Are my Guineas not the "sharpest tools in the shed"?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Sfraker, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Sfraker

    Sfraker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off let me say I love my Guineas. They are funny and bring us joy every day. Now I'll transition into the bad. They appear to be fairly dense.

    We got 6 of them at 6 weeks old and kept them in an extra large wire dog crate on top of our waist high duck coop. This way they could see the ducks and they would be inside the duck pen. It's now been 5 weeks and we opened the crate door and left it open. It took them two days to come out. Then once one was out it panicked and could not figure out how to get back up to the crate. That was another day before it got back, then another day before they all came out.

    Once they were out they could not figure out how to get back into the crate where their food and water is. I have a perch going from the ground into the crate that they all perch on, but they walked around the ground trying to fly up to the crate and not being successful.

    Note: I did not tame my guineas, they are ok with us being right next to them, but we cannot easily catch them. I can move food and water in and out of the crate and clean out the straw without much worry from them.

    Since opening the crate I have had two escapes from the duck pen when opening the gate to go feed/water. They then panic running back and forth trying to get back in. When I go out to herd them in I am really slow and quiet. I simply walk a bit behind them with my hands low. They try to shoot through the fence, but they don't fit. They will then run towards me to try to get past me. Why would you run towards danger?

    The only other birds I have had is the ducks. They seem to catch onto things pretty quickly, the guineas do not. Any change takes them days to figure out, even minor changes. Is this normal?
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  3. Sfraker

    Sfraker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @chooks4life Great info!

    The place I got them from was not very impressive. The gentleman knew his stuff on the phone but when I got there it was cramped old cages for the babies and not impressive. The adults had some space but it was all dirt. He was in the process of grinding his own food so I don't know what he was feeding them. I have them on flock raiser for now until I find a better alternative. I get my duck feed from a local mill that is organic and soy free. Plus they get lots of garden scraps. Could the guineas eat a duck or chicken feed as a base and then I supplement as needed? That way I could buy them organic freshly milled food.

    Again, I'm not trying to insult my guineas. Prior to this spring I had never had any birds, just dogs, horses, mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs. I have been surprised at the difference in learning speed between the guineas and the ducks. You made a great point. The ducks were bought from a reputable breeder at one day old. The guineas were bought from a not so great place at 6 weeks old and had lived in cramped quarters.

    Hopefully with having more room and better feed they will be happy and healthy for a long time. I can't wait to bring them into my garden with me so that they can eat all the darn Japanese beetles, squash bugs/beetles and other creepy crawlers next spring. It will be so much fun watching them snack and being guineas while I work.

    I love watching them, they make me laugh every morning when we let the ducks out of the coop into the pen. The ducks waddle to the morning snacks and the teensy little guineas just sprint right into the middle of them to pick out the best choices. No fear of the ducks at all and if a duck gets too pushy they just gang up and chase them back a few steps.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  5. Sfraker

    Sfraker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @chooks4life
    You are right on the puppy mill/backyard breeder/reputable breeder when it comes to dogs. I taught obedience for many years. It got to the point that I could pick out the puppy mill puppies before the first class even started. Socially they were a mess.

    I think this gentleman had good intentions in the beginning but over the decades he has been raising and selling guineas and chickens it overwhelmed him. He was elderly and not moving around so well when I was there. His property is for sale so hopefully he will retire from breeding.
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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