Free Range Idea? Help!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by PinkyLee, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. PinkyLee

    PinkyLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 13 gunieas that I have raised with the intention to let them free range. I have several oak trees for them to hide in. They are currently in a shed with a fenced in outer cage, complete with tree growing out the middle. I have butted some steel roofing against the tree for now so no one has escaped. My idea is to take 4, 2 of the meaner ones, and two other ones... and let them out. I have a water spigot on the outside of the pen next to the inside spigot. I was going to put a feeder next to that. I am away during the week and the person that watches my place will not have time to chase gunieas.... so I was hoping that they would roost in the oak tree on the outside of the pen... since they were all raised since birth together... then when I come back in a week... if they are still there...and safe... I could remove the roof and allow the rest to learn to hop out and in? I am wondering if anyone thinks this might work? Next your thinking ... why would I let them go? I have 2.5 arces surrounded by old oaks... boulders... ticks.... and rattlesnakes.... I am hoping they will reproduce and stick around with the food and water supply. I have no close neighbors.... any thoughts on this??? Thanks Pinky
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    I think it is a great way to feed the predators with delicious guineas!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. PinkyLee

    PinkyLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well only the strong survive. They can't gobble up ticks and ward off rattlesnakes if their in a coop.
    thanks for your thought.
     
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    They only really need to be in a coop at night for their protection.
     
  5. charid

    charid Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my dilemma as well. I have started with 6 adult guinea. Free range. Initially they did very well returning to their coop every night. I would lock them in. Come April it became impossible to coop them. I noticed it was certain birds refusing the pen and making corralling impossible for all. They followed their leader. Turns out the leader was a hen. Very determined. She had laid far from home. Her and 2 other hens. It was off and on with cooping the rest. Then the lead hen was "taken" on an overcast day. Since that day a few weeks ago I cant get 1 bird locked up at night. Anyway a lot of people have judged my manner of raising my guinea as I prefer to let nature be. I constantly remind them they are wild game birds first, comparable only to chicken when reared with chickens. I also got guineas for pest control. I am in the middle of a 400 acre farm. The guinea fowls survival in the wild is a function of numbers. If you understand this and you allow nature to take its course and you take chances with not cooping them at night then you must be prepared emotionally to lose some, or without eggs or future keets, all of them sooner or later. I love my guineas and losses are hard for me. They are cooky little cute things that are easy to fall for.
     
  6. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I also agree that locking them up at night is best. Mine used to give me a hard time about it, but after six were killed in a week they march in every night. I have five left out of thirteen, having lost that many between August and December of last year. I just hatched two more and have twenty eggs incubating though I hope to sell those and buy new keets to keep the gene pool diverse.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  7. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I kept free range guineas for years. I had them for tick control so they had to be free. After they reached a certain age, I couldn't contain them, they roosted in trees ---even through very tough winters with ice storms and below zero temps. I never had more than 6 at a time, and I would occasionally lose one at night to a predator. One or two a year were lost. If one was lost during the night, the remaining flock moved to a new tree. Every other spring I'd raise 3 or 4 more keets and they'd be introduced to the flock. The hens often went broody but it was rare to find the nest. I never lost a brooding hen to predators, they all returned. The only one that I know that hatched keets showed up with 2 babies, but the babies disappeared within 3 days. Eventually, I stopped replacing the guineas because they began perching/pooping on the vehicles, and now there are none. I keep free range chickens instead who are happy to come inside their house for the night and lay their eggs in the nest boxes.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  8. PinkyLee

    PinkyLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for seeing things kinda my way. I didn't mean to offend anyone. I care about my birds, I raised them from day old keets from Stromberg. It broke my heart when 2 died at 2 days old. But then I had to put aside my feelings and bring out my reality side. Now they are mature and chomping at the bit to get out. I will not be there to let them in and out of the coop at night. My first thought was to open the door slightly but then a fox could get in... I am going to remove a panel of roofing from the tree and perhaps coax them out into the oak tree... then if they can learn to hop back the same way that would be great. Time will tell... they do seem rather stupid.
     
  9. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    They do sell solar operated poultry doors that can be set to open and close at specific times.
     
  10. PinkyLee

    PinkyLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought of that but what if someone doesn't make it back ? then they might be left outside pacing trying to get in... which might make em an easier target.... I guess it would protect who's in... and then I think what if a fox gets in and I lock him in? ahhh.
     

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