Have Chickens, but still want Guinea

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by nelsons02, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. nelsons02

    nelsons02 New Egg

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    We currently have 22 chickens. They are 4 months old. We have Cochin, Lakenvelder, and Brahmas. I am wanting to add some guinea to the mix. Any suggestions welcomed. If this is going to disrupt my yard, I would love to have at least some advanced warning
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  2. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always recommend that people first do some online searches about guineas - there is a LOT of info about them: care, feeding, cooping, etc., and some people get them without understanding the pros and cons.

    I also recommend that they be cooped/penned at night to lessen the risk of losing them to predators, just like chickens (just my opinion). You'll probably find that your guineas and chickens don't get along. Some do, but most of the time there are aggression issues when they're housed together. If you let them free-range during the day, they usually self-segregate and only have minor skirmishes, then have their own roosting place in the pen or coop. Space, space and more space keeps the problems down.

    There are also some significant differences between guineas and chickens. Guineas are strong flyers and roam a lot farther from "home" than chickens, and they're very, very loud. Be prepared for the noise. But adult guineas eat what chickens do. I feed my flock (adults) 16% layer feed for chickens.

    Guineas are happiest when in a flock of about 7 or more, so be prepared to add that number or more if you can.

    What's your set-up for your chickens? How much property do you have, etc.? Would you get keets or adults? That info would help the forum with specific advice to get you started - or turn you off to them altogether LOL.

    Edit: and welcome to the forum!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  3. eggcited2

    eggcited2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am glad you posted this thread. I too am considering guineas, but know very little about them. I have tried finding info on line, but the places that come up have a lot of differing information and have confused me more than helped.

    I hope you don't mind that I 'tag along' and watch this thread for information too.
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can go either way, depending on the individual birds, and the flock's dynamics as well as the coop/run set up. Some mixed flocks do fine, others can be nothing but carnage. Plenty of roost, coop and pen space helps... and as much free range time as possible is always key, so everyone burns off extra energy and hormones. Having a back-up plan (extra coop/pen) to move the Guineas or chickens to in case there are aggression issues is always wise.
     
  5. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have both (plus ducks). They are kept in separate coops and free range during daytime hours. All goes well and they do not interact too much with each other. They are pretty noisy, but have warned me many times when a predator is near. Could not imagine my property with out them! [​IMG]
     
  6. LadyLuck

    LadyLuck Out Of The Brooder

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    in my experience (admittedly limited!) the guineas take longer to "train" to come home at night (ours are free range). They sleep with the chickens and get along fine at night, all snuggled up on the perches, but during the day we were having aggression issues. I very recently sold two of the guineas and kept two and the aggression seems to have died down, I don't know if it disrupted the pecking order or what, but it worked.
    also of course guineas are loud, obnoxious,eat more than they contribute [​IMG] our final test will be this spring. I know what we suffered last year with ticks, if this year is better, the guineas have earned their keep and will be treasured, if not... off they go.
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't give my breeding flocks a choice about when to coop up... they get let out, the coop/pen gets shut behind them and they don't have access to it all day. When I call them in (whatever time I decide to, but usually its the normal PM feeding time here for all my animals), they have all learned it's time to go in their coop/pens. I worked with them from the time they were young, and conditioned them to a routine of coming when called and heading for the coop/pen (usually for a reward of food/treats). I imagine if I had not worked with them and just let them come and go as they pleased and shut the coop door once they were finally all in that they would lolly gag and stay out until just about dark... my flock of full time free rangers fly up to their roosting tree right at dusk, and sometimes a little later because their tree is lit up by a big mercury vapor yard light.

    A decent sized flock Guineas is definitely very effective at tick control (based on my own personal experience with my free range flock of getting the horrid tick problem under control here on 10 acres)... but whether just 4 Guineas can be effective enough at tick control on how ever much property you have, or not... is questionable. Being flock birds, just 4 Guineas may not range far enough away from the rest of your birds to put a big enough dent in your tick problem for them to earn their keep [​IMG]
     
  8. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 15 guinea and 20 acres. We have not had a tick problem since we have had the guinea. Also, stink bugs, Japanese beetles and any other bugs are all gone! Plus any deer that wonder into the yard to feed on my bushes are chased out 1,2,3. Pretty funny watching the guinea flying after the deer as they chase them off the property. [​IMG]
    Got to love them!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 6 guineas that i added in after my chickens. They adapted well with the rest of the flock, I fenced off a small area in my run with a small hole for the guineas to pass through so that they could get away from the rest of the flock in the run. They have always come back to the coop when out to free range.
     
  10. KayElle

    KayElle Out Of The Brooder

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    I am glad I found this post!! I plan on adding some guineas to our yard this year or next, and depending on when we can get a coop built. We have 17 chickens, we plan on free ranging everybody. So from what I'm reading separate coops and lots of free ranging helps reduce likelihood of aggression issues?? And what do people recommend about the lowest number of guineas should I go? I read anywhere from 6-12 as a recommended flock size, but of course everyone has their thoughts and opinions so it gets confusing! I can't wait for this to happen!!
     

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