Guinea Aggression

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Vermont Poultry, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    I have 6 guineas who I separated from the chickens due to them being homicidal towards the chickens (at least the males and a single female). They now live in their 3x7 coop, recently our pearl guinea started pecking the head of our tan guinea (both females). I checked on them this morning in the coop and she was hiding, I pushed her off the feeder and she immediately got attacked by the pearl guinea. So I removed the victim and put her into the chicken coop, the chickens were terrified of her, but eventually realized she is not a threat when alone, so some started attacking her which eventually stopped. The reason I put her in there instead of the pearl guinea is because I might cull the males and the pearl, and I want to try to integrate the 3 nice guineas so its good they get used to their presence (even though they were raised together). I eventually removed the good guinea and placed her back into the coop, now the pearl one is in there. Sounds a bit crazy but I was mostly testing how the chickens would react and how the guineas would handle being separate. These birds are a handful, mean, aggressive, and loud (idk how people keep them on their property while maintaining harmony between species)

    There are 3 main options I was thinking of to solve all of this mayhem:
    -Suck it up and keep them
    -Cull the mean ones and attempt to integrate them with chickens (idk how that will work out)
    -Cull all of them and start over with keets.

    My big question is what should I do? I want to keep the nice ones who only attack the chickens if they see the mean ones doing it. But I don't know how to re-introduce them.
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I use pinless peepers to keep my guineas with my chickens. It prevents the behavior while the peepers are applied and can even curb the behavior partially or fully, allowing the peepers to be removed after a year or two with the behavior resuming. Now, I also allow them a very large run - plenty of space is almost always the best way to curb aggression regardless of species or gender.

    Yes, males are generally the ones who go after the other birds and who teach the females the same behavior. It's very hard to get the females to unlearn this behavior even after the males are removed. For now I would say put pinless peepers on everybody and if you then want to integrate the guineas with the chickens, go ahead. From there cull any birds who continue being aggressive despite the peepers (not many will but a few can).
     
  3. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    Ok thanks. I hope separating the nice ones and culling the "evil" ones will change their behavior. Kind of like moving a bully to a new school, were he becomes the new kid, and not likely to pick on others. Will the pinless peepers not allow them to fly around safely, their coop is about 300 feet away from the chicken coop, and when I let them out to free range they usually don't even touch the ground, fly right into the chicken paddock. I have also heard that adding more guineas (15 or more) will stop them from attacking chickens, because they will create their own society and be to bothered of each other to worry about the chickens, but I'm not so sure about that because if they do decide to attack the hens its game over. I will look into the pinless peepers, may just put them on the ones who are acting up for the meanwhile.
     
  4. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2016
    Central New York
    I'm not familiar with using pinless peepers and probably wouldn't use them. If you have truly evil ones, which can happen, and I've had one of those, I would eliminate the evil from my flock. If they are truly evil, they will probably cause problems with your chickens as well.

    BUT, given the fact that you have 21 square feet of space in the coop, you are going to have issues with aggression and cannibalism- it's natural for guineas to become cannibalistic if they are not given 3-4 square feet per bird.

    With the size of your coop, you could effectively accommodate 2 guineas. For 6 guineas, you would need a coop that measures 54-96 square feet and I would err on the side of the larger number.

    Good luck - it isn't easy dealing with the aggression.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    I thought that space might be an issue, but it started when they were free ranging with the chicken cockerel (the only chicken they like), noticed the one pearl guinea was pecking at the other females heads, I thought it was a jealousy thing because they mate with the cockerel. But then about a week later it got somewhat violent inside the coop. I will most likely be selling at least the bad ones if not all of them. Nobody in my family really wants more of them, oddly enough despite the grudge I have against guineas I want to get more (like 15, supposedly more = less aggression towards other species). My friend has 9 of them and they do not pick on the six chickens they have because the guineas are younger (25ish weeks). So not sure what I'm gunna do, hopefully they will find a new home and not have to get eaten.
     
  6. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    @GlenLee , do you keep chickens and guineas together, if so, how do you accomplish that?
     
  7. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Young guineas can often be raised with chickens and seem to get along fine with each other. The problems normally start occurring once the first breeding season arrives. How your friend's guineas react to the chickens once breeding season occurs may be entirely different than how they interact at this time.

    I raised guineas with chickens and turkeys and because of my and others experiences, I no longer raise them together. I keep my guineas housed separately and normally at least 10 of them. I can let the guineas and chickens and turkeys free range at the same time in the same area and each group leaves the other groups alone.

    Guineas and turkeys in particular need lots of space. Those that are successful in raising chickens and guineas together normally have lots of space for them so that each group can have its own area without being squeezed into a small area. A minimum of 10 sq. ft. of unencumbered floor space and good roosting places is very helpful.
     
  8. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central New York
    I only have guineas - a flock of 12 at this point, but I did have one adult male guinea who was added to the flock when mine were keets. He was very aggressive and just didn't give them a break. I tried to separate him and reintroduced him back several times and worked on it for a month and a half without any luck - then just made the decision to give him away. The reason I ended up with him was that he was also very aggressive at his first home - where there was one female guinea and 20+ chickens - various breeds and sizes. We thought maybe he would make it with an all guinea flock - unfortunately it didn't work. Sometimes aggressive guineas are aggressive guineas and adding more won't help that situation.

    I think you will find that for the most part, those who are successful with an integrated flock of chickens and guineas start when they are keets, however there are some people who have added adult guineas to their flock with good results - a bit sketchy at first introduction, but once they worked through the pecking order the end result was positive. Those people only added 2-3 guineas, so I don't know if having an entire flock is going automatically equal less aggression. If they don't have the space they need, the aggression will continue.

    I'm assuming your guineas are spending more time inside now since you're in Vermont. I have my 12 in a small barn that's 12x16, which is the high end of the space requirement for that amount, but even with that, now that they are spending more time inside together, I'm noticing more aggression - so far just pecking and chasing, no blood - YET. I always have my eye out for injuries -it's just the way of the guinea.

    There is something about those birds. They do get under your skin and once you've been owned by them (yes, we don't them, they own us) you want to keep going with them. Good luck!
     
  9. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    We were not able to provide them with adequate coop space, but they have plenty of outside space. We will be getting rid of the guineas soon, the thing I never understood is they have 5 acres to themselves yet chose to go inside the chicken coop and terrorize them, despite their coops being on different edges of the property (when they are not doing that they stand in front of the front door whining). The chickens and guineas were raised together since 2 weeks old were free ranging with each other quite contently until the males at about 10 weeks decided they wanted to attack the chickens, it was pretty minor at first but developed into full on body slamming and head pecking. I think letting the chickens mature to full size then getting keets to raise with the chickens would have been a better idea. But before we got guineas we were told they are not aggressive, even from the seller.
     
  10. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    They are spending much more time inside, I give them access to roam free but they never want to go anywhere else but the chicken coop. They surely do own me, I have spent more time dealing with them than I do taking care of myself, and for what lol have not got 1 egg, found 2 ticks in 2 weeks so far, and they are very loud. My family is not wanting to get more, hopefully they will change their minds later, funny cause I dislike them the most.
     

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