Behavioral issues, bullying

minaayindra

Songster
Premium member
I have 4 guinea hens I received when they were around 3-4 weeks old. The 4 grew up together but, of course, one was always a little at the bottom of the pecking order; that said, no one was really pecking or bothering each other at that time. Much to my surprise, I ended up with 3 roosters and a hen. More surprising was how all the roosters have ganged up on the female and keep her scared and staying inside when she really wants to be with her own kind. The hen who raised all of them is also treating Gracie horribly. Gracie has no imperfections that I can see but she has become more and more fearful and neurotic. I finally let them all outside for an hour and they STILL continued to chase her around and then ostracize her. My heart is breaking for her but I don't know what alternatives I have except keeping them together. Gracie gets hysterical if I close her away from the guys, while they pay no attention to it. You'd think, considering she is the only girl, someone would be protective of her and knock the other guys back but this isn't happening. What can I do??? This is so sad.
 

Lilalienangel

Songster
Aug 28, 2019
136
273
126
If this was me I would take out for a while. During that time make an enclosure for her where she is able to interact with the others but can't be bullied. Take some time for a getting to know you phase again. Pretty much like introducing a new bird. Add her back to the coop at night when everyone is asleep and groggy. While you have her separated a mirror could soothe her a little. Another approach is to remove the top bird for awhile to see if that creates a dynamic change in the pecking order. There is a chance most are just following the lead of the top bird. Of course keep a close eye on your girl if you choose the second route. There's still a definate chance of bullying. For full disclosure I am new to this but this comes from colective weeks worth of reading into comman issues.
 

Anime2lover

Songster
Apr 17, 2019
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3,210
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I have 4 guinea hens I received when they were around 3-4 weeks old. The 4 grew up together but, of course, one was always a little at the bottom of the pecking order; that said, no one was really pecking or bothering each other at that time. Much to my surprise, I ended up with 3 roosters and a hen. More surprising was how all the roosters have ganged up on the female and keep her scared and staying inside when she really wants to be with her own kind. The hen who raised all of them is also treating Gracie horribly. Gracie has no imperfections that I can see but she has become more and more fearful and neurotic. I finally let them all outside for an hour and they STILL continued to chase her around and then ostracize her. My heart is breaking for her but I don't know what alternatives I have except keeping them together. Gracie gets hysterical if I close her away from the guys, while they pay no attention to it. You'd think, considering she is the only girl, someone would be protective of her and knock the other guys back but this isn't happening. What can I do??? This is so sad.
Im not a guinea owner but if these were chickens, ducks, or turkeys, it would be a problem with ratio?? In a lot of farm fowl like the mentioned ones its a 3f-1m at the least. Hope you find the help you need if thats not the problem.
 

R2elk

Free Ranger
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,171
38,767
1,141
Natrona County, Wyoming
Im not a guinea owner but if these were chickens, ducks, or turkeys, it would be a problem with ratio?? In a lot of farm fowl like the mentioned ones its a 3f-1m at the least. Hope you find the help you need if thats not the problem.
In guineas, the proper ratio is one male to one female. Do not try to apply what works with other fowl to guineas.
 

R2elk

Free Ranger
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,171
38,767
1,141
Natrona County, Wyoming
If this was me I would take out for a while. During that time make an enclosure for her where she is able to interact with the others but can't be bullied. Take some time for a getting to know you phase again. Pretty much like introducing a new bird. Add her back to the coop at night when everyone is asleep and groggy. While you have her separated a mirror could soothe her a little. Another approach is to remove the top bird for awhile to see if that creates a dynamic change in the pecking order. There is a chance most are just following the lead of the top bird. Of course keep a close eye on your girl if you choose the second route. There's still a definite chance of bullying. For full disclosure I am new to this but this comes from collective weeks worth of reading into common issues.
In guineas there is typically one that is the top guinea. It is usually best to remove the one that is doing the bullying and not the one being bullied. It is also not a good idea to try to do introductions at night.
 

Lilalienangel

Songster
Aug 28, 2019
136
273
126
In guineas there is typically one that is the top guinea. It is usually best to remove the one that is doing the bullying and not the one being bullied. It is also not a good idea to try to do introductions at night.
Thank you. I am new and way more versed in chickens. The only reason I responded is because no one had and it was posted yesterday. Thank you for fixing it.
 

R2elk

Free Ranger
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,171
38,767
1,141
Natrona County, Wyoming
I have 4 guinea hens I received when they were around 3-4 weeks old. The 4 grew up together but, of course, one was always a little at the bottom of the pecking order; that said, no one was really pecking or bothering each other at that time. Much to my surprise, I ended up with 3 roosters and a hen. More surprising was how all the roosters have ganged up on the female and keep her scared and staying inside when she really wants to be with her own kind. The hen who raised all of them is also treating Gracie horribly. Gracie has no imperfections that I can see but she has become more and more fearful and neurotic. I finally let them all outside for an hour and they STILL continued to chase her around and then ostracize her. My heart is breaking for her but I don't know what alternatives I have except keeping them together. Gracie gets hysterical if I close her away from the guys, while they pay no attention to it. You'd think, considering she is the only girl, someone would be protective of her and knock the other guys back but this isn't happening. What can I do??? This is so sad.
You have too few guineas for them to interact properly. Guineas do best in large groups. Male guineas are cocks, not roosters. Normal behavior of a group of 3 guinea cocks to one guinea hen is for the males to sort out which one of them is the top guinea. This one will become the hen's mate while all will join together to protect and follow her around.

The behavior that you are describing would be normal if the smaller is also a cock and not a hen. It is not normal for a group of guinea males to attack a guinea hen.

Normal interaction between a guinea cock and his hen could seem like bullying to a casual observer that misses out on the rest of the interactions.

It is my guess that you don't actually have a hen.
 

minaayindra

Songster
Premium member
You have too few guineas for them to interact properly. Guineas do best in large groups. Male guineas are cocks, not roosters. Normal behavior of a group of 3 guinea cocks to one guinea hen is for the males to sort out which one of them is the top guinea. This one will become the hen's mate while all will join together to protect and follow her around.

The behavior that you are describing would be normal if the smaller is also a cock and not a hen. It is not normal for a group of guinea males to attack a guinea hen.

Normal interaction between a guinea cock and his hen could seem like bullying to a casual observer that misses out on the rest of the interactions.

It is my guess that you don't actually have a hen.
She is significantly smaller and doesn’t have the wattles. I let them out today and the males postured with each other, but they all still picked on her. For those reasons and the fact that she does a 2-tone call when none of the others do makes me believe she is a female. The chicken hen also runs at her and scares her but not outside today. She was the only one not willing to come back into the coop until I shut everyone inside and threw down white millet. She was distressed over their screaming but she still didn’t come back like they did. Now that these guys are almost 5 months old, how would I get more guineas to introduce them to and how old would they be? I just hope the coop would be big enough for all that and they wouldn’t pick on the momma hen.
 
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