free-ranging guineas

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by MetalSmitten, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    Hi everyone! I've been toying with getting a few guineas for bug control on my property, so they'd need to free-range. My concern though is that we live right near a "busy" (for a semi-rural area) road, and I can't fence my whole property. The road is right next to a fairly steep embankment, so they'd have to almost fall downhill about 5-7 feet to get in it though, if that makes any difference... So I'm wondering how far do guineas usually range? Would they be likely to get in the road, or more likely to stay in the yard/forest near their coop? Thanks for any advice [​IMG]
  2. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    I have had guineas for 6 years now and live on 100 acres, the guineas cover about 25 acres of it both in the woods and feilds and they can be found up and down our half mile easment which we just had blacktoped .

    They will go where ever they want unless they are penned.

    Mine don't seem to get farther than they can hear me when i call them up ,i feed 3 times a day to keep all my birds comming home to check for treats and grain.
  3. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    Hmm. So I probably shouldn't risk it. Thank you [​IMG]
  4. Jchantecler

    Jchantecler Songster

    Apr 19, 2011
    If you are just getting a few, I would try. I would build a house for them, and pen them in in there for a few months. We did this with ours, and after we let them free range, they didn't go very far. Just make sure to start out with keets. Good luck!
  5. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    Hmm. [​IMG]

    Well, one side of my property is adjacent to the road, but the other side is adjacent to fields and more forest owned by someone else who doesn't use the land. Maybe if I put their house in the forest, they'd range to that side and just be trespassing on unused land instead of playing in the street? Of course, that's not really where I'd like them to be hunting their bugs from. Hm.
  6. bossynbella

    bossynbella Songster

    Aug 11, 2007
    We live close to the road, we have guineas, the first year was hard because all 6 guineas we had we raised from keets, they all had names and we had strong attachments to them even though they could of cared less about us. We lost two to cars, the love the ditch across the road. Last year our 4 remaining guineas 2 boys 2 girls continued to play across the road, but seemed to have learned about the cars, we didn't loose any, in fact our two hens had 3 clutches of keets each. So by last fall after selling about 20 keets, we had 18 left with our original 3 (we lost one boy, not to the road, but to something) This year we have lost one so far to a car, sadly I kind of look at it like survival of the fittest. Our biggest problem is that they make their nests across the road (even though they will roost in the chicken coop at night) and once the keets hatch, the skunk finds them, almost every time, never notices the hen on the eggs, but the first night the keets are there, we are awakened by the noise and race out there to chase off the skunk. We loose keets everytime, but its very hard to confine those little guys! They can fit through the smallest hole and then the other guineas try to steal them from the mom who is penned up.
    I would try the guineas, know you will probably loose some until they figure it out, but I think you should be able to have some without the road being to big of a problem. Some people stop here and stare as the guineas cross the road, like "what is that thing?"
  7. My guineas are more of home bodies than my chickens are. Lol. We live by two fairly busy roads, but my guineas don't go near them. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the layout of the buildings. The house, shop, and barn form a horseshoe that is the backyard. Most of the birds hang around there. Now my ducks on the other hand love the road, especially after it rains and the worms come out. I've only had one get hit by a car, but I've seen people speed up to try hit them. [​IMG]
  8. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    Hmm. Now I'm tempted again to try. [​IMG]
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    I'd give it a try if I were you... because every ranch needs Guineas in my opinion! [​IMG]

    Situating their coop/pen as far away from the road as possible and in an area that you want them to stick closest to is a good idea. If you consistently work with them from the time they are keets, training them to come to a certain call for food and treats, and herding them back in at night before dark, they can eventually learn a routine. If you go out with them when they first start to free range for a while and always herd them away from the areas you do not want them to go they will also learn where they should be and should not be. Mine have anyway. They are a year old and pretty low maintenance finally after all my hard work I put into them lol. The key is consistency tho. If you have the time and patience for them and all their little personality/behavioral quirks, they are worth having around [​IMG]
  10. cgmccary

    cgmccary Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    I live near a road that is not very busy (sometimes 30-40 minutes can pass without a vehicle, but mornings and early evenings are busier when folks are going to and from work. However, the traffic that does travel the road moves very fast -- i.e. the vehicles speed on the road. My 14 Guineas range over my 6.5 acres and all aorund it taking up about 20 acres. They go in the woods across the street and up the road. They have nests off my property. Two nests I found, something else found them and ate the eggs. One nest survives because it is under a dogwood tree in a clump of grass suroounded by open fields I have been removing the eggs, some daily from the nest or it would have 60-80 eggs by now.

    I hear cars blowing their horns at them, and I saw one truck slow down when the Guineas were in the road. Most vehicles fly past them as they aren't even there. So far, none have been hit but I expect it to happen any day.

    I had a friend who had a flock of about 20 Guineas. He lived on a busy highway. All got killed in their first year except for one lone Guinea male who is now about 9-10 years old! A stray rooster (chicken) has taken up as the Guineas friend.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: