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Happened across 4 guineas...need advice

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by ltatter, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. ltatter

    ltatter New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2012
    I have 10 chicks of varying breeds in a brooder as well as 4 guineas. We happened across the 4 guineas, it wasn't planned at all...my question is, I don't have the room in the coop for 14 birds. Is it better to shove everyone in the coop at night with limited space or let them free range 24/7? I don't have a huge predator problem...the only thing I've ever had problems with is a fox during dusk. I just don't want limited space to spawn a set of new issues (bullying, etc) but I don't want to raise up 4 plates of dinner for potential predators, either. WWYD?
     
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Hi Itatter.... I will tell you that I will expect that the 4 guineas will take to the trees, if there are any in the area, so that leaves 10 birds I would say to coop up the rest if it is not too tight, at night and let them out in the day.... Hope this helps.
     
  3. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm almost as new at all this as it gets, but I've been studyin' quite a bit ... I've 15 keets and 26 chicks in a divided brooder. The keets are far too large, in my case, to allow to be with these chicks just yet, and they need time to get a bit used to one another -- slow introductions reduce some of those other issues to a minimum, which is very important when they grow up -- guineas can be very dangerous, given the right (or, wrong, for the loser) circumstances.

    I'm no fan of completely free-ranging chickens, as they aren't nearly so kind to your neighbor's prized flower beds and new cars as the guineas will be.

    If there is such a limited danger, most esp. during the daytime, I'd suggest a tall fence (mine's six foot) around the coop, with landing boards on top. The chickens can't get out without an open invitation, but the guineas will fly up 'n over whenever they wish to ... they'll return at night, so long as they're happy with the roosts you provide, and you confine them in that area long enough for them to consider it home (I have a large tarp, and chicken netting, which I'll use over the chainlink runs our area requires -- in my case, I'm gonna give 'em their own exit to 'fly the coop' to the outside world, but in a way that the chickens shouldn't be able to navigate from inside, and predators shouldn't be able to easily enter through (still workin' on that part ~'-)

    I've seen many suggestions, in regard to sq.ft./bird, and there's obviously other factors to consider in any such equation. With good planning, and highly efficient use of what space you have, you should be able to crowd 'em up a bit more than another's configuration would allow (i.e. raising the roof of the coop much higher than one normally would, but leaving a large amount of space between the highest/larger roosts closest to the roof/wall, and having something to keep the droppings from landing on those lower ones that the chickens would use).
    Also, the guineas will most likely never use the chicken's nesting boxes to lay eggs in, even if you didn't have any chickens ... so, you could probably reduce them in number/size, so as to both recover the cubic footage wasted and discourage the guineas from even entering them.

    I tend to over-think, over-plan, etc., but sure sounds like you're headed down a road similar to my own (but, that yours has a much smoother surface ~'-)
     
  4. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be sure to keep your guineas penned in the outdoor space you have planned for them at least 6 weeks so they'll learn where home is. Otherwise they are likely to fly/wander away and not return.

    Guineas roam farther than chickens, so they too might get into your neighbor's garden, but it doesn't necessarily mean they will tear up a garden, but they MIGHT. They have for some people, but not others.

    Guineas are strong flyers and will get out of an open enclosure at will. That's like letting the free-range and roost 24/7. Also, flight predators can fly in and take what they want. Raccoons can climb a fence...etc. So be on the watch for that.

    I prefer an enclosed pen area, with chicken wire and a tarp over it. When I can afford it, I'm going to cover it with tin or corrugated plastic sheeting. But for now, the tarp keeps them dry, and the predators don't fly into the chicken wire.

    Good luck!
     
  5. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    I would either reduce the size of my flock, or expand the pen area. They don't need a huge coop for sleeping, but they do need space for staying penned. If the pen is secure, you can leave guineas and/or chickens in it at night.

    Guineas are usually dominant over chickens, but a lot of people have a great flock dynamic going. But some don't. That's the thing - you can hear opposite success stories, and they're all true.

    There are common denominators in guinea behaviors, but there are always those who don't fit the "norm".
     

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