benefits of guineas?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by LaynaDon95, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Songster

    Jan 18, 2012
    I have plenty of chickens and I have been looking at ducks. I've just learned that guineas eat wasps and bees? What are some other benefits of guinea fowl you don't get from chickens and ducks? Can they be housed with chickens? Can they be housed with ducks? :hmm

  2. GuineaLady93

    GuineaLady93 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    Cameron, NC
    My Coop
    I think the main benefit that guinea have is that they will eat up the ticks. I think that is the reason most people get them; also because they provide you with plenty entertainment! lol
  3. leonphelps

    leonphelps Songster

    May 15, 2011
    Bucks County PA
    they will also do a number on your weeds. they eat like crazy. I dont have to mow where I let me guineas free range. it is fairly large area.
  4. ranit

    ranit Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    They also like to devour Japanese beetles. We have chickens, ducks and geese that free range also but I've notice a great reduction in the bug population even fewer mosquitoes.
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    Their free range eggs are rich, delicious and nutritious, plus Guineas are great watch dogs... they will sound off their alarm call and warn you and your other poultry and livestock about predators and about anything else that's out of the ordinary on your property (trespassers, UPS or FedEx delivery, the gas man etc). They also do a good job of cutting down the fly population around my place... they dig thru my horses' manure, eating all the fly larvae and any other bugs they find in it plus they scatter it well so it dries quickly. Mine have also taken care of the rattle snake problem. Since they range/roam farther than chickens do, they are very effective at pest control and property patrol than other types of poultry [​IMG] They may be obnoxious at times, but I feel my Guineas earn their keep here on my property.

    Some people have no issues housing them with other types of poultry, some people have nothing but issues, so there really is no yes or no answer that will pertain to everyone, since everyone's set up and situation is different. Breeding/laying season for the Guineas can be a little difficult for mixed flocks, but it really depends on flock dynamics, individual bird temperaments and whether the birds have plenty of room in the coop pen and lots of free range time that allows them to burn off their excess energy and aggression.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  6. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    I've had guineas with ducks and chickens before. They get along very well.

    Guineas eat ticks, wasps, and they even kill snakes. They are very good for bug control.
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Ive been a chickeneer for years, but have been without a flock in recent years due to a move.
    Ive recently purchased a country property and we'll be moving there in the next month or so.
    Its my plan to start with guineas, first, instead of chickens.
    First, I want them for intruder patrol. I want to know what my predator suite is out there, and deal with it before I bring chickens on board. So I hope the guineas will help with that.
    Bug control is also a nice feature.
    Ill be starting a garden from scratch and I don't think they are as eager to shred young plants as chickens are.
    How do they do with coyotes around? These wild dogs are a potential threat, although I don't know yet if its a big one. Foxes are probably a certainty, along with weasels and opossums.
    Do they do more than make a ruckus? Maybe geese would be better?

  8. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    Coyotes took out a lot of my free rangers my first 4yrs with Guineas (usually early AMs and right at dusk when some of the lollygaggers were slow about getting up in their roosting tree were the worst times)... and I had to replenish my flock each year to keep my numbers around 24-28 birds for tick and snake control. IMO, if you want to maintain a flock on your land, it's best to coop/pen the Guineas as soon as (or right before) the sun starts going down each night and let them out to free range in the mornings after the sun is well up. My 10 acres has been perimeter fenced for the past couple yrs now (and my breeding flocks are cooped/penned), the remaining dozen free rangers are a little more predator savvy now and the free range losses are down to a minimum. Owls are their worst enemy.
  9. I just set a couple dozen guinea eggs under 2 chickens. Three years ago I purchased 20 keets, but lost all but 3 the first year to predators. The three that are left are predator savy and do a good job on any kind of insect, especially ticks, scorpions, moths, wasps, etc. I haven't seen any action on snakes, but I haven't seen any snakes, either. Same with mice. They require very little grain and don't mess up the yard like chickens do. Mine roost in the rafters in my pole barn, so owls aren't a problem, just gotta scrape the concrete floor daily, but that's easy enough. They get along fine with the chickens and geese, but I don't have ducks. When I had my flock in FL a few years back, somebody was always causing a problem. Usually it was a drake. The guineas I had there would also gang up on any free ranging rooster. The flock, small as it is, here in GA, get along with everyone. I'm hopeing the new keets will be as amiable when they mature. I can't seem to hatch keets from my guineas as any nests are destroyed by predators within days. Guineas are the clowns of any yard and the neighbors always look foreward to seeing them. One of the problems that many folks have is that even though guineas can fly as well as a pheasant, they would rather run than fly from a dog, making them easy pickings. I have a dog that grew up with them and likes to chase them playfully on occasion. My guineas have learned to fly from him and that lesson has probably saved them from other predators many times. Guineas are noisy, but they calm down as they mature, to the point where they aren't as obnoxious. You will learn to enjoy even their racket. Good luck with yours.........Pop
  10. RMBGKY

    RMBGKY In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    When I first got Guineas my main purpose was tick control. But, you have to free range them to really get any benefit. Free ranging usually means losing many to predators. I free range my chickens in a controlled and strongly fenced area. The guineas are housed in the same area which means they don't come up around the house to eat ticks which is why I bought them to start with. They do fly out during the day then send the rest of the day trying to figure out how to get back in. Now I have discovered eating guinea eggs. WHAT A TREAT. Now I want more guineas than chickens. I believe there might be a niche market for the eggs. Right now they have 2 nesting areas in the barn, but they won't use them if I am in the barn. It was funny the other day I was working and these 3 guineas kept coming into the barn walking around talking to each other and then they would leave. I finally got the message and left. A few hours later I returned and there was 3 eggs in the nest. So my dilemma is how do I get it all.
    1) Guineas free ranging outside of the chicken area so that I get the bug control.
    2) Control of loss to predators
    3) Control over nesting places so I can collect the eggs.

    The first 2 are relatively easy, I am going to build a separate guinea house outside of the chicken area with an automatic door just like the chicken house. But I am not sure how I can control their nesting habits. The second 2 are relatively easy, I just enclose their range area with predator proof fencing and netting to prevent their flying out. But how do I get all three. I had thought of having 2 flocks of guineas one for laying and one for pest control, but I have heard the racket when one guinea is isolated from the others I can't imagine the noise the 2 flocks would make trying to get together.

    Any ideas?

    BTW, I don't want the guineas eating bees and wasp, both beneficial insects. Can I train them to only eat ticks? :)

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