guineas in a pen????

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by broodysilkies!?!, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. broodysilkies!?!

    broodysilkies!?! Chirping

    Nov 14, 2011
    North Florida
    Hey all! I was thinking about getting some guineas and was wondering if you could keep guineas in a pen all the time???????

    I have chickens and dogs but the dogs dont mess with chickens so they wouldnt mess with the guineas either...... and the chickens are in a seperate pen so that shouldnt be a problem.

    If i were to get guineas what are some Must Haves for them (nesting box, roost height, etc...)

    ALL comments welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks so much in advance!
  2. poultrypalacewhidbey

    poultrypalacewhidbey In the Brooder

    Jan 5, 2012
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Yes, while guineas are active birds that will free range nicely they also do fine penned as well. I keep mine in a mix of arrangements. Some are penned during breeding season so I can get pedigreed chicks and others are kept in a pen at night and allowed to free range during the day when the weather is not too horrible.
    Do watch to make sure that your dogs dont become interested in the guineas. I have found that my dog has more interest in the guineas than the chickens, mostly because my guineas do not like canines in general and will mob my dog and make an aweful racket (good when a coyote shows up and annoying for my poor dog who really just wants to be left alone). I know the noise they make attracted the neighbors dog when I first got guineas (a dog that had previously ignored the chickens).
    If they are going to be confined I have found that it is good to make sure that there is lots of perch space (more than what most chickens need) and my flock seems to prefer higher perches when they are availible (the highest one has gone so far was the peak of my barn roof, 16 feet high). The majority of my birds use my perches that are at about 4 feet high and I eventually took out the low perches as they never really seemed to get used.
    Mine never use nest boxes, they seem to prefer to lay their eggs on the ground in a corner. I dont know if this is normal, but I have never had any bird in my flock lay in a nest box.
    Glad you are interested in guineas and good luck.
  3. broodysilkies!?!

    broodysilkies!?! Chirping

    Nov 14, 2011
    North Florida
    Thanks so much for your input.... i am definitely interested in guineas now

    thanks again!!!!
  4. mkcolls

    mkcolls Songster

    Mar 13, 2011
    #1 Ear plugs - they are loud!!

    #2 Lock up the chickens, the dogs, & the cats, they will terrorize all other domestic & wild life.

    #3 If you spend time building roosts they will roost on the highest point of any structure or tree that is in their sight.

    #4 A mirror - they looooove themselves, and will spend time watching themselves in the mirror, or any reflective material they find.

    #5 Time to watch them move in perfect unison, & fly in beautiful flight patterns.

    #6 We still haven't found any of their eggs. They do free range on every day except days with winds over 30mph. They are just 6 months, so they may not have laid yet. They have access to over 25 nesting boxes in our poultry barn. Some in hidden dark corners, some built into the walls. They haven't shown any interest at all.

    Other than 6 weeks of confinement when we sent 9 of our guineas, at age 6wks, to friends who didn't want to brood from day old chicks we have never confined guineas. We got them to help control insects on our property, so confinement wasn't part of our plan. They free range.

    They are funny, LOUD, aggravating, LOUD, entertaining, LOUD, stubborn, LOUD, oh, did I mention, LOUD!!

    It is good that you are asking questions in preparation. Good luck to you.
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    Yes, you can keep them penned full time, BUT...
    Most people that get Guineas do so with the benefit of their pest control abilities in mind. They can't do much for pest control if they are confined to a pen. Guineas are much happier if they are allowed to free range, at least during the day (and then cooped/penned up at night for their safety). It's healthier for them, helps them burn off their extra energy and aggression, and your egg fertility rates will likely be higher (if you are hoping for fertile eggs and keets eventually). Penned Guineas can also sometimes be a lot noisier. They prefer high roosts, the higher the better, and if there's not enough roosting space up high they will usually squabble over who gets to roost up on the highest roosts.
    They'd enjoy having some roosts out in the pen/run too.

    My Guineas had (and still have) no interest in nesting boxes... they do like large dogs crates stuffed with hay tho (with the door removed) and partial sheets of plywood leaned against a wall so they have a private place to lay (secured so it does not fall on anybody). I've also had luck with making a simple square frame out of scrap lumber and stapling pine branches to it and leaning that against the wall. They ate all the pine needles off of it but still continued to lay behind it for most of the laying season. If you can offer your Hens a couple choices, I'm sure they'd appreciate it. My Hens usually share the same spot for a while. I collected eggs daily from my Hens, except for a few marked eggs, and some days they'd see me taking the eggs... so they moved around to a new spot every couple weeks or so because of this (I think that's why anyway, it might have been because they couldn't figure out why they couldn't get enough eggs in one spot to go broody on, lol). Oh and young Hens usually have no clue what's going on for a while when they first start laying and may drop eggs randomly on the floor in the coop and in the pen. Eventually they find a spot and stick with it tho.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that Guineas will fly right out of a pen or run that does not have some sort of top on it.

    Good luck, hope your Guinea endeavor is a positive one.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller

    I am doing this for the time being. Guineas are more active than chickens more like keeping a finch vs a parakeet. They hop around chase each other do a lot of flying from perch to perch when confined. So in confinement I would say double or triple the coop space and double or triple the run space. Perches can go as high as ten feet if you can do it inside the building.

    As far as nesting Guinea fowl nest in scrapes on the ground usually hidden from view by foliage. You will either find eggs on the ground in the coop or run or if you can provide them a dark lean to up against a wall they may lay there. I have some plywood leaned against the wall set up just so i can tip it away to peek in.

    You might find the dogs take more interest in the guineas because the move around alot more. You might be a little more diligent at first.

    Oh and if you get Keets be sure to use medicated Wild game or Turkey starter the highest protein you can. I believe I got Purena Startena medicated and it was 27 percent. Its very important to raise them on this at first. They eat ALOT of it for the first month or so. Because they grow soo quick. They start out the size of Bantam chicks and can fly by two weeks. Dont worry they taper back as they get big enough to be on their own.

    Have fun I love mine.


  7. i had 4 guineas. I free-ranged them and now I only have one. So it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep them in a pen, they may not be happy. I had chickens that were free-ranging, see before I bought guineas, I had 3- 1 year old adults that survived a dog attack. they free ranged. I got baby chicks a few days before the guineas were bought 8 chicks) and then at a different store had the guineas and i bought guineas at the same time as 4 more baby birds and along with ducks. I raised them all up together in a cage. the only problem was the ducks verses the other birds. the guineas did group with each other but always were close to the chicken babies. ducks reached the age they take to water and they loved it and since then the ducks ignore the chickens and guineas. the guineas and chickens stuck together though. free ranging together but they all split in two groups of mix of the two breeds of birds.. it was funny. usually only one guinea was with the chickens alone and the male guinea had two females often, sometimes only one with half the chickens it seemed like. I plan on getting more guineas.
  8. broodysilkies!?!

    broodysilkies!?! Chirping

    Nov 14, 2011
    North Florida
    Thanks everyone for posting!

    I enjoyed reading everyone of your posts and learned ALOT about guineas.... i am thinking about getting them but i havnt made up my mind yet....

    Thanks Again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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