Guinea Problems...

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Vermont Poultry, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    I have 6 guineas (2 male 4 female), which are 11-12 weeks old and they are quite the trouble makers. We raised them with our other chickens and had no issues until a few weeks ago, the guineas would viciously attack the chickens, the chickens (all except the rooster) are terrified of them. So I simply separated the guineas during the day. But getting the guineas in a makeshift coop in the garage is not easy, I got plenty of scabbed over scratches on my arms to prove it. Every night I have to herd them into a hutch cage and then grab one at a time and put them into the "coop", simple enough? Not really, every night I do that and put them in there they freak out and look at me like I'm some predator about to eat them, and since I have been doing this they are really scared of me, and peck at my hands when I pick them up. Tonight I put them in the travel tractor we use for chicks, and they went ballistic, screeching hollering and pacing frantically. They didn't want to go inside the coop so crawled in there and put them in and they screeched so loud it hurt my ears. Is their anything else I can do for these guineas to encourage them to sleep separate from the chickens. They are attached to the chickens yet try to kill them every chance they get, if it were up to me I would cull them and start over next year. Any advice on how to house them at night without handling and get them to trust me again (they used to be quite tame).
     
  2. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Their basically creatures of habit. You've changed their sleeping arrangements 3 times now and that is upsetting them. Mine won;t go into the coop unless there is a light on. They go in at least an hour after the chickens go to roost. Is there anyway you can put them in the coop with the chickens after they've went to bed? Then there wouldn't be any fights. Just let them out early. I think the changing of the sleeping quarters and you catching them has turned them wild. If you could herd them into the coop with food and turn the lights on they might settle down.
    good luck I hope you find a happy medium.
     
  3. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    Thanks for the replying, they have since calmed down quite a bit. They actually have returned to their previous state of "calmness". They don't like being separated from the chickens still but they are getting used to it. One flew away when I was out of town while my family tried to get them. I woke up early when the sun came up and surely enough it was chirping away next to the coop. They are now eating from my hand again and trying to follow after me. The reason I don't like handling them is because they start to think I'm a threat and become fearful. Anyways they are doing better!
     
  4. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Your welcome and I am so glad they have settled down. I'm glad your guinea come back and was safe the next morning. That's always a relief to find them.
     
  5. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2016
    Central New York
    I am glad to hear that they have calmed down for you. They really go off the deep end when anything changes and especially if they are separated with what they think of as "their flock".

    While Pattyhen has done outstanding work handling her guineas, mine remain a bit more wild. I have had good luck netting them first if I need to handle them. I bought a deep sea fishing net at WalMart for about $25, but had to tie a large knot in the end and line it with bird netting, like the kind you put over blueberry bushes. Otherwise, their heads push through the netting can cut them. I just sort of trap them by moving slowly toward them and getting them up next to a wall or corner, then the net goes up, over and down on them as gently as possible.

    At this point, I can reach under the frame of the net (which is more rectangular than circular) and secure them by getting my hands around their back and wings. I pull them in tight and close to my body and only let go when I'm done and they are calm. Even the most wild one, eventually calms down. None of them really like to be netted, but it's the least traumatic way for me to capture them if I need to for first aid, etc.

    The long pole really bothers them and I was going to try cutting the pole off since it also gets in the way of working with the net. One of my neighbors wondered how a hula hoop with a net attached would work. I haven't tried that yet, but it may be a possibility.

    Hope this helps if you have any needs in the future to capture them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    Thanks for the idea! I had thought of that before but wasn't sure of how it would work, I was afraid they would flail around and break a wing or their neck. I'll very likely be trying that in the future. Anyways they are currently doing well. Poor birds last week has been hard, when I put them in the travel coop a few days ago it started pouring down rain, was in the middle of a good movie and it started raining so I ran outside in 40 degree weather and put a tarp over the coop and changed the bedding. Ended up getting a cold from being outside in the rain still got it lol. Then later that nigh it started to snow and we ended up getting around 8 inches. I could imagine they were miserable they were wet while it was below freezing. I got them too a warmish and dry spot and they eventually dried out and are now happy again. That's that, we will be putting the guineas in their original 8x4 coop once we move too our new house.
     
  7. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2016
    Central New York
    Good luck with all the changes and move. I'm sorry to hear you use that four letter word, S-N-O-W! We've avoided it so far, but it will be here before we know it. I'm sure the Guineas weren't happy - rain and snow! Hang in there and keep warm.
     

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