Guineas with my chickens

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by davef72, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. davef72

    davef72 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a dozen 8 week old chicks.

    I'm interested in buying two guineas that are about 8 months. What do y'all think? My chickens do NOT free range, but I know I'd have to do so w/ the guineas.

    How would I house them? Could they go in the coop w/ my chicks or just let them hang around the house and roost in trees at night?

    By the way...I live in Texas so winter is not a problem.
     
  2. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    I had to re home my guinea fowl as they got too aggressive with my chickens.

    My chickens and guinea fowl did free range all day.. and had a huge run and coop to roost to live in.. so it was not about lack of space.

    They were fine at first.. but once the guinea fowl fully matured they liked to play a game with the chickens which was.. they would all rush up at a chicken.. and take turns jumping off the poor chickens back.. then running away squawking.

    I do think it was a game.. not really being aggressive... but it started to really stress out my chickens.. so the guinea fowl had to go.

    I would recommend you house the guinea fowl in their own coop... and let them free range... keeping you chickens on their own as you do now.
     
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    It really isn't a good idea to get just 2 guineas. They are a flock bird and do best when there are a lot of them. Many of the really experienced guinea owners no longer post on here. When they were posting it seemed that the recommended minimum number of guineas was ten.

    Bringing in 8 month old guineas and putting them in with 8 week old chicks could easily end up with the chicks being killed.

    Not housing guineas at night is pretty much a guaranteed method to lose the guineas to predators. Owls in particular thinks guineas are delicious.
     
  4. davef72

    davef72 Out Of The Brooder

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    @jak2002003
    @R2elk

    I've been speaking with a co-worker who claims, they can roost in the trees at night, and will stay at your house as long as you put down food and water for them. Is this not correct? I want them to free range, b/c My family and I live in the middle of the woods, and ticks are awful.
     
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    I lost my entire first flock of guineas to owls because I allowed the guineas to stay out over night. You can teach guineas to come to the coop for bedtime and allow them to free range during the day.

    If you expect to get just 2 guineas and allow them to free range and roost in the trees, you are likely to not have any guineas very long. If it happens that one of your guineas is a hen (should be able to tell at 8 months) she will eventually hide a nest and most likely never be seen again after she goes broody since it is highly likely that a predator will find her before the keets hatch.

    I have a coop for my guineas and I feed and water them in the coop. I use a long stick to herd them into the coop every evening except on the evenings that I am late and they put themselves in the coop. Others use treats to teach their guineas to come to a ringing bell or a specific phrase or word. The treats are typically given in the coop to get the guineas accustomed to roosting in the coop.

    Good luck.
     
  6. davef72

    davef72 Out Of The Brooder

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    @R2elk

    I appreciate the information. I really want a few but I do not have a coop for them. I'm also not willing to risk placing them in the coop with my hens. I'm a HS teacher, and our Ag teacher said I could get them to stay if I place a roost somewhere near the chicken coop. Put out food and water for them, they will stay.
     
  7. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    I guarantee you that if you go out and get two 8 month old guineas and bring them home and turn them loose without a substantial period of confinement that they will leave almost immediately since they will not recognize that this is home. Adult guineas when moved to a new home need to be confined for around 6 weeks before being released.
     
  8. davef72

    davef72 Out Of The Brooder

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    @R2elk

    Thanks for the advice. I do not want to lose them or have them eaten by prey. Thanks for the blunt explanation. I like and appreciate your frankness. By the way...how many guineas do you own?
     
  9. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Currently I have 12 guineas (6 hens and 6 cocks). They are housed separately from my chickens and turkeys. In the past I had them housed with the other poultry which is why they are now housed separately.

    I recommend that you wait until you have the proper facilities before beginning your guinea adventure. They really are different than any other type of poultry and for many they become a great source of enjoyment and frustration.

    Good luck.
     

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