1st time outside....didn't go as well as I had hoped

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by SassyKat6181, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
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    So, it's been about 4 days since I've been letting the Guineas wander the section of barn where their coop is. My husband finished mowing the fields tonight and I decided they were ready to go out for a bit before dark. They have done really well with the "dinner" call and herding back to the coop......in the barn. They were out for about 1.5 hours when I decided it was time for them to come in. THEY had another plan. [​IMG] I shook the feeder and yelled "dinner" and nothing. They looked at me as if I were crazy to expect them to give up fresh grass and bugs. I put my arms out and tried to herd them in and they went the other direction. So, I let them range for about 1/2 hour more. At this point it was starting to get dark. I had the coop light on and the light in the aisleway. I had my husband get on one side and I on the other and we herded them together towards the door. This worked well except for the one male who refused to go in. [​IMG] He ran the other direction and wouldn't come in. Locked up the 11 good Guineas and went back to coax the lone Guinea to go to bed. He ran all over the place. I spent two hours, into the dark, chasing this darn bird. I was determined to get him safe in the coop. (you can laugh all you want~I am afraid to be outside in the dark) This goes to show how much I didn't want to lose this guy. I finally got him close enough to the barn door that he could hear the Guineas in the coop. He slowly walked into the barn and I shut the big door behind us. He ran straight for the coop and flew into the closed door. I opened it and he rushed in. [​IMG]

    Not really sure where I go from here. Maybe they aren't ready yet? Did they need more time outside than the 2 hours I gave them? I wanted to be able to stay and watch over them, and this is only possible after I put my two kids to bed at 730. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. jcatblum

    jcatblum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I say only let 1 out @ a time. After all of them have had a few practice turns start letting 2 out. Gradually increase it. They should do better with time. When I only let them out individually they stay close to the coop & are happy to return home.
     
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Whew glad you got them back.... I think jcatblum has a good idea.
     
  4. TarheelBirdy

    TarheelBirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Letting them out individually is a good idea. That's what I did when I got my original four adults. It worked well. Glad you got him back.
     
  5. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Mass
    Thanks everyone. I guess I will try to let them out individually for a few nights. Going to be hard to figure out who I have let out already. [​IMG] They all look the same. I followed that one guy last night over about 4 of our acres until he finally went in the right direction back to the coop. He even resorted to his "baby peeping" at one point. [​IMG] They are 13 weeks old.
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bummer, how frustrating for you, after things were going so well. When you finally do work your way back up to letting them all out at once again, you could try taking their food away a little earlier in the day... to add a little extra hungry edge to their motivation for going back in.
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    I don't have guineas, but with chickens, if I try to get them into the coop/run too early, it's RIDICULOUS! They mock me and run all over the place. I lure them in with cracked corn if I want them in earlier than dusk.....Works every time.

    I think maybe you were trying to get them in a bit too early.....Maybe wait until it's ALMOST dark next time.......Of course that's just chicken advice......

    I'd really like to get some guineas, but they are super noisy! Kind of afraid to make the neighbor's angry......
     
  8. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    I think tonight I am going to keep everyone in and pull their feed early tomorrow. They really liked being out together and were super happy about the bugs. Maybe I didn't give them long enough to explore. I almost feel that if I let them out alone that it will make them easier prey. My project for tonight is to sneak the 3 abandoned "foster" chickens in with the big girls. [​IMG]
     
  9. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    Well, I took their feed away at noon today and let them out to range at 730. They did pretty good except for the one male I had to chase the other night. He explored on his own and didn't come in for dinner when I herded the others back to the coop. I had the window open so I could hear them from my office. As I am listening I hear them getting further away, so I walk outside and they are near the tree by the road. We have 7 acres out back and they go to the road. [​IMG] So I walk down the driveway and onto the road so as not to scare them into the road. As I get to the road, the neighbor across the street and standing in his front yard watching the birds. He laughs at me and says "quite the noisy birds you got there!" "I was in my house and wondered what on earth could be making such a racket" [​IMG] Then he said they were pretty. [​IMG] The lone male is locked in the quarantine coop by himself. I recently added him to the guineas, as he was a foster bird kept with 3 chickens. I am suspecting that he has not yet bonded with the guineas and is looking for the chickens when he wanders off alone. I searched for him in the dark for about 45 minutes tonight - I didn't want him to end up as someones late night snack. I wonder if he would be better in with the chickens and their enclosed run? At least I wouldn't have to worry about him taking off.
     
  10. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:Sounds like a good plan. I take it you found him and got him home.... Whew
     

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