adding young guineas to flock


12 Years
Aug 2, 2010
i have a dozen young guineas hatched this spring, and half of them are real close to being full grown, and the other half is about 2-3 weeks behind them in size/age. they have been cooped right next to the adults for 3 weeks now with only wire in between so they can get used to eachother. i'm trying to be patient before letting them out with the adults (who stick around well and usually return to the coop or at least roost in trees above it) im wondering when is it a good time to let them range together? there are a few in there i worry about that seem considerably smaller than the others, but being half grown and cooped in close quarters with the adults, will i have much of a problem? they have plenty of room to range so should be able to find thier own space.
Usually the 6 wk in the coop rule pays off... the juvenile birds need to know where home is, especially if they don't bond with the adults (you don't want the adults to run them all off). If they are food driven and come when you call them for treats, the full 6 wks may not be necessary tho. Do you have a covered run attached to the coop? If so letting them out in there when the adults are out free ranging helps the juveniles get acclimated to the property and routine. You could also try a few test runs of letting just the juveniles out, while the adults are penned and see how it goes. Because if they don't cooperate for you as just their little existing flock, it might be total chaos at first trying to get them all back in with everybody mixed together.

Since there are some smaller ones, I'd take a little extra time and let those catch up in size before I start integrating. That way they can fend for themselves better. When you finally do integrate make sure there are hiding places for the lil birds to duck behind (but not get trapped behind) and escape the harsh pecking order lessons they will get from the adults.

One thing that I've found really handy when integrating, is to make a few changes in the coop/run, just to throw the adults out of their element a little bit. I also usually put out feed pans of veggies/greens and a little scratch or wild bird seed mix... just to distract the adults with something new to focus on, rather than focusing on the newbies.
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I moved my babies into the coop at 6 weeks of age, but separated from the adults. Let the out to free range 6 weeks later with the rest of the flock. They all return at night to be locked up. Sometime the babies go in first, sometimes last, but always together. I did put in a separate roost just for them. Sometimes they use it, sometimes they don't. Lesson learned - you can't figure these goofy birds out!
Good luck!
Exactly, Guineas are fickle to the 10th power! You won't know what works for your flock until you try and see of it works (or if it fails). What works for one person's flock may not work for he next person's flock. That's why I always just try to suggest things, or give examples of what has worked for me, rather than insist on how it should be done
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