Guinea question for your experts!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by BethieofVA, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    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!!
  2. racuda

    racuda Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    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.
  3. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    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.
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    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.
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    Congrats on your 26 acres [​IMG] 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?
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  6. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    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!!!
  7. GuineaLady93

    GuineaLady93 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    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.
  8. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    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.
  9. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Great info!! Thank you all!!!

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