Guard birds?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by zeedood, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. zeedood

    zeedood New Egg

    Jan 1, 2013
    OK, a few questions...

    I've heard that guinea birds make excellent "guard" animals, as they make quite a racket if animals foreign to their area comes by. Is this true?

    Also, can chicken and guineas co-exist so I'd have a year-round egg supply?
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
  3. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    My male guinea would go to the same spot at roughly 2:00 every day and crank up an enthusiastic alarm call. Who knows why...But I learned the difference between my guineas just making some noise and what they perceived to be a real threat. When deer came onto the property, the call became much more hysterical and lengthy and I knew something was up that I should check out.

    I remember the first time they met my cat....poor kitty....she hasn't gotten too close to the guineas since. But I wouldn't exactly call them "guard" animals, like a good guard dog would be. I'd call them good "alarm" animals.
  4. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2010
    Greene County, PA
    Many a time my guineas have warned me of fox or coyote in the yard.
    They also warn me when leaves are falling off the trees in the fall.[​IMG]
    I also have chickens and they all get along fine. (I do keep them in separate coops.)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    That's funny, tomingreeneco! Mine do the same thing - sound the alarm for no good reason that I can see. I call it a UGE (Unidentified Guinea Emergency).

    I also keep guineas in separate pens and coops from the chickens' for harmony's sake. I have a cool setup though; two pens and two coops, but they're all connected by chicken doors so I can let them go into each coop and/or pen at will, and I can also close them off into their own pen and coop. The two coops share a side wall with a chicken door I can open or close, and each coop opens up into a separate pen, so each flock gets their own coop/pen, but they can share. Does that make sense? I think I've confused myself, LOL.
  6. atmaclean

    atmaclean Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2012
    Belews Creek, NC
    We have 15 guineas that co-exist with our hens and roosters. They come in every night to their own pen but go out during the day to free range with the hens and roosters (who go out separately). The guineas have a much larger range area than the hens do. They go to our neighbors yards, to our barn and way down in the woods. The roosters and hens stay relatively close to the house. I have noticed that when the guineas come back to the house, they can bit a little bossy to the hens but not bad. It is usually over millet seed which they all get as treats and I use it to get the guineas to come into their pen every night. Their screeching can be deafening and very annoying when they are in their pen. We keep some white noise going in the house so we don't hear them during the night.

    I'd recommend getting twice the number you want to end up with if you let them free-range. We started with 29 last Spring and have had 15 for the past several months. We did get a guardian dog last Summer and the losses basically stopped. We have no idea what was getting them during the day when they would roam around but our best guess is a hawk (which hopefully we have eliminated for good). They are not the smartest of creatures but, apparently, the 15 we are left with are pretty savvy to have survived thus far. I have an acquaintance who had 70 and over many years she is down to 40 and thinks most have died of old age - they are 11-12 years old. So, a lot depends on predation, too, I guess. She also has several Maremma!

    I love our guineas for their tick eating ability. That is the only reason my husband finally allowed me to get more. We were picking dozens of ticks off our horses and it was just gross! 50 acres is just too much to spray or "treat" so we got the guineas and they have really made a difference!! Yes, they do sound the alarm at most anything and our guardian dog has finally learned to pretty much ignore them. At first, he would run every time they sounded off and I guess it was wearing him out til he realized it was usually a false alarm :)

    Angela MacLean
  7. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
  8. MeganJo

    MeganJo New Egg

    May 19, 2012
    We house 5 guineas comfortably with my flock of 30 chickens. Never had problems with our guineas. We raise them together as chicks. When we moved to the property there were a pair of males that were SO MEAN!!! They took after the chickens like crazy. They'd hop on them and pull feathers, pull out tails, and even prevent them from entering the coop at night. We ate them. Problem solved. Our Guineas and chickens mingle beautifully. They stick together, and we have 3 Roos that have their own group of hens too, so really there's four groups of birds spread out in the yard. Only time the guineas pick on the girls is when they try to eat what the Guineas find. "That's MINE!!!" Other than that they're great.

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