Are Guinea Fowl more likely to be killed by hawks than chickens?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by rifleman, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. rifleman

    rifleman Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 6, 2012
    The reason for this question is that I've had free rage chickens for years and have had hawks try to get my chickens but have never actually killed any of them,the rooster does a good job of alerting.
    But since I've introduced some Guinea's to the flock I have lost 2 of them to hawks.
    Any thoughts?[​IMG]
  2. MNShepherdess

    MNShepherdess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2011
    What colors are they first of all? I think the lighter colored guineas are easy pickings for hawks. Plus, I think guineas tend to spend too much time running around chasing each other in the field rather than watching the sky lol. We usually have a few picked off per season, but the chickens tend to stay closer to the barnyard and therefore safer. We actually got to watch a momma guinea bait a hawk away from another momma with babies, it was REALLY neat. Ahh nature at work [​IMG]
  3. BCM

    BCM New Egg

    Jan 8, 2012
    A hawk took a shot at one of my then smaller Marans and somehow missed. The guinea fowl attacked the hawk and beat the #### out of him until he could get enough room to hurl himself air born. I watched the entire incident thinking that the scuffle was between two roosters but suddenly the hawk broke free. Amazing. He flew over the garden and into the woods making a mental note to leave the birds in that yard alone.
  4. oldguy

    oldguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    I use to keep guineas and frequently would find one with his head smooth removed and the body undisturbed. I hear owls do it, but i don't know. Of course these guineas were just roosting in the trees.
  5. GuineaLady93

    GuineaLady93 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    Cameron, NC
    My Coop

    It may have been a possum. They will take the heads and leave the rest.
    One try to get one of my ducks, in the middle of the day! We had just moved the duck pen further from the house, and closer to the woods, I think that may be why. Anyway, it didn't kill it, but his neck looked like it had been cut with a saw all the way around, just barely on. Poor thing, the dog ran it off before it got his head all the way off. It didn't take it long before he died.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Guineas have a reputation for being really good predator alerts for mixed flocks, but I don't own any chickens so I don't know if they are any better at keeping watch than a rooster would be or not. I've never lost a Guinea to a Hawk kill in all the years I've had Guineas (losing them to Owls... at dusk, dawn or during the night is another story tho)... but a lot of the Hawk kills that I've read about are typically younger birds (which is one reason why I don't let my younger birds free range until they are full grown).

    My flocks are pretty alert to airborne predators (and to the screeching of the hawks) when they are out free ranging and will immediately sound off with the alarm call and run for cover (they even go off and run for cover when they see shadows of vultures/buzzards flying around). The Guineas they will usually keep complaining until I come out and see what the problem is (like they need confirmation the threat is definitely gone or something, lol).

    But like MNShepherdess mentioned, the lighter colored Guineas do attract the predators more than the darker colored Guineas do... light colors are easier to spot, making them predator beacons and are typically the birds that get picked off first, no matter what the predator is. And Guineas definitely range a lot farther away from the coop/safety of the yard than typical poultry(chicken) flocks do, especially during the breeding/laying season when they pair off or form small sub-flocks and the Hens hunt for private areas to lay a clutch of eggs. There are less eyes and ears watching out for danger during this time of the year, so that makes it easier for predators to pick them off than if it's a large flock roaming around together.
  7. waltersfarm

    waltersfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 12, 2012
    southeast texas
    I haven't seen any hawks get my guineas but since they roost in the trees at night I lose a few to owls, especially in the winter when there aren't as many leaves to hide them. I raised them inside and tried to get them to roost there but they prefer the trees.
  8. chickbird

    chickbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Not all Guineas will take care of snakes, but mine do. They shred the little ones (and eat them) and they will gang up on, harass, attack and peck the snot out of the big ones, lol. Usually when they find a big one they make so much noise that I know that have a snake and I will go find them and dispatch the snake myself (but only if it's a rattle snake).

    And yes Guineas will return to the coop at night, but they have to be trained/conditioned to, and you have to be consistent with their training/conditioning. They like routine, so if you establish a routine for them they are likely to stick with it. Consistency is key tho... otherwise they will roost where they want, and typically get picked off by predators.
  10. Guinea and Chicken raiser

    Guinea and Chicken raiser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2012
    Northern Louisana

    never had hawks try to grab my birds. I rarely see a big bird but I dont think a hawk got to mine, it's possible, but we have coons and possums and wolves around where we live, we live right next to woods.

    To answer your question, I don't see how there is a difference of ratio of a guinea bird being grabbed over a chicken bird. It's the same chance you risk when you free-range. We got cats too and we got rid of one black kitten who was about a year old who we were sure was killing our birds and for quite a few months, the dissappearances stopped. Now we see a new cat around that is not ours or our neigbhors' cat, we asked and the cat sticks between our two houses; Lahgkeish, a black-sex link is missing, before I could take her picture.

    I had 4 guineas and I free-ranged them. One got ran over, two disappeared and now for a long time I only had one female guinea. I do plan on getting more guineas for her. But she does love to hang around our chickens for now. The rooster is her protection, she sticks closest to him. ;) I dont see the rooster have sex with her but the google internet search claims they can have half guinea, half chicken babies, I dont even know where the guinea hens been nesting. No guinea eggs for me. In the future, I will cage them and clip the wings so they dont jump the fence only. I hate the idea but I don't want them dying in the day time, at night, I'll have them cooped up with the chickens. That's what my guinea does now, sleep with the rest of the chickens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by