A few guinea questions

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by PaintedPony, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. PaintedPony

    PaintedPony Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2008
    I am fairly guinea ignorant, but I am learning before buying so please be patient. I have chickens, meat rabbits, and dairy goats. We've spent a small fortune trying to control varmits and flys. I have read that the guineas will eat bugs and will chase off snakes and cats. Here are my questions.

    Can they safely live with my chickens? The coop is large and wired on one side. It's 1/4 of the barn with the east facing wall open to the barn isle but wired with chain link and welded wire. I'd only want the guineas in there at night. During the day I'd want them to have full run of the barn and property so they could run off the snakes that eat my chicken eggs, eat my baby rabbits, and drive me insane. I'd want them to chase off the feral cats that harrass my chickens in their coop.

    Can they eat the chicken feed if I also offer them their own diet during the day? Will the layer crumbles hurt them at all? I want to offer them feed in the day but take it up at night. They would have access to the chicken feed though.

    We don't have many big trees here. I have a few evergreens that work as wind breaks but not many over 7-8 feet. The area is pretty dry so there isn't much nutirtion in the grassy area but I do give my chickens some hay/alralfa now and then, plus mealworms and the guineas could have that too. Is the environment okay for guineas? Do they need lots of trees to roost in to be happy? After a week or so locked in the barn will they come back at night?

    There is a hawk that roosts next door in a neighbors tree. He is one of the reasons my chickens do not free range; that and the feral cats next door. Would the guineas be safe from the hawk or would they be at risk of being killed? Will they run off the feral cats? I've read they chase people's cats and I'd love it if they ran these mangy things off. I've trapped several but the ones left are to smart to come around the trap of when we are out with the gun. They come all hours of the day and night but I figured if the guineas would chase them off in the daytime they'd just stop coming around.

    Main snakes are bull snakes and small rattler type. I've killed off several each year and I've lost eggs to them as well as baby rabbits in their nest. Would the guineas chase them off? I don't care if they eat them or not, but I would like to have something besides my shovel and good timing to deter them.

    We don't have many mice in the spring-summer when the snakes are out but winter they all move from the crop fields to the barn. I know the guineas won't kill the mice & rats but will they chase them enough to help deter them? What so you guys use to deter rats whlie guineas free range? We have traps and poison but those seem dangerous if the guineas have access? Do you use the special bait stations that keep other animals out of the traps?

    Thank you in advance for any help you provide.

    We had a terrible fly problem last year. I used fly bait, sticky tape, and all types of stuff but they were all over the barn. Will the guineas eat the flies? Will they scratch and eat up the larve?

    I am not interested in tracking down their eggs so is it possible to have a few males live together in harmony? I know that may sound silly to some of you, but I worry the stray eggs from hens would attract more varmits. I only want a few and would simply replace them as they grew old.

    Are guineas friendly towards humans if hand raised?

    Any helpful tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I want to make sure they will fit our purpose and situation before we buy any.
  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    ok bear with me
    yes they can live with your chickens ans live on soley chicken feed, your envciroment sounds good, but leave them in the coop for at least 6 weeks

    get rid of the hawk,
    yes they will eat mice, no expience with rats
    on the cats it depends on the cat, our guineas will run off medium sized dogs
    as far as rattle snakes, if there bit there dead, but ours kill all small snakes (even the black snakes i want around to keep the copperheads and mocasins in check
    our guineas love our chickens as well
    all in all they fitr right in our little farm well
  3. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    please bear with me as reread your questions
    ares really dont scratch, but eat any bug they see, they do ok in the garden ,i will say this if they taste something they like in the garden just give it to em as they will wreck it
    they dont attack people, but they arent loveable nether (you wont snuggle or handle them unless its night)
    they are a differnt bird you will have to try them for themselves, by they way they are edible, ( alot better tasting then chicken)
    any ?s just ask
  4. PaintedPony

    PaintedPony Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2008
    Thank you both for your prompt replies. The guineas caneat the chicken food as their main source of food? It's a basic layer crumble. They also get black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS), cat food, mealies, and a few other things tossed out as scratch to keep them busy. Can the guineas eat all of this as well?

    Could I have 3-4 male guineas live together in harmony or will it be like the roosters where they fight to the point one could gete hurt? Am I worrying to much about the hens laying eggs under bushes or other hiding places?

    I want to make the hawk disappear but the neighbor likes it so shooting it would be tough. Any other options to rid myself of him?

    If they are aloof I'm fine with that. I just don't want the aggression you can get with geese. We have to many people over buying eggs, chicks, buns, and goat stuff.

    Any recommendations on breeders/sellers? I live in the Texas panhandle so anyone within driving distance would be great but I am good with shipping.

    Any recommendations on how many I should keep together? Barn is 55X40 with 3.5 acres around it. I was thinking 3-4 would be enough. Is that about right?

    Any books or websites that you'd recommend?

    Thanks again.
    Cindi in TX
  5. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    yes they love (blck oil sunflower seeds) we raised an acre and a half of them tis year for the birds, some will say they cant digest them but free range guineas (chickens as that goes)have no problem digesting them, as far as the visitors they will squawk a lot at them, (and that can get annoying ) they will run away and or keep there distance,
    being from texas , we got ares from ideal, for basic farm birds they are great birds) we got the french hybrids, the males were rough on our chicken roos but not the hens, but the chicken roos also tried to breed the guinea hens.
    yes you will find nest and eggs in the bushes if you let them out at the crack of dawn. we dont let our out till 10 00 am or so

    as far as the males i guess you can have as much males as you have hens, our guinea roos never fight they would race each other around the barn for dominace
    keeping them together is fine they will stay with each other pretty good but will venture out further then the chickens, as far as the hawk i dont know the situation, that one your on your own maybe do something when the neighbor aint lookin

    as far as a book gardening with guineas is ok but for the low down ask people on this website ill give you the uncut details,
    the book seems to sugar coat them some

    i tell you though guinea meat really is a delicacy and the eggs are great as well
    either you love em or you hate em there seems to be no in between with guineas
  6. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    as far as the hawk you can hang cds around the barn that has been said to really work, an old man up the road hangs those silver pie pans, same principle
  7. The Guinea fowl can live peacefully with your chickens. They will eat ticks and I have seen them surround my cats and move them on, not necessarily chase them off.

    I have NEVER seen a Guinea eat a snake nor attack a hawk. They WILL alarm to hawks and other "dangers".

    They can feed, drink and roost right along with your chickens. They are just a riot to watch and they are VERY playful.

    I have come to the conclusion that a Guinea just loves to be a Guinea. They are just wacky.
  8. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    i think the opions of fellow byc ers on this subject is worth a lot more then any book, and this is the website i would recomend
  9. ziggywiggy

    ziggywiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    McNeal, AZ
    Quote:Funny you should mention how wacky they are. One of mine was chasing his shadow yesterday. It was so funny. He'd stop and the shadow would stop then he'd move real fast after it and stop again all of the sudden. It looked like he was doing a really strange ballet dance.
  10. suburbanchx

    suburbanchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2009
    They do seem to be noisy, though.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by