guinnea guest

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by DawnMarie, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. DawnMarie

    DawnMarie New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2012
    I'm copying my original post here, as suggrsted by other members on the chicien forum, in hopes I'll get a few more repsponses.

    This summer a male guinea adopted us. He had been dropped off at a farm down the road from us and was rejected by their flock. He stayed there one or two days then wandered into our yard and has stayed. I've tried to find him another home as the "farm" really doesn't want him back so he's kinda become my responsisblity. I haven't been successful so he's been here for about 2 months. I actually really enjoy him being around although he chases the kids and dogs more as he gets older. He comes to the back door every day to get fed and hangs out on the deck. He looks inside our coop during the day but won't sleep in it. He sleeps in the tree above it. He hangs out with my chickens during the day and watches over them.

    I'm worried about him getting through the winter. I live in RI and we can get some pretty harsh weather. I'm wondering if he'll smarten up and go in the warm coop once it gets real cold or if I should try harder to place him in another home. Maybe he won't sleep in there for a reason? My coop has a fence around it (I free range during the day) but no netting on top to keep him in. When he does get "stuck" in there he freaks out until he flies himself out. Should I cover the run and force him to stay in there? I'm concerned as winter will be on us soon. I'm even more worried that he's happy where ever he is. Because of my neighborhood I can't buy him a mate. Maybe he'd be better off with some female guineas somewhere else? HELP?

    Thank you, DawnMarie
     
  2. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    When it comes to keeping guineas, I'm a mere keet myself. But, first thing I'd do is transition from feeding him anywhere else aside from where you would prefer him to be -- but, do so w/o making any sudden changes -- they seem to hate that. My keets absolutely freaked out over my placing a paper plate in the floor, despite the fact it had the very food they'd been eating in it.

    Next consideration would be landing board(s) on top of your run, so that he can more easily enter/exit on his own. I personally have no roosters among the twenty-six chicks I'm raising with my fifteen keets, which seems to be the most likely cause of aggressive behaviors among the flock (haven't seen any incidents in which guineas actually ate kids or dogs). Consider having your children feed the guinea, so that he becomes a little more trusting of them, but don't expect him to ever follow them around so politely as Mary's lil' lamb ... they're rarely as domesticated as chickens, even by those that raised them right where they live.

    Not to be misconstrued as legal advice, but when you say you can't buy him a mate because of your "neighborhood" it makes me wonder if you're aware of any code/ordinances/etc. that would prohibit you in any way (esp. w/in some cities and/or developments). In absence thereof, I wouldn't be too fearful of legal responsibilities for the one that isn't technically your bird unless you do choose to add him a mate. Or, three: Guineas don't seem to do nearly the damage that chickens can, in regard to scratching folks prized flower beds and gardens, and eliminate ticks 'n such ... very beneficial to have around. But, if yours is a more densely populated area, and you're not on a first-name basis with those that live nearby, I'd search for him a new home.

    As for worrying that Winter's comin' soon? I would think he's got plenty of time to become more accustomed to his surrounding, as they're kept in climates harsher than your own, albeit confined in many cases. If you could trap him inside, it'd make retraining him to consider the coop home far simpler and effective -- be certain to place water outside the coop, because he'd rather die of thirst than overcome his own fears. If possible, I'd wire off the highest area of the coop, add a fat roost where he can face the wall/roof, and as large of a shelf for his own food 'n water -- I'd confine him right there 'til Thanksgiving (not suggesting you eat him ~'-)
     
  3. DawnMarie

    DawnMarie New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2012
    Thank you for the advice. I like your idea of giving him his own roost in the coop and confining him for a bit. I had to get "permission" from my neighbors to have my hens (7) but more guinea hens might put them over the top! I live on one acre and am not zoned for farm animals which is ridiculuos considering the land off my back property line is. If I decide not to confine him and put up the running boards around the run maybe he'll feel more comfortable making his way into the run and the warm coop once the weather changes as he sleeps directly above the coop in "his" tree. Also great idea to have my kids feed him to gain more trust.
    Thanks, Dawn
    and btw I love the name of your town...Hurricane WV sounds great!
     
  4. leonphelps

    leonphelps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    he will be fine in the weather. there are people here from Kansas. they have just as severe winters.

    as for getting him to roost in the coop for the winter, probably lock him in during bad weather. he will understand after the storm ends.
     
  5. quadchick77

    quadchick77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2012
    Tecumseh, Kansas
    Our guineas do just fine here in Kansas during the winter. They love to roost in the giant pecan tree above our chicken house. They used to pick and choose when they wanted to roost inside and we let them to their own thing and they got along just fine. We have just recently cooped them up in their own coop due to the fact that they harrass the chickens to death sometimes running them for hours on end, just plain mean mentality. We took and made them a super cheap coop with an old truck camper shell and some wire where the shell is the roof and the pen is 8ft tall. Ever since putting them in there the whole farm is soooo quiet as they hardly make a peep anymore , they seem very content and relaxed by being safely cooped up together.
     
  6. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're most welcome, ma'am, and I apologize for the delay.

    Gotta love it, when municipalities take it upon themselves to throw the laws of both man and God ... although, in regard to keepin' guineas? I felt compelled to clear it w/ my neighbors as well (despite havin' every legal right, I knew they'd likely visit lands beyond these fifty acres they'll be centered it ~'-)

    Trust isn't something they seem to hold too long, although I've a few that don't seem to mind being handled. And, a few that act as if I were pulling feathers every time I try 'n touch 'em. It may turn out to be that the difference is whether they're male or female, but I'm gonna split mine into several smaller flocks -- those most friendly are gonna join my chicks, and any that continues to act too aggressive might ultimately join me for dinner.

    The landing boards are meant to be for later -- quite a few weeks of confinement w/in the coop is his only likely reason to change the behavior of stayin' outdoors. Not that I blame him, when he has a perfectly fine tree all to himself.

    And, finally, my home town. It was smaller when my parents brought me here as a child -- two lights or so in the town five or so miles away. And, now? There's a light on my road, and the city limits keep comin' down it, and gated 'communities' filled w/ people that don't even know the names of those livin' on the next 1/8 acre lot ... not meaning to imply that every couple livin' there loads up their 2.3 children into the leased lexus, pulls from the driveway of the five bedroom house they can barely afford to make the payments on, only to drive past our bought/payed for farm to stare down their noses with complete confusion as to why that hillbilly continues to wave every time they drive by (but it sure does seem that way ~'-)
     
  7. jbirds2012

    jbirds2012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol love it :)
     
  8. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hurricane, WV
    Reread my words ... maybe I do have a few ... issues ... after all ~'-)
     

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