Aggressive Guinea... what should I do??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LovinMyHensInNC!, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. LovinMyHensInNC!

    LovinMyHensInNC! Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am very new to the whole chicken experience and have learned so much just from reading BYC (thank you, thank you!!)!! I have only owned my flock since the end of last summer. I have 5 Black Australorp hens and 2 French Guinea hens (I was told they were females). (My husband made a deal with me that I can have chickens as long as we didn't get any roosters!).

    Here is my problem... One of my guineas has recently become extremely aggressive towards my chickens to the point that my poor hens all have red bare backs... it is getting really bad! I thought both guineas were females but after reading some old posts, maybe the aggressive one is a male (I can't distinguish them worth a stink)?

    The reason I got guineas was for protection. We have tons of hawks and the guineas and chickens completely free-range our property (I lock them up every night in their 4 x 6 chicken house... including the guineas). So far, I have lost no birds to hawks [​IMG] I really don't want to permanently separate them (right now I have no fencing / pen system), I would rather just get rid of the aggressive guinea if need be.

    Here are my questions (sorry this is getting long!)

    - Should I eliminate the aggressive guinea? If so, will the other guinea be okay by herself with the Australorps or will she need another guinea companion?

    - Should I eliminate both guineas? Do you think my hens will be safe in our hawk infested area without the guineas for alert? I chose the Australorps for being a heavier breed as another deterent. Can the hawks get them?

    Thank you, thank you for any advise!
  2. ChevygirlBeth

    ChevygirlBeth Chillin' With My Peeps

    I may not be a lot of help here, but I am experiencing almost the same thing right now. I had to keep my husband from killing our male guinea last night because he was picking on one of our EE hens. I had to rescue her again tonight because he was picking on her so bad. She's limping now.

    From what I've read about guineas, it would be really hard on the other guinea if you were to separate them - especially if they are male and female because guineas mate for life.

    As for telling them apart - the males tend to be a little larger than the female (typically) and has longer wattles and a bigger knob on their head (with my two you can barely tell the difference in wattles and the knob). They also make different sounds. The male makes the really shrill single syllable sound and the female makes the two syllable sound that sounds like "come-back."

    Here are my two, just in case it will help you at all:
    The male is on the left and the female is on the right.

    The female is on the left and the male is on the right.

    Sorry the pics are a little blurry.
  3. LovinMyHensInNC!

    LovinMyHensInNC! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the great pictures, Beth! The aggressive Guinea is slightly larger than the other and I really can't tell a big difference on their helmets or waddles and of course I always seem to be in the house when they are making their ruckus! They are both, surprisingly on the quite side when I am around!... I must intimidate them [​IMG]
  4. ChevygirlBeth

    ChevygirlBeth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lol... I wish I initimidated mine! When we're outside they often sound the alarm! My hubby can't stand them and the racket they make!
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I understand guineas are delicious . . .
  6. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    I have the same issue! A couple of my guineas are little bullies and go after my hens when they are eating! I believe I may have too many boys on my hands, but haven't observed them long enough to see who is boys and who is girls...
  7. You are NOT going to like this answer.

    YOU need MORE female Guineas.

    Yep, they need about four to make the "unimind" and they should
    ALL be within close proximity of each other most of the time.

    I have 14 Guineas and I have less males than females. It is breeding time and the male are getting pretty aggressive toward the female and the females are busy laying eggs. Mine even use the BARN to lay their eggs, I am amazed they are not in some bucket out in the pasture.

    MORE Guineas and make sure they are females.

    OH, and if you do not like this, I concur, Guineas are delicious.....
  8. ChevygirlBeth

    ChevygirlBeth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Rimshoes! That is good to know. [​IMG]

    We are hoping to get our hoop tractor built this coming weekend and then the chickens will be moved to the pasture. I think I'll keep the guineas in the old coop for a while. I'd let them free range, but I'm collecting the fertilized eggs and I would never be able to find the eggs if they weren't confined.
  9. LovinMyHensInNC!

    LovinMyHensInNC! Chillin' With My Peeps

    After three weeks of searching, I just today found my guinea's nest up in the woods full of 16 eggs! You are smart for keeping your guineas confined during laying season [​IMG]

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