Guineas for the garden?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by bizzeeb60, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. bizzeeb60

    bizzeeb60 In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2008
    Frostproof, FL
    I just finished reading a terrific article about using Guineas to control the bugs in the flower garden and yard. So do they not eat the flowers? [​IMG]

    This is a great idea if it is true since we are a registered wildlife habitat, we cannot use much pesticide around the property.

    Which are better to have males or females and is any specific variety better than another. I sorta like the pearl and lavender varieties.

    Oh, and how do you keep them from flying off if they are just allowed to "free range" in the yard? Or do they not fly?

    I have also heard that the hens can be very vocal!
  2. Sherry

    Sherry Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Southern WV
    Yes, guineas can be very vocal, but I have not found them to be annoyingly so. The males more so than the females. They make great "watchdogs".

    I have both male and female and, so far, 29 keets. I'm planning on selling some but hope to keep a bunch of them. I have both pearl and lavender and some pied. I don't think it matters what color, they are just so ugly they're cute. [​IMG]

    No, they don't mess up your flowers or garden plants, but love to eat the bugs. They also eat ticks, which to me is a great plus.

    I kept my guineas penned with my chickens for several months and now every night they roost on the chicken pen. Everyday I throw out a little scratch at the barn to let them know where home is and they don't leave my yard.

    And yes, yes, yes, they can fly. Someone around me has 2 big dogs they let roam. Every morning the guineas start sounding the alarm, I look out and see the dogs circling either my chicken pen or my goat pen and the guineas are way up in a tree out of harms way.
    The only time I have lost a guinea is when she was sitting a nest and a fox got her at night. They start flying at a very early age so you must have a top to your brooder and pen.

    Sorry for being so long winded. Hope this helps.
  3. bizzeeb60

    bizzeeb60 In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2008
    Frostproof, FL
    Thank you so much for the info. I also read that they are not quite so messy as the chickens. I want to be able to let them run free within the front yard which is about 1 acre (all fenced).

    Is it true they do not scratch up the grass like chickens?

    Thanks again
  4. carwinew

    carwinew In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2008
    Guineas are great for the garden and LOVE grasshoppers. Mine didn't destroy any plants or make dust bath pits like my chickens. However, we lost all of ours when they were still small, maybe 1/2 grown due to predators. They learn to fly early and roost high. If you have trees great but ours decided to roost on the kids swing set cross bar and disappeared at night one by one. We found out a owl was hauling them off when we heard the last one holler as it was being hauled away. They are noisy but if your neighbors aren't close it won't disturb them. You will quickly know about any intruders, a big plus.
    A covered area is best but once they are full grown they seem predator proof as there are ones near our rural church that have roamed the area for several years.
  5. Jaybr

    Jaybr Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Matoaca, VA
    I just got keets this year, I have 7 that are 3 months old and 8 keets I just hatched. The older ones are pearl and either pied or royal purple and I've got brown, chocolate, and powder blue keets in the brooder.

    I kept the older ones penned up in the coop/run for 6 weeks, (they where 6 weeks when I got them) and just started letting them out last week. So far they don't wander more than 50' from the coop but I'm sure that will change as they get more comfortable with their new found freedom. They go back into the coop at night and I just go out and close the gate.

    I also have 6 chickens about the same age sharing the coop with the guineas and have had no problems yet.
  6. Bluedog420

    Bluedog420 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Cartersville, Ky
    I raise the french guinea's and I love em. I have hatched off over 350 keet's in the last couple of year's. they lay better than my chicken' I have to say about guinea's would be good...pest control and great guard dog's all in one....PS: and the french guinea are the biggest of all guinea's and they taste
  7. Ace_king_brahma

    Ace_king_brahma Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    Castroville, Texas
    I would watch them in the veggies though. Mine had a strong attraction for eating peppers of all sorts. The hotter the pepper the more they seemed to go for them. They ate the bell peppers too but liked the tabasco the best.

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