free ranging guinneas

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by mener6896, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. mener6896

    mener6896 Songster

    Apr 21, 2009
    Noblesville, IN
    I hate to even post this question...

    I currently live in about 4 acres of woods and 4 acres of cleared land I thought about getting a few guinneas and letting them scour for their food in the woods. I do currently have 34 chickens behind the house with a large fenced in run/coop. The woods is in front of the house so they wouldn't even see each other unless the guinneas ventured on down the hill. I really wanted the guinneas for tick/bug maintenance. What is the minimal amount of work I can do for the guinneas? I don't want their eggs, and I thought about just letting them roam on their own, no pen. They can find a tree to roost in. Is this cruel? wait, strike that... I'm setting myself up with that one! I just don't think I would like them as much as my chickens...

    any thoughts?

  2. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    Depends how bad your preditor problems are in the area, that will tell you how long totally freeranging guineas will last. I have had a couple that refused to go back in the coop at the end of the day, flew up in tree, and didnt know how to get down. Most have survived, but some didnt. BUT once something finds one easy meal they will return till there are no more easy meals, and while in the area, they may discover your coop. I would think having another coop just for the guineas would work better, lock them in at night, but let them out all day. I have mine together guineas and chickens, but some have had toubles with guineas pickin on the chickens.
  3. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    One problem you will have is a guinea sitting on a nest will not roost at night. She becomes a very easy meal for a predator. Giving them a place to lay inside a coop could help but they don't always do what we want them to! You may not want their eggs,but they're still gonna lay so you could always sell them for hatching. Or hatch the keets and sell/ship day olds. Mine come in at night like marlinchaser said, but I do know some people keep them outside.
  4. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Mine are totally free ranging. The biggest problem I have is that they have decided the place to roost is on my back porch rail outside my bedroom. Besides the mess, they're noisey at night, especially if its moonlit, or if you turn a light on or off (like up to the bathroom). I think we're going to try to catch them up at night and cage them out in the barn for a couple of weeks, and try releasing them again from there, and keep their supplementary feed out there. I always keep some feed out for them, but they don't eat very much of it, and actively forage in the woods and brush around the house most of the day.

  5. mener6896

    mener6896 Songster

    Apr 21, 2009
    Noblesville, IN
    how big of a coop do I need for guinneas? my husband would kill me if I asked him to build another coop, chicken's coop is 10x12. Can I get by with something small enough like "outhouse" size? for maybe like 2 birds to roost in? I wish someone has some guinnea coops posted. I really don't want them in with my chickens!!
  6. phrogg

    phrogg In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2009
    Monday, Ohio

    hah, we have very similar coops, same size and what not. And I want some guineas too!!
    I was just wondering how many chickens you have in your coop? I'm getting all wacky aquiring more birds and hope I have enough room for them all. I also have a small coop that is just like 3' x 4' and 3' tall. I wonder if that woul dbe god for guineas? I made that back when I only had a couple birds.
    I like the sound of my birds eating my massive tick population and warning my chickens of predators that much more often. I had the little furry ball of a dog from next door after the birds today... I wonder if guineas would fight off dogs like they do snakes?
  7. babalubird

    babalubird Songster

    Jul 21, 2008

    I enjoy this site as well. There's a small booklet available there. If I were you, I'd build a "chicken tractor" type thing, maybe taller though, since guineas like to roost higher, and then follow the ideas in that little booklet in training the guineas to come in at night. The mobility aspect of the "tractor" would allow you to avoid the most unpleasant task of cleaning. And the training to bring them in at night should offer a little more predator protection, provided your "tractor" isn't easy pickings.

    That bunch are the experts on guineas.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by