chickens and guineas living together or not?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Finn's Mom, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Finn's Mom

    Finn's Mom Songster

    I am getting ready to put the keets in their coop in the next 10 days or so when they will be 6 weeks old. I could (but don't need to) add chickens to make more use of the room this coop provides. (My chickens would potentially have 5 sq. ft per bird inside instead of their current 3.5 per bird -- plenty of outdoor run in both situations)
    Do you have to raise them together as chicks and keets to make this work? What is a good ratio of chicken to guinea when housed together or does it matter? I am planning to keep the keets in their coop and enclosed run until next spring in hopes of them accepting the coop as "home" so there would be a lot of together time during the day initially.
    As always, thanks for your input!
  2. vegaburm1

    vegaburm1 Hatching

    Jun 3, 2010
    I have 8 Guineas living with 12 chickens. I think the chickens help the guineas to remember that the coop is home, since the chickens go back early and the Gunieas think they are part of the flock so they follow. MY guineas generally nest outside their coop, so they make a run for it when I let the birds out to range each day, but they always go back in at night. I left them in until they were about 4-5 mnths old. Hope this helps some.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    You may have no issues, but most folks do, myself included. Guineas do not act like chickens at all. They are more wild type birds. They interact differently than chickens, are seasonal layers, male vie for attention from the females (especially as the mating season approaches). Male guineas often attack male roosters--they lead attacks where the entire guinea flock will body slam their victim and the chickens cannot defend themselves. My four developed a hatred for all my red chickens. The other hens could boss them around, but they attacked my RIR girls daily, then started in on my BR rooster. I rehomed them. I loved the guineas and mine were very tame with us, but I had to make a choice between the two. I may have them again, but they will live separately from the chickens.
  4. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Cynthia, didn't your G's have their own coop but is while everyone was out free ranging that the G's were such a pita? I know my G's cornered one of my roos last year in the Fall, so far knock on wood they've ignored the chickens this year.

    As Cynthia stated, its better to start off with the G's housed separately or make sure you have alternate housing should things blow up.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Robin, they started off in the coop with their own higher roost bar. Later, when they approached laying age, we retrofitted part of the storage bldg for their separate coop. They were on a two week lockdown after torturing the red girls relentlessly and during that time was when Hawkeye came out of quarantine. Dodger started in on him first, then it was all guineas vs Hawkeye and the red girls.
  6. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    I need a new key board, keys are sticking and driving me nuts.

    I remember now. There were so many changes in such a short time it gets hard remembering what all went on. But I absolutely remember the red girls being their primary target. I was concerned that my Red Star would have issues with them but she hangs in their coop most of the day and they could care less.
  7. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I had no problems at all, but then again, the keets were at a diffinate disadvantage. I only had 2 and they were very young by comparison to the chickens.
    Now that I have read up on guineas and what they can do for me, I realized I may have said goodbye to a lot of help in the garden. Well I am back into guineas X 2 days and I'm not doing so good. I lost 2 keets. Very discouraging.
  8. Finn's Mom

    Finn's Mom Songster

    Thank you all. I think I am going to leave well enough alone and keep my guineas in their own house as I originally planned. My chickens are big sweet girls and I don't think they need the potential hassle for a little more space. I'm glad to hear guineas are a little feisty though since they will free range amongst the woodland critters (while my chickens will not.) Should I be worried for my old terrier? Ha ha. Thanks again.
  9. Raising Keets and Chicks together is not a problem.

    You MUST follow the rules of raising any type of bird in that they should be within a few weeks of age when you mix them up.

    Putting an adult Guinea in with young chicks is not a good thing as is an adult Chicken in with young Keets.

    Male Guinea and Roosters are especially a bad combination for your mix.

    At 5 weeks chickens are in a pretty good position to survive in a flock as long as Roosters can not get to them as they WILL try to mate them and this most always endsi in disaster.

    3 week old keets are pretty hardy, but they should never be mixed with older Guinea Fowl ore Chickens as they will most likely get pecked on and kept from the feed and water.

    I intigrate my Guinea when they are about 8 weeks old. The baby sounds are being replaced with the female call and male chatter then. They still get run off the feed and water, but they are big enough to eventually get enough.

    I DO NOT free range young Guinea fowl. They are confined to the barn just like you would any new Guinea. They too need to know where home is.
  10. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Quote:My Guineas were raised with chickens. They were housed together. When they began to reach sexual maturity that's when things got nasty and the Guineas had to be moved to their own coop. So no, things do not always go well raising the two together.

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