Guineas in my garden

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by thefishery, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. thefishery

    thefishery Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2009
    Jeffersonville
    I got a couple of guineas last year at a small animal swap I always wanted one, didn't know how loud they were, WOW! Anyhow, I love them. I come to rely on their calls, gives me more comfort than a guard dog.

    Anyhow, in the summer when my garden starts growing good, I usually pin up the chickens. Are my guineas going to eat my garden? Normally, everyone is out and about doing what they want but I can't afford to grow a huge garden to feed my birds in one day. I don't want to have to pin up my guineas but I need the garden more than I need them out.
     
  2. TarheelBirdy

    TarheelBirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have never had a problem with the guineas in our garden. They don't seem to be interested in the plants.
     
  3. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    Our very small garden is fenced to keep all kinds of wild critters out, like grandchildren [​IMG] , deer, rabbits, etc., and then our chicken flock. I often times hear guineas eat the bugs from the plants and leave the veggies alone, but you have have a back-up plan if they don't, which is great. You can try it and see what happens.

    If they do eat your plants, you can try some other things: You can let the guineas out occasionally under supervision if you want, or, you can run a string on stakes around the garden with bright orange "flags", bird tape, or CDs...see if that works to keep them out. Credit goes to PeepsCA for those suggestions. She may have even more ideas for you.
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    I don't let any of my animals in my gardens, period. So my gardens are fenced off as well. Anytime I am out working in my gardens and my Guineas get close to the garden fences... they get squirted with the hose, lol. My gardens are No Guinea Zones at my house.

    Guineas will always nibble greens as they free range, and if you watch them they usually go for the most tender dark green stuff first ... garden plants are tender and extra green, especially young starts that are just getting going. Way too tempting to Guineas, so I don't even put the "fruits (or veggies) of my labor" at risk. I can deal with a few bugs, I can't (and won't) deal with replacing starts and replanting entire beds.

    One thing that pre-disposes the Guineas to targeting certain plants in the garden is if they were fed those veggies/greens as keets, before they started free ranging. They will typically seek those plants out once they start free ranging. So it's highly advised to never feed your Guineas any type or fruit or veggie you grow or will be growing in your garden. (That being said, I do plant a few beds of greens for my birds each season, but they get the greens when I pick them, they don't get access to them to pick/eat what they want). Sometimes the birds will just develop a taste for certain plants/veggies and choose what they like as they wander thru the garden sampling everything. And once one Guinea finds a yummy plant or bed of plants they start making happy yum yum noises which draws the rest of the flock over and then they all do the monkey-see-monkey-do thing like it's a competition to eat every last nibble of green... and your veggie plant or the entire bed can end up stripped bare in no time. And tho it seems completely harmless at the time, letting the Guineas in the garden in the off-planting season is a bad idea because once you start planting in the Spring they expect to be able to go in as they have been.

    My best advice...
    Either keep them out of the garden entirely and make sure to consistently chase them out each and every time they fly over the fence so they learn they are not allowed in there, or just keep them out of the garden until your plants are well established and can handle some nibbling... and after that only let them in the garden if you can keep an eye on them and monitor for plant damage.
     
  5. thefishery

    thefishery Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2009
    Jeffersonville
    Oooh, now I need to decide what I want to do. Thanks for the info :D
     

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