw90

    Kymw90 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2012
    Cornwall UK
    My Coop
    Hello all

    I'm getting some bits to hatch and brood some birds. I've wanted guineas a long time and because its all a present for the other half (who LOVES his chickens and bird and when we lost 3 of our 4 chicks this year to a weasel thing it broke his heart. First time ever hatching anything and did it under a bantam) I decided its time to try again. Yes its October but the eggs are going to be in a incubator and chicks in a brooder so the cold shouldnt be an issue. I'm only going for 6 as the incubator is a dinky thing thats all we wanted. Also I know where I am Guineas are unheard of so I'm sure I could sell and breed nicely from these.

    Can anyone give me some tips or advice for a long the way?

    I understand they are fowl so are better on turkey or game bird feed while they are chicks or hens/cocks. So thats basically what have in my head for feeding-wise. I want them (eventually) to roam OUT of the electric fences and roost in my hay barn or the stable with the donkeys on the roof bars. I'd just worry how to get them up there. I intend to make my guineas very tame (as possible) so that I might show them where to go at dusk when their a bit less flighty

    Can I see some pics and housing ideas from others. good for ideas
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    If you want them to roost up in the barn rafters or above the stable then I suggest penning them up there for 6 wks once they are fully feathered and able to go outside... you'll want roosts of different heights so they can gradually work their way up to roosting up as high as they can go (they generally prefer to get up as high as they can as soon as they learn that they can fly tho). If you raise them in a coop and they get acclimated to living there then they may not relocate to your barn or stable, but if you can raise them where you want them to roost then they will generally acclimate on their own pretty quickly if it meets their needs. They typically do not like change and when faced with a new situation suddenly Guineas will often revert back to roosting where they are used to, or they may decide on their own where to roost (and that is rarely where you want them to roost). You can always take the pen down after they have made a routine of getting up high to roost.

    I don't provide high roosts for my birds because I coop them at night and prefer they not get in the habit of roosting up in trees or on top of the sheds/coops etc, plus there are no barn rafters for them to roost on here. I keep my coop's roosts lower to the ground, within a predator safe coop. So this probably won't give you much of an idea of what to build for your Guineas, but this is a summer pic of one of my coops that is built inside my goat's shed, (the back wall of the shed has been taken down for better air flow during the hot weather). The far area at the end is a built-in brooder for younger birds that I plan to integrate into the flock. These are all fairly young birds in this pic.

    [​IMG]

    And you are correct, they should be raised on turkey starter or game bird starter. I feed 27% protein (or higher) up to 6 wks old, then I wean them over to a grower feed with at least 20% and keep them on that until they are 12 wks old. After that any layer or all purpose poultry feed with a minimum of 16% protein will be fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  3. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    Nice setup Peeps.....look at those beautiful pieds on the perch!....I'm jealous of all of it. :).
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks L, I sold the pair of Pieds on the roost tho... they were very striking birds (which is why I kept them originally... plus 14 more just like em, lol), but the Pearl Grey was too dominant for that mix of breeders (that's all I woulda hatched!). I actually ended up selling all the Pied Pearl Greys that I kept, but I can always hatch more, lol. (I'd rather hatch a bunch of Chocolates that are that Pied tho! That will be Spring of 2013's project).

    I had a contractor friend of mine build just the floor and frame of the coop for me, but I did the rest... hardware cloth, built in brooder etc and it doesn't show it in the pic but I also added more horse panels to the upper half all the way around, so it's basically sturdy enough to be a bear cage, lol. My contractor friend is a stickler for building things "to code" tho... and it cost me a fortune for all the building supplies [​IMG] So don't be jealous, lol. This is the closest thing I have to an actual coop, but it's way over built for a bunch of bratty Guineas IMO, lol. Aside from the cost I do wish I had 4 more just like it tho. At least if I ever decide to kick the birds out, close it in all the way and store hay/feed and horse tack in it etc (or keep a bear for a pet, LOL), I'm set [​IMG]
     
  5. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    My husband is a stickler for "code". Our first chicken coop is built to code (without electricity). No kidding. And it's built so sturdily that it can withstand a Cat 4 tornado (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much!). Our guinea coop, while very well built, is not to code and the materials we bought weren't top of the line. But still I'm impressed with your setup. It's got a lot of light, and I love the brooder. One day, one day.......:).

    All that said, I'll send you pictures when he connects a battery back-up solar PV system to the coop for electricity and you can drool for a change [​IMG]. Ha! He's even talking about running water lines to the coop. He complains, but he loves this stuff. And so do I.

    I sold a chocolate pied that I really should have kept. Stunningly beautiful bird, but I couldn't keep them ALL, although I wanted to. I have three chocolates now, and two of them have very light, creamy primary feathers, the third doesn't. Are they pied or will they lose those feathers? I think it's only the first two or three primaries...

    I go sit with my guineas almost every day, and they're getting used to me. I'm falling for these birds - - hard. Darn, they're cute!
     
  6. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    Oh, I wanted to mention to kymw that the Nutrena brand has a game bird starter that is 30% protein. I don't think they call it "Starter" though. If I'm remembering correctly, the bag says "Grower" on it. But check the white tag at the bottom of the bag - it will tell you whether it's 30% protein or not. It's a crumble...

    I'm lucky to have a feed store that carries it routinely, but you can have your closest feed store order it in 50 lb. bags (maybe less?). Make sure the store staff knows to order the 30% protein if you decide to check it out. The only problem is it isn't medicated.
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd love to see your new coop, hurry up with the pics, lol. Electricity and running water would make me drool... and extension cord and a hose is the best I can do for now (might be the best it ever gets too, LOL).

    As for the birds with white flights... they won't lose the white flights, but if there are no white feathers on their chest at all then they most likely won't be Pied as adults, they do carry the Pied gene tho (probably coming from just one Pied parent). If you have 2 birds with white flights and they breed they can produce some slightly Pied keets, but probably nothing heavily Pied.
     
  8. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    Can't wait for next spring! I'll be hatching chocolates. What will I get genetically if I have a buff thrown into the genetic mix? I have the two slightly pied chocolates, the one not-pied chocolate and a buff. Interesting. Whites....I need whites......[​IMG]
     
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not fair, the Nutrena starter feed I have access to here (Pheasant/Turkey starter) is only 27% protein, but it is medicated.
    Interesting (and frustrating) how feed companies vary their products in different areas of the US
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Buff + Chocolate can = Blonde... Buffs and Chocolates... Buffs, Blondes and Chocolates, or even just all Chocolates. But depending on what each bird is carrying for hidden recessive genes anything can/may show up.

    ETA: I kept 2 pure Whites that I hatched from my younger light/Pied flock this past season, and they are in with my Chocolate and Blonde flock now (along with some Pied Blondes and Pied Chocolates). So I'm good to go with a new flock, I just need to decide what to do with a few extra colors I have in with them and a few that have incorrect or asymmetrical wattles... I'm starting to get extra nit-picky about my breeders, I'm in over my head now, lol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

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