Guineas and Chicken

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by thuffer, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. thuffer

    thuffer New Egg

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    Sep 5, 2015
    I currently have 3 older chickens 2 years old and 4 chickens less than a year old. I am expanding my flock within the next few week. I recently purchased 15 guineas and 25 chicks. I am planning on putting the keets and chicks all together. I am curious on how I can integrate them with the 7 other chickens. I am soon to be a first time guinea owner! Very excited but nervous. Any tips etc would be helpful.
     
  2. pearlGuinea

    pearlGuinea Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2016
    Arkansas
    A tip that I've learned is not to keep guinea keets on wood shaving because they will eat it and it will get stuck in their little gizzards and will kill them. I have not dealt much with intergrating them with chickens.
     
  3. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    We have had guineas for about 8 years now. Congratulations on getting yours. 15 is a good number to give you a reasonable size flock by the time they are grown, since you will most likely lose some to predation (I'm assuming you're going to be providing them with free range area).

    We have successfully brooded guineas with chicks in one case, where the hatchery had a few leftover guineas the day we went to pick up chicks. So that shouldn't be a big problem, the guineas will just be more energetic than chicks. Usually, our guineas raise their own keets, with some considerable safety help which I won't go into here. Their range is much larger than that of our chickens and those keets keep up from day one out of the nest, which helps explain why they are so frenetic in an enclosed environment.

    That batch had no problem on normal shavings, so we did not experience problems with that or with keet/chick aggression.

    The main thing I would say is don't give up on training them. You can train them to coop at night if you do the work EVERY (sorry for the caps!) night. If you are brooding them in the coop, the night work will be easier. Make the coop home. Having older chickens that go into the coop seems to help a lot with giving the guineas a clue. We still go out almost every night to encourage them into the coop...most will go but some like to straggle.

    Our adult guineas and chickens have occasional pecking moments but do not fight in any serious way . We do have only hens right now though...guinea males are not too fond of roosters, in my experience. The guineas will likely be their own flock, separate from your chickens.

    One thing you may already know but that I just want to emphasize is that guineas seem to need a flock to function well, in a way that chickens do not. Having a bunch (we try never to get below 10, right now it is 17) makes them smarter, and the longer you can keep the flock going by generations, the smarter, and the quieter, they will get as they learn their environment and teach it to the younger ones.

    Every single thing you teach these first ones to do (or bad things that you let them do), will get passed on.

    For instance: ours are not allowed on cars, or on the house. A scary looking broom or a long pvc pole to wave is good for initial training, don't hit them of course. Holler, wave it, tap it on the roof in question. All our other buildings are fair game. This is no longer something that we train for, it's just something they tell each other, apparently. We still have the pole for those who like to get in the tree at night, and sometimes just picking it up off the ground is enough to make them fly out! Or hollering "I'm going to get the stick!". Pretty funny actually!

    Oh, training them with treats and a whistled tune to bring them where you want them are useful too.

    Well, I haven't been on the forum for a couple of years but I saw your question this morning and just couldn't resist answering, and now I have talked your ear off, way off your original question about integration.

    We love our guineas and would not be without them. Have fun, and like I said, don't give up and never believe for a minute that they are stupid.
     
  4. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    We raised or 6 guinea keets together with our 14 chicks starting at 2 weeks old. At first our barred rocks would chase them off but after 2-3 days they were best friends. Raising them together helped getting the guineas back in the coop much easier because they would follow the chickens. Up until 2 weeks ago all has been well when I noticed the 2 male guineas chasing off the chickens, it got progressively worse and the female guineas started acting up too. They eventually were attacking every chicken but the rooster (the rooster seems to be their best friend). Now our chickens are terrified of the guineas and wont go within 5 feet of them, but the guineas still hate being separated from them. I feel like the guineas do it just for kicks, 3 days ago it got so bad the chickens wouldn't go in the coop with the guineas and when they did they roosted on the feeder. I was getting very frustrated with the guineas after I saw them chase down my Gold Laced Wyandotte hen and about kill it, it tucked its head underneath its legs and they just jumped on it and pounded it, quite crazy. So we I then kept the 2 males in a cage out in the paddock for the next couple of days and that worked for the daytime, but attacks were still happening at night. I then put the guineas in the "coop" in the garage (Its not much of a coop just a makeshift wooden 4x6 box). The guineas hate it and they go wild once they are in there because they are separated from their flock, the same flock they constantly abuse. Now this may sound like bad news but it actually helped me avoid lots of issues when they were younger (like guineas roosting in the trees, guineas flying off, because they stayed with the chicks). If I were to prepare ahead of time I wouldn't of had chickens getting hurt. Not everyone has this problem with their guineas I know of people who raise them together to full adulthood with zero conflict. But just know that guineas are very very different from chickens.
     

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