Coop training guinea fowl??

libarena

Songster
Jul 15, 2018
98
118
101
Nashville, TN
Need some ideas. Currently doing the bell training approach and letting out a few at a time. They’re probably about 12 weeks old? And are quite friendly with me since I started doing the bell training but I am so nervous about letting them out as a group because once they are out, they LOVE being out and won’t even look at me when I ring the bell for mealworms. I want to make sure they all come home. I have turkeys and muscovy ducks with them as well. Ducks are great at coming for treats but the turkeys and guineas aren’t great. What else can I do?

EDIT: I used to let them out a few weeks ago in small groups and then one day it took me about 2 hours to get them back so I stopped so I could train them with the bell. Today is the first day I’ve let them out with about 5 guineas and two turkeys and they aren’t interested in me at all.
 

Arya28

Songster
Apr 9, 2017
662
553
191
Pennsylvania
Hello!

Guineas are crazy little birds! We have four grown guineas, and three babies currently. Our four grown ones we have had for about exactly a year.

We have three girls and a boy.

We got our guineas to help cut down on the tick population. We trained them with a whistle, not a bell (but basically the same thing). And ours are not the tamest, but they do come to a whistle, usually.

Since we only had four adult guineas then, we were absolutely terrified to let them out to free-range. We totally thought they would take off and never come back. We do have them in with our chickens, who had free-ranged before and were pretty used to it by then.

So, we just let them out. We did this I believe only about an hour before nightfall. This way they wouldn't venture out too far before knowing it's roost time. (We do the same to teach our chickens).

And they all went back in with the chickens when it got dark!

So it went way better than we thought.

Thing is, guineas aren't the smartest.

So you have to watch them around when it starts getting dark. If they start making that ear-piercing noise really loud right around night time, and lifting their heads up, they probably don't remember where to go and you need to guide them back. If you don't when they do this, they will probably fly away to try to land in a tree or on top of something high to roost. We had this happen a few times and we had to net them to bring them back into the barn. So you just need to watch their behavior, I think. But ours now are usually fine and go back in with the chickens.
 

libarena

Songster
Jul 15, 2018
98
118
101
Nashville, TN
Hello!

Guineas are crazy little birds! We have four grown guineas, and three babies currently. Our four grown ones we have had for about exactly a year.

We have three girls and a boy.

We got our guineas to help cut down on the tick population. We trained them with a whistle, not a bell (but basically the same thing). And ours are not the tamest, but they do come to a whistle, usually.

Since we only had four adult guineas then, we were absolutely terrified to let them out to free-range. We totally thought they would take off and never come back. We do have them in with our chickens, who had free-ranged before and were pretty used to it by then.

So, we just let them out. We did this I believe only about an hour before nightfall. This way they wouldn't venture out too far before knowing it's roost time. (We do the same to teach our chickens).

And they all went back in with the chickens when it got dark!

So it went way better than we thought.

Thing is, guineas aren't the smartest.

So you have to watch them around when it starts getting dark. If they start making that ear-piercing noise really loud right around night time, and lifting their heads up, they probably don't remember where to go and you need to guide them back. If you don't when they do this, they will probably fly away to try to land in a tree or on top of something high to roost. We had this happen a few times and we had to net them to bring them back into the barn. So you just need to watch their behavior, I think. But ours now are usually fine and go back in with the chickens.
Thank you for the good info! How do you net them down?
 

Arya28

Songster
Apr 9, 2017
662
553
191
Pennsylvania
Um, it's kind of tricky. :lau

We have a big fishing net. We just chase them down until we can corner them and then put the net over them really quickly. If we are really lucky they run around the barn so we have to chase them across the road.

Yeah, I'm sure our neighbors have fun watching us. LOL
 

bhopper

Chirping
Jul 25, 2018
37
66
64
Southeast Missouri
I gave up on netting them or attempting to get them in the coop. I have a tree near the coop and they love to roost in that tree. The only time they are not roosting in that tree is when the hens are on a nest. Then it's like Easter Egg hunting in order to find her so I can monitor the eggs and predators. I killed a opossum last night that was headed directly toward my broody guinea hen. I currently have 4 adults (3 female, 1 male) and a 2 month old baby which all roost in a tree at night and wonder the yard during the day with the chickens, ducks, and turkeys.
 

R2elk

Free Ranger
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,220
39,118
1,141
Natrona County, Wyoming
I gave up on netting them or attempting to get them in the coop. I have a tree near the coop and they love to roost in that tree. The only time they are not roosting in that tree is when the hens are on a nest. Then it's like Easter Egg hunting in order to find her so I can monitor the eggs and predators. I killed a opossum last night that was headed directly toward my broody guinea hen. I currently have 4 adults (3 female, 1 male) and a 2 month old baby which all roost in a tree at night and wonder the yard during the day with the chickens, ducks, and turkeys.
The reason that I do not allow my guineas to roost in trees at night is because I lost my whole first flock of guineas to Great Horned Owls. If I allowed mine to roost outside at night, it would not be very long before I would lose them all. Owls are not the only nighttime predators that will take guineas out of a tree.
 
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