guinea fowl questions for a noobie

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by farmin4fun, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2012
    Jackson, Michigan
    Hello everyone,

    I've had chickens almost my entire life and even had a few turkeys and ducks from time to time. I currently only have chickens and I'm considering adding a few guinea fowl to my flock for some variety, and their tendency to alert everyone of predators. Mainly I have opossum, raccoon and the occasional hawk, but my rooster does a great job alerting everyone of the hawks. I also have plenty of ticks and other bugs I would love them to eat.

    I do have a couple concerns about getting them.

    #1 I've heard that they are quite noisy. I had a Tom turkey once that was super loud, would follow me around the yard and gobble non-stop. My birds are quite friendly and usually do follow me around the yard when I'm outside so constant noise can be bothersome when trying to work. I don't mind the occasional loud call, but that darn Tom was so constant, I just couldn't take it. I do have a cat and hoping to get a guard dog soon as well, which might upset them. Do you think guineas might cause the same issue as the Tom turkey?

    #2 I've read guinea fowl enjoy bugging the chickens from time to time on the guineas 101 thread. They would share the same 8"x12" coop with 15-20 chickens so I can't have them stressing out my layers or hounding my single rooster too much. He is a really good boy and I don't want to cause him too much grief. Especially in the winter when they can't roam due to snow. I'm in Michigan so snow is a factor. Also is there a recommended number I should get to mix in with my flock? I really don't need/want more than 3 or 4.

    #3 I have a pretty large run for my coop. It's about 100"x150" with 6" high fence. Will I have to worry about them flying out every day and eating my wife's hosta's. I couldn't take that either. Do they even like hosta's? My chickens love them.. hence the large run.


    Actually any tips for someone new to guinea fowl are appreciated. Especially tips for someone mixing guinea fowl with chickens. Thanks in advance for your replies! I very much appreciate your shared knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    #1 If you think a tom turkey was too noisy, then guineas are not for you. Turkeys are quiet compared to guineas.

    #2 I do not recommend getting "just a few" guineas. My recommendation is a minimum of 10 guineas. They are a flock bird and do best in large groups. I also do not recommend housing guineas with chickens. Guineas have an entirely different set of mannerism than do any other type of poultry. Guineas should have a minimum of 4 sq. ft. of clear floor area per bird. You already have 15 - 20 chickens in an 8'x12' coop and you want to add guineas in there with all those chickens? I highly recommend against doing so.

    #3 I am assuming that your run is 100 ft.x 150 ft and 6ft. tall instead of the inches that you have posted. Yes guineas can easily fly over a 6' tall fence. Whether or not they would eat your wife's Hostas is an unknown but I suspect that my guineas having never seen a Hosta would ignore it.

    It is my opinion that guineas are not very good watch dogs. Yes they make a lot of noise but very often they are the only ones who know what they are hollering about. Wearing a different color shirt than normal can be all it takes to set them off. With mine it can be as simple as putting a ball cap on backwards. They often go on with their racket long after any perceived danger has passed and they don't even know why they started.

    I have guineas and I have had geese. The African geese that I had were by far the best "watch dogs" I ever had. They alarmed when there was a threat whether it was day or night. Mine never made any false alarms. My guineas continuously make false alarms.

    I also had guineas raised with and housed with chickens and turkeys. My guineas are now housed separately. If you feel that you must have guineas with chickens then you have to have lots of room. Cramped quarters like you have will cause problems.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2012
    Jackson, Michigan
    Thanks for the response! Yes, it is ft. and not inches. Didn't realize I had that backwards. Thanks for the correction.

    Sounds like guinea fowl isn't what I'm looking for. Even though I would still have the 4 sq ft per bird with 4 guineas and my 15-20 chickens (8x12=96/4=24) I don't think I would want to get 10 guineas. Also the noise sounds like it would be too much.

    I was considering a goose instead, but I don't really want to deal with all the dirty water and daily water changes with geese. Maybe I'll just stick with chickens. Thanks for your input!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  4. Mysterious

    Mysterious Out Of The Brooder

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    I started out with 4 of them. 1 was eaten by our dogs, and the other mysteriously died when raising it. We are getting 5 more and I was wondering on how many square feet for them. And we might add more, they will be roosting at night in that coop and likely when we are gone. I thought 30 would be enough. And ours are relatively quite, and you can barely hear them.
     
  5. charid

    charid Out Of The Brooder

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    I was told 6 square ft per bird but in my limited experience it was not enough. Honestly think it depends on your male to female ratio more than anything or even the disposition of your males. My oldest male was very aggressive and needed double the recommended square footage and the others needed ample roosting options to get out of his way at any given time. So basically more is better if you have the room to spare.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Mysterious

    Mysterious Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2016
    Colorado
    We are adding +19 square feet for possible chickens
     
  7. PinkyLee

    PinkyLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why upset your chickens and roo. I think gunieas are not for you.

    Sorry couldn't resist a rhyme on a boring Tuesday.

    Gunieas are noisy, mine make nice for everything... seeing a june beetle will set them off, another one eating something they don't have will set them off... they fly... they leave... and if you get attached, they make you worry when they disappear for a while.

    Pinky
     
  8. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Eastern Shore, MD
    Mine are pretty quiet. They do a pretty good job of alerting me to foxes, though admittedly sometimes I've read them wrong and not responded in time. When younger they were very loud. I also had a larger flock of thirteen which made it noisier as they play of off each other's calls. Now I am down to four of those thirteen and building back up for fall/winter as I expect to lose some again. Mine are housed in my coop with my chickens but I wish they weren't. I have to make sure to open the coop right at dawn to prevent harassment, and they are later going to bed than chickens which means I have to wait longer to shut everything up for the night. Unless there is a blizzard, they do not stay in the run with the chickens, for the happiness of all. They will harass everyone, including much larger turkeys. Thankfully most of their day is spent trekking around and they don't really stay near the flock. They are fine in rain and snow. They have never looked twice at my hostas. I do have two six-week old hatched and raised with my turkeys and they are MUCH better behaved and less flighty.
     

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