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Guinea Fowl questions

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by mustangsaguaro, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    My husband and I live on about 7 acres and we are thinking about getting some guinea fowl to help w/ the ticks, flies, etc. What would be a good number to start w/ for 7 acres. Hubby said he doesn't want more than a dozen. Would a dozen be a good number to start with?

    I did some reading in the forum and hear they are good watch dogs, they do make noise only when something is not suppose to be there, etc (i.e a car/person coming on the property that is not suppose to etc). Hubby said if they make a lot of noise we will get rid of them. So, really need to know how noisy they are. Do they only make noise to alarm you that someone is there, etc?

    I did read somewhere that these birds will mate for life, and that they are monogomous (sp). Is this in fact true? Also, in regards to laying eggs are they the same as chickens, or how often when old enough do they lay eggs? And at what age do they start to lay?

    Any other pertinent info that can be shared about these birds would be great.

  2. ruby

    ruby Songster

    Apr 10, 2008
    Gold Hill, Alabama
    My little 11 acres has 20 chickens and 2 guineas both male the female is louder, or some might say different. They are great watch dogs and will alarm when something isn't right. Mine yell at the sun when it goes down. It's weird. I like 'em
  3. Broke Down Ranch

    Broke Down Ranch Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    Quote:I would say to start with more than what you want to end up with to account for losses. So if you want to end up with 12 then you should start with 15-20. They are ok as watch dogs BUT if you use them ONLY for watch dogs then be prepared for lots of false alrams. Guineas will scream if a leave blows the wrong way. They are real noisy as young birds but once they get 2-3 yrs old they mature and quiet down a bit. They are seasonal layers. Most start laying in April-May and will USUALLY lay an egg a day until August or September, depending on your temperatures. Here in Texas I have had mine lay all the way into October before. They will lay the year following their birth - some start as early as 9 months if they are a late hatch but usually at a year of age. Guineas do not make the best of moms - they are fiercely protective but tend to lose track of babies or will take their babies out when there's still dew on the grass and they get chilled and die. Guinea keets do NOT tolerate being cold at all. They are NOT monogomous and do not mate for life. True, a male will usually hang out with 3-4 hens but whomever is the toughest guy is the one who gets the most girls. Also, unless you want your guineas to become some predators dinner they need to be trained to go in a coop at night. They do not train as easily as chickens and you will always have some that are too stubborn. If you start with keets I suggest you brood them in the copp where you want them to sleep at night. Once they are fully feathered and about 2-3 months old they can range. If you start with adults you need to keep them in a covered run that is attached to your coop for about 1 month. If your run is not covered you can count on them flying away and disappearing forever....lol

    Anyway, hope some of that was helpful and good luck!
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  4. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    Thanks for the info. I have a friend that is going to be getting some eggs in about a month and she will incubate them. Once they hatch I will be taking however many I want. You stated that it's best to brood them in the coop area will they will go at night once they are grown. I don't have electricity in the coop area. I do have an area w/ a brooder and light. Can I keep them in there until they are fully feathered, then move them to the chicken coop and keep them in the coop for about a month or so, or until they are ready to go out on there own, and hope that keeping them in the coop for that month or so they will know that's where they need to go at night when it's time to come in?

  5. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    That is what I did with my 2day old keets.

    They went from brooder, to coop and then I removed the wire off the outside part of the coop coop when they were about 3 months old. They free range all day and fly back in the coop at night.

    They must stay 95F for the first week and slowing each week lower the temp by 5deg or so until they are fully feathered.
  6. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    12 will get you started, but I think 20 would be a better number. They will definetely help with ticks. You have to be very careful about releasing them. It is a timely process. You will want to keep them penned for a couple of weeks. Then turn out one for a week, then two for a week, then three. You see where I'm going with that. You'll get to a point where you can turn them all out and they will stick around. They like to perch really high to protect themselves from predators. I have a friend who feeds his in a barn. He puts food in there late in the evenings and opens the doors they all run in, then he shuts the doors trapping them in at night. It works well, but if he forgets to shut the door in the morning after he lets them out, they won't go back at night.

    They are strange birds!
  7. menageriemama

    menageriemama Songster

    Feb 2, 2008
    Lake Nebagamon, WI
    A great, almost classic book about guineas is Gardening With Guineas by Jeannette S. Ferguson. It answered all of my questions about the lil buggers:)
  8. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    I was going to ask those very same questions. Thanks for this post. So are Guinea's more flighty than chickens? I am getting some and will brood them in the barn and then let them out to run in the pasture around the barn, which has a 4 ft. fence (2X4) all the way around. WIll Guinea's fly over a 4 ft. fence? Do they travel far? Or do they stay some what close to home?

    When you say loud, are they louder than a chicken when she lays an egg or louder than a rooster crowing or louder than ducks when they are excited? Just trying to compare.
  9. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    Yes, guinea will fly over a 4 ft fence. If you turn them out right you can just let them roam your property without a fence. They won't travel far from where you brood them at.

    They are loud birds. Not consistently louder than a crowing rooster, but louder than a hen and at times as loud as a rooster when they are excited. I enjoy listening to them personally.

    They are really helpful animals. They make the best organic pesticide money can buy and will clean your garden out of cabbage worms and will clean your yard of ticks. Few people keep guineas in pens because they have to be completely surrounded by wire, top, sides and even the bottom in some cases. I've had them to dig out once and lost four lavenders I bought at a swap. Not only are they difficult to keep penned long, but it defeats their purpose as buggers!

    Hope you get some, you'll enjoy them!
  10. DaveMN

    DaveMN In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    Moose Lake, Mn
    they can get noisy, when 1 starts squawking the others will too. i like them but my wife does not. i usually had 15 to 20 running around here and they would roam over about a 10 acre area. fly? they can fly fairly well. they would come out of the coop and fly across the field to my mil house (about 700 feet) and go raid her lower bird feeder.

    a four foot fence will not stop them at all. eggs are smaller but they work great for baking and make wonderful stiff meringues.

    my wife has commented that since we dont have any this year that there seem to be alot more bugs and insects in the gardens and maybe they were not so bad to have after all.

    mine became quite tame and would follow me all over the farm. one time i went for a walk down the gravel road and looked back and had 20 guineas following me. cut across the field and back to the house and they followed me the whole way.

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