feeding guineas in winter

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by watchdogps, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm planning to get some guineas and free range them for bug control, but since I am in Ohio, I will need to feed them in the winter. What should I feed? For the sake of simplicity, lets say they are all adults.
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed mine a 24% protein game bird pellet as their main diet, (free choice) during the winter months, then supplement with greens and fine stem leafy alfalfa hay if they are not out free ranging and getting their own greens, and then for some extra calories and fat I also feed them some cracked corn and some sweet feed (both are considered "hot" feeds, and it helps them stay warm), plus whatever wild bird seed mixes I find that are on sale (anything with mostly millet as the main ingredient) for treats.

    Guineas' bare minimum protein requirement in their diet is 16%, so even if you find an 18%-20% all purpose poultry feed and then supplement it with cracked corn or even scratch if your birds will eat it for some extra calories, they should do ok. Just monitor their breast area, if they feel thin, then you know they need more protein, and calories/fat.
     
  3. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I wondered the same thing. I am feeding a 20% gamebird breeder right now, but will they need the extra calcium in the winter when they are not laying? What game bird is 24%?? I will be feeding Mazuri 20% game bird, but that is as high as it goes except for starter. The Purina is 19% filght conditioner if not feeding breeder, so what would I feed? Game Bird Maintenance is only 12%. With chickens it is easy, as they are always laying.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They won't need the extra calcium in your layer feed, but it won't hurt them if you feed it to them year round (IF it's even available year round). Mazuri 20% will probably be fine as their main diet thru the winter, just monitor their breast area like I mentioned. You may only need to supplement the protein in their diet if they seem a little thin during the worst cold and wet weather periods, but you can try adding a little cracked corn or scratch first and see if that helps. If you can't find any higher protein feeds in your area you can also feed things like scrambled eggs, crickets and meal worms. Some breeders even feed a handful of crushed high protein dry dogfood each day ... but all those things all tend to get a little spendy, especially if you have a large flock or several flocks like I do.

    The game bird 24% mini pellet that I get during the winter comes from a local feed mill in my area, they also make a game bird 22% crumble too, but I like the pellets better, less waste/dust.
     
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks PeepsCA, I guess I can always keep giving them a little Ultra Kibble that I keep around plus the 20% Game Bird breeder. Is 24% as high as you would go? The only other stuff is turkey grower 21%, but they put antibiotics in it, so that is no good. I may be able to get ADM breeder and that is 22%. Just didn't know if the calcium in breeder would be OK.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The extra calcium is fine for adult Guineas, many breeders feed their flocks layer feeds as their main diet from 12 weeks on, year round, with no issues since the birds (and their bones) are pretty much done growing. If you can get your 20% Game Bird Breeder and the Ultra Kibble year round, make your life easy and just keep them on it, lol.

    But no, I wouldn't go higher than 24% for my flocks, because IMO they don't really need it (and actually the extra fat/calories helps them more in cold weather than extra protein... as long as you maintain a 16% minimum protein level), plus I've found that usually the higher the protein % in the feed the more the feed costs. I personally just feel better bumping up the protein, calories and fat for my flocks during the cold rainy months here tho, especially when they aren't out free ranging for bugs, seeds and greens and supplementing their own diet and instinctively eating what they need to stay healthy. We don't have Ultra Kibble available in my area, unfortunately and the 24% protein game bird mini pellets was the only feed with the highest % of protein in it that I could find without the feed being a grower or starter crumble (or medicated)... I just got lucky that it happens to be an actual game bird feed AND that I can get it all year round, even thru the winter. (Some feed mills out here in CA only produce their game bird feeds during spring and summer when most people are breeding and raising game birds).

    These are JMOs on winter feeding... there's always more than one way to raise Guineas [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  7. Katie Scarlett

    Katie Scarlett Just Hatched

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    What about keets what do you feed them in winter
     
  8. BlueShadow

    BlueShadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same as any other time of year. Starter appropriate for gamebirds, usually 28% protein and high in niacin and other vitamins. Keep them in an environment where they are warm enough and protected from all drafts.
     
    R2elk likes this.
  9. Katie Scarlett

    Katie Scarlett Just Hatched

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    Thanks oh boy I am excited can't wait to get these little buggers
     

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