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Guineas Hit The Road!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Crownpointchick, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Crownpointchick

    Crownpointchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2014
    Strafford, NH
    Help. I have 14 guineas who are 8 weeks of age. They were in the coop for the entire duration of brooding so they were comfy in their home. We let them out for the first time last night just close to dark, since I read this is the best time to let them out to start. Well, as soon as we let them out they took off. We tried to herd them...that went badly. They spent the night sleeping in my yard. Every time we tried to capture them they were running into the woods so we just let them be.
    This morning they were down by my mailbox and now they are gone. I have tried ringing a treat bell they are accustomed to. No luck. Do you think they will come home or are they gone forever? My first time at having guineas is not going as planned. They have always been a wild bunch. I was afraid of this happening and well, the worst has come true.
     
  2. June2013

    June2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2014
    I'm just beginning my second year with guineas. I had best understood to wait to 12 weeks, preferably 15 weeks before making an outdoor venture. To only let about a third out and keep the remainder inside. The larger flock is their is the influence to have the third return. Waiting to 12-15 weeks helps to establish "home". Not knowing if your home/yard is woody with distant neighbors, I would start with putting out some white millet in a noticeable container, such as a large dog food bowl. I would then place it near the last place you saw them. If it is eaten during the day, then continue using the same spot for 3-4 days. If the food seems to disappear during the night, then it is likely some other critter. Actually I'd pick up the bowl just after dusk. If you seem to think the guineas are eating the millet, then I would move the bowl closure to your home. Keep the new spot within the guinea's eyesight of the previous spot. If you had a bell or call for them, then use that when you put the millet in place and again when removing it. Over time you can move the bowl a longer distance than the previous change of location. If you do start to get them eating within eyesight of there coop, then start using much shorter distances and add a second bowl with millet several feet from the first but closer to the coop. Eventually bowl number 2 will be in the coop. If the guineas are still coop shy, but eating out of bowl number 1, then put less and less slowly over time in bowl 1 and the extra in bowl 2.

    If any of this works??? Which could take 2-3 months. Don't expect to get them all in the coop. When you feel you have half coming inside the contained area, then keep them locked up a minimum of 4 weeks, probably 6 would be better. If your run and inside area are connected, use a door to hold the contained ones inside then open the run and see if the rest of the flock starts to come to visit for more millet.

    Mine are very loyal with coming home to the coop each evening. I'm sure luck is a large part of it. If you get your family back, keep a very consistent time of day to give them their evening treat. Remember the changing sunset times and that the guineas have very poor eyesight in the dark. Hence train at a time you will use when you will eventually let them out. Take into consideration the time is early enough to get settled; eating, drinking, and roosting before it is dusk.

    This method is how a homeowner or animal control gets a very shy, likely abused dog/cat to begin to gain trust and consistency and stay closer to a new home or be re-homed by animal control. Wishing you luck. Do not get impatient. Rain or shine, put out the food. Rain does not affect the birds unless it is a severe thunderstorm or heavy, heavy rain. Stay in touch.
     
  3. chickenmadness7

    chickenmadness7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2014
    Everything I've read says to absolutely not let them out under 12 weeks. This is what we did and its worked well for us.
     
  4. guineaczech

    guineaczech Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2014
    damon tx
    Im going on my 5th year of guinea ownership and get a few every year. Every bunch has been different. I keep mine penned till they can fly good enough to roost. Some wander off or get snatched up by predators. One year a chicken snake tried eating mine,but instead left them dead when they he couldn't swollow them. Good luck.
     

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