guineas in mourning?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by pusskatkins, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. pusskatkins

    pusskatkins Songster

    Jun 18, 2010
    It's been terribly difficult to enclose the guineas in the evening for bed. If I don't round them into their pen before 8pm, they perch so high it's impossible to reach them. Unfortunately, last night I came home after 9 pm and the guineas were perched.
    I awoke this morning to silence and knew this was a bad sign. The buggers are usually non stop chatterers. So I jumped out of bed and hurried outside only to discover polka dotted feathers strewn all over, three guineas missing, and one pitiful guinea horribly injured.
    The remaining guineas huddled around quietly and remained silent throughout the morning and afternoon. They're not foraging, eating, drinking or moving. They have remained stationary in a small corner of the yard, almost as if they're waiting for the other three to come home.
    Can this be so? Or are they so spooked from last night that they can't muster the energy to move?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011

  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    So sorry to hear what happened. If you saw feathers all of the place, then that means something got them. Poor babies. Sounds like they are spooked. Any signs of what could have taken them? They may become more alert and not afraid after a few days.

    Tell us about your enclosure/pen area. Is it big enough for you to keep them enclosed in for a couple of weeks, so that they will know where home is? It's so hard to keep a guinea at home. [​IMG]

    Again, I'm sorry to hear what has happened.
  3. KZ

    KZ Songster

    Aug 9, 2010
    Fountain, Colorado
    At the risk of attributing too many human traits to birds, I think they do grieve. Birds are funny creatures. Some of the behaviors I have observed in my birds really seem to mimic grieving, as well as comforting other birds, and showing joy. Honestly though, of all the birds, guinea's grief behaviors appear to me to be most profound. But their ties to each other seem very intense so it makes sense.
  4. EquestrianGal

    EquestrianGal In the Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    I have definitely seen behaviors I would deem to be grieving behaviors. After I lost my male guinea a bit ago, my female went around calling for him for a few days. Then she calmed down and is fine now. I was so sad for her though.
  5. vintage00gypsy

    vintage00gypsy In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2011
    Itasca County Minnesota
    I have guineas hatching on the 22nd and after reading this I am not sure I can handle an emotional bird. I am far too emotional to be watching a bird grieve. Not sure I could take it. They would have new mirrors and toys and treats until I felt better... I mean... until they felt better. them... yeah. them.

    *sigh* sad story.

  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    So sorry for your loss. I would think they do grieve in their own fashion. They pair off but don't mate for life like geese.... i would suspect there is grief and caution but it dissipates in time in order for the species to survive.
  7. pkoven

    pkoven In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2009
    Wow, I didn't expect to see this topic today. I had a wonderful guinea named Tango who was "attached at the hip" to a Plymouth Rock named Priscilla. I kept them in their own area because he never let anyone else eat when Priscilla was around, she got the choice treats 'cuz of him, etc... They were inseparable. Went out yesterday and found her dead at the bottom of the ramp inside the coop - he'd been screaming for a couple of hours but I ignored him. When I found her body, he calmed down and just watched me removing her. Then he repeatedly started bashing his head against the coop wall (and I have other witnesses to this) until he broke his neck and died. Do I think he commited suicide? No, but that was extreme grief if even I've seen it. I miss those two - their coop is now empty with their sign still on it - "The Love Shack."
  8. jcatblum

    jcatblum Songster

    Oct 27, 2010
    Cement, OK
    I have 1 that lost her mate about 2 weeks ago. I don't know what got him, but her feathers were mangled & she was clearly traumatized. She also was unable to fly more than 4 ft off the ground. She looks much better now, but she still isn't staying with the flock. When I let them out many times she will just stay in the pen alone. Scared something else is going to get her since she is spending so much time alone.
  9. chickenology

    chickenology Chirping

    Dec 3, 2010
    A few weeks ago I lost two out of three of my guineas, leaving a single female sitting on the nest inside the coop. She called for the male for a day, then became strangely quiet. She has been that way ever since, doesn't like to go outside too much, and when she does she just pokes around very slowly and quietly. I know how important the flock is to guineas, and it kills me to watch her off alone. A week later, I hatched a few keets and put them in with her for company but I think she resents them more than anything else. (She never sat on the eggs consistently enough to hatch them, and I removed most.) I have often thought that she seems to be grieving or depressed, and am hoping she comes around when the keets get a little bigger and she recognizes them as buddies instead of just hooligans in need of discipline. I miss all the noise and guinea antics that used to occur in our yard! [​IMG]

    We have lost a couple of chickens, and I have never seen any of the remaining take note of the departed, let alone exhibit any behavior that appeared as grief.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by