Guinea fowl with kids??

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by VeggieGeek, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. VeggieGeek

    VeggieGeek In the Brooder

    7
    1
    19
    Dec 9, 2016
    Rural Northeast
    hello,
    We have as chickens for awhile now and are thinking of adding guinea fowl to our home for tick protection... (and entertainment I’m sure!)

    I am wondering how they do with little kids around though? I know they can be aggressive. I also run a home daycare and am wondering how they would be with folks coming and going?? Our dog for instance barks at new people but knows all my regulars. Would guineas get to know people or just yell at everyone coming and going?

    I should mention we have a play yard for the kids that is fenced off, but not sure how much guineas would respect that... I really want some tick eaters though!!

    Thanks!!
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Songster

    1,127
    452
    221
    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    I've never had any problems with aggression from guineas towards me. They do really enjoy harassing the chickens though. I've had males that would chase my roos around the yard. Nothing too serious though. I've always housed them with the chickens.

    As far as noise: they are more or less feathered noise makers. They raise heck about everything. Females will have the characteristic "buckwheat" call that you may or may not be able to hear in your sleep after a while. They are simply chatty by nature. The alarm call is unmistakable and if you have enough birds going at once, it's pretty deafening. They've either seen something they don't like or they're upset. (Mine will scale the fence just hollering up a storm if one of their flock mates somehow gets out of the fence and can't figure out how to get back in).

    They're also exceptional fliers. They could clear the four foot fence around the chicken yard easily, but mine often are content in the yard until I let them out. Every once in a while I'll have one that will hop the fence. I love them though, and they are very entertaining to have around. Mine love ticks, of course and the occasional snake.
     
    GlennLee likes this.
  3. VeggieGeek

    VeggieGeek In the Brooder

    7
    1
    19
    Dec 9, 2016
    Rural Northeast
    Thank you for your feedback... glad to hear in your experience they love ticks!
     
    LRH97 likes this.
  4. GlennLee

    GlennLee Songster

    809
    308
    161
    May 13, 2016
    Central New York
    I have had guineas for two years now. I maintain a flock for the sole purpose of eating ticks on and around the property. Love my birds, but they aren't for everyone. I do have some Rhode Island Reds and English Orpingtons too. Most people will say their guineas rule, but my chickens rule here. The Reds will actually "correct" a guinea who is being a pain.

    My guineas have NEVER been aggressive toward me. They keep a "two foot rule" and stay about that far away. They always swarm and come toward me, our car, tractor, or the dog, but they stop short of really interacting. They are fine with children, but my grandson cried when they wouldn't stop their warning call. It's very loud and a bit like a "rat-tat-tat" that seems like it could puncture an ear drum.

    I have a flock of 20 now and keep more females than males for breeding purposes. Because of that, the flock is loud. The females do their "buckwheat" calls sometimes incessantly. I don't mind the noise and neither do my neighbors, but some might. I've heard of people keeping a bachelor flock and then you don't have the females calling all day. You also don't have the aggression between the males trying to compete for females, or the females going off to their secret hiding spot when they are broody.

    They will fly, unless you get the Jumbo French Pearl Guineas. That was my first flock and I LOVED them. They were just calmer, flew a little bit, but mostly hopped and glided because they were a bit larger. They were also easier to train / tame and I had them eating out of my hand. They did not fair well free ranging here with the predators because they couldn't get away fast enough. So far, switching over to the regular domestics has improved the rate of survival, but they are my wild children.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
    LRH97 likes this.
  5. VeggieGeek

    VeggieGeek In the Brooder

    7
    1
    19
    Dec 9, 2016
    Rural Northeast
    Thank you so much for your response! Yes, the noise bothering the kids is a point I hadn’t really considered... I could see how it would bother or scare some kids at least at first... maybe it would be better if they get to “help” me raise them! :) but good to know they haven’t been aggressive towards other people.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: