Guinea question for your experts!

BethieofVA

Songster
9 Years
Mar 27, 2010
492
12
131
Yorktown, Virginia
I am a backyard chicken owner who just bought an old farmhouse on 26 acres! My question, we will not be moving over there for another year or so, but was curious if I could go ahead and get a few guineas. How self sufficent are they? I have heard that they will roost in trees, etc.. and a coop is not necessary. We won't move or chickens until we are over there on a regular basis. I just need to hear your thoughts. Thanks!!
 

racuda

Songster
11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
1,962
85
186
North Carolina
They would have to be confined for a couple of weeks or they would leave. After you release them you would have to visit every day or two to water and feed them. They may find plenty of bugs now but they won't be able to find much of their own food in the winter.

They will indeed roost in trees and if you are lucky owls and raccoons won't get them. I have only lost one in two and a half years to an owl, and none to raccoons. Half of mine roost in a coop which I close up at night and the other half are hard heads that insist on roosting in trees.
 

tomingreeneco

Songster
9 Years
Jun 29, 2010
295
13
113
Greene County, PA
They will roost in trees and you will lose them. All of them! Please wait until you move to build them a proper coop to protect them at night. No need to give the predators there any free lunches.
 

Katy

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
16,317
71
331
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
Mine are pretty self sufficiant. Mine roost in the trees year round and refuse to go into any type of shelter. I do lose one once in a while to an owl, but not very often. About the only time they even come looking for food is when there's snow on the ground. You would have to have some way of locking them up for a couple of weeks or else they'll take off and you'll never see them again.
 

PeepsCA

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
4,732
202
256
BFE, CA
Congrats on your 26 acres
Wide open spaces is what I'm talking about!

To a point Guineas are somewhat self sufficient... if you you only want them around for a little while. Point blank... if you're putting them out on 26 acres that's not inhabited, they won't last long.

I coop/pen my birds at night, because I value their lives... I've raised them all from keets or even from eggs that I've incubated and hatched. I prefer not to offer free meals to the predators at my expense (or the birds' expense). Once a predator has a taste of a free meal they will continue to return until the cafeteria closes.

I also provide adequate nutrition for them year round, whether they want it or not and whether they find what they need while out free ranging or not, it's there. If they have to roam far for the nutrition that they need, they won't stick around (and again, the predators get free meals).

A new flock of Guineas needs supervision and protection from predators AND the elements or they will become free meals for the predators in a matter of days (or nights/early mornings actually).

You're not putting our chickens out there alone... why do that to Guineas?
 
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BethieofVA

Songster
9 Years
Mar 27, 2010
492
12
131
Yorktown, Virginia
Thank you all for your replies. This is exactly what I needed to hear. I love my chickens so much, so I know I will not feel any differently towards my guinea gals. I will wait and when I raise a new flock of chicks, so shall I some guineas!!

Thank you all for the feedback!!!
 

GuineaLady93

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
794
11
156
Cameron, NC
My Coop
When my dad got our very first guineas like 10 years ago We just let them out to go wherever they wanted to go. Now if you are going to get some grown guineas they will need to be locked up the for a little while but after that I see no reason why you couldn't just turn them out and leave them there. I guess you could put out like a big pan of water if you wanted but with our first guineas, after We let them out We never put out water, feed, or anything for them. They also would come and roost in a tree in yard the so they were fine.
 

darkmatter

Songster
10 Years
Jul 10, 2009
2,173
56
239
I couldn't keep my Guineas around until I raised them from keets alongside chicks to make a mixed flock. Now they hang around and the adult Guineas teach the keets what predators to watch out for and where to roost.
 

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