Downsides of Guinea Fowl?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by RenoHuskerDu, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. RenoHuskerDu

    RenoHuskerDu Songster

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    The CEO wants to add a few Guinea to our 18 chickens. I'd say "add" is a euphemism, because she says they won't sleep in the coop, lay eggs in the nests, integrate with the chickens, or walk around making adorable noises like our hens do. She says they'll sleep in the trees and lay eggs all over God's Grey Earth, where we might be lucky to find a few at times. She says they eat a lot of insects (but so do our chickens) and act as watchdogs (we already have 3 Heeler cross farm dogs).

    But I have questions:

    • Do Guinea steal chicken food from the feeders?
    • Might they roost in carports and poop on pickups?
    • Given that they fly a lot, are they likely to cause trouble in the veggie garden? Our garden is fenced with a low electric fence which keeps the hens out nicely.
    • There is thick cedar forest right behind our back fence, so I bet they'd go there, where our heelers can't protect them from hawks.
    • Any other downsides that you would point out?
     
  2. Duck_life

    Duck_life Crowing

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    Answer 1. They eat together
    Answer 2. Depends where you allow them to go, like if they are in a run, or in the coop or even in a tree
    Answer 3. My guineas stay with the chickens. They don't fly anywhere (for me) but I think they prefer higher up places, mine will make their whatever call on top of the coop
    Answer 4. My guineas stay with the chickens, the only time my guinea went into the woods was when she was younger and when I first got her I was chasing her in the coop because I accidentally forgot about her or something like that and she flew ran into the woods, she did NOT fly into a tree but she stood on a log, I lured her back in with the other fenced in guineas and some bread
    Answer 4. They aren't the best parents (depends) and if you have males they tend to get aggressive with the chickens when it is mating season.


    Every guinea is different, so mine might not fly into the trees but someone else's might.
     
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  3. Chicken Heel

    Chicken Heel Songster

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    A few years ago I had 3 guineas in a lot with a mixed flock of chickens and they co mingled just fine. I did find their eggs on the coop floor, outside in the run, underneath the coop, basically everywhere but the nests. If allowed to free range, they do seem to love getting in the road which can quickly lead to their demise.
     
  4. WallyBirdie

    WallyBirdie Songster

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    Guineas are loud. Some people do not like it (but I do!).
    They eat a lot of insects, and even kill small snakes and mice.
    They will eat with your chickens without a problem.
    Mine have a designated place to sleep and nest and lay eggs. I never have to find their eggs but mine are terrible parents. Mine have never gone broody or hatched eggs.
    They poop where they poop, much like chickens!
    If you keep them out of the woods for while they might stay out. They are territorial. If they are comfortable and well fed, they won't stray.

    Apart from noise, I can't think of any downsides.
    If you're worried about vegetation, there shouldn't be cause for much concern.

    I wouldn't get them and just let them go right away. Definitely get them used to the area first.
     
  5. Duck_life

    Duck_life Crowing

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    I love their sound to, its very cute) and X2
     
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  6. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Guineas need to be provided with feed and water just like any other poultry. If you don't plan on feeding them or providing them with water, don't get them.
    They might. They might also scratch the vehicles and even get in fights with their mirror images on hub caps.
    Guineas tend to be much easier on gardens than are chickens. They develop their preferred tastes at an early age and if they are not fed treats from the garden they will most likely leave the garden alone. If they are taught to eat treats from the garden, they will seek those items in the garden.
    Guineas are not forest dwellers but may spend time in the fringes.

    If you plan on just turning guineas loose without providing a secure nighttime shelter, food and water, you most likely will quickly lose them to predators.

    Read the Raising Guinea Fowl 101 thread and pay particular attention to posts by @PeepsCA .

    Guinea keets raised and imprinted with chickens lose the ability to understand that chickens are not guineas. Guineas have instinctual manners that are unique to them. Chickens do not understand the chases and attacks from behind with all the feather pulling or breaking. They can cause extreme stress to a flock of chickens.

    Everything can seem great right up to the first breeding season.

    Guineas are a flock bird and do best in large groups. I never recommend getting fewer than 10 guineas. I brood and coop my guineas by themselves. They are not imprinted by chickens and when both species are free ranged in the same area at the same time, each group keeps to themselves.
     
  7. RenoHuskerDu

    RenoHuskerDu Songster

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    My Guinea ardor is hereby abated, attenuated, damped, thesaurus'd.
     
  8. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Guineas aren't for everyone. Many have a love/hate relationship with guineas. They either love them or they hate them. They can also be an acquired taste. They can be extremely hilarious to watch as they go about some of the things that they do.

    My guineas learned very quickly that a lawnmower is their friend. They will follow behind the lawnmower quickly harvesting bugs and critters revealed by the newly shortened grass, weeds, etc.

    When I was recently mowing the field, my guineas were lined up at their perimeter fence watching me and quickly pouncing on any disturbed insects that moved into their pen.
     
  9. Henry&Friends

    Henry&Friends Songster

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    Mine eat together

    Mine roost with the chickens at night, every night. Flock protection or something
    I don’t know about that, my chickens beat them to it :lau
    Sometimes they gotta learn their lesson in order to learn their lesson :idunno
    They will SCREAM nonstop all day, and it’s difficult to grab them if there’s something wrong. It took me an hour to free one from fly tape because apparently the fly tape was a better companion than me :he
     
  10. Unicornlife3316

    Unicornlife3316 Songster

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    First - listen to everything @R2elk has said.

    Second here’s my two cents:


    [*]Do Guinea steal chicken food from the feeders?


    If you’re not providing them other food, yes they will eat your chicken food from the feeder. You can feed an all flock feed once they’re adults but they need a higher protein feed (with higher levels of certain nutrients, lysine (spelling?) for example) when they’re keets.

    [*]Might they roost in carports and poop on pickups?

    They might. But if you don’t plan on giving them a SAFE place to roost, that’s predator proof, don’t expect to have guineas long. They’re completely blind and defenseless at night, literally a sitting guinea for a predator.

    [*]Given that they fly a lot, are they likely to cause trouble in the veggie garden? Our garden is fenced with a low electric fence which keeps the hens out nicely.

    Fences suck for guineas, they can get over just fine but getting out is another story, they aren’t exactly bright and can get stuck behind a fence they JUST flew over while they scream (loudly) for their flock. They’re easy on garden plants, they don’t scratch as hard as chickens and never did any damage to my garden.

    [*]There is thick cedar forest right behind our back fence, so I bet they'd go there, where our heelers can't protect them from hawks.

    Like @R2elk said, they’ll hang out on the edge but mine aren’t fond of running around in the woods.

    [*]Any other downsides that you would point out?

    I honestly love my guineas. They’re more fun to watch than the chickens are IMO. But again, they need a safe place to sleep, their own food, and plenty of space to run.
     

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