Help! Housing a pair of aggressive guineas.

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by clacasse88, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. clacasse88

    clacasse88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 13, 2009
    I have two 18-week-old guineas that have been housed with my chickens for months. They roost, eat, and do everything with the chickens. The problem I have is that they are getting more & more aggressive with the chickens, esp. the newbies. I add new chickens to that coop when they are getting ready to lay. I have two separate coops that are side by side where they can easily see each other as there is a metal fencing separating the 2. When the newbies are added, the guineas are really mean and relentless. The guineas constantly try to intimidate and pick on the others through the fencing too. There is constant chaos . . . to the point where my kids want me to get rid of the guineas : (

    My thought is to make a small coop and let them just free range. I keep the chickens cooped up in their run until about noontime and let them out into a fenced in pastured area with the guineas. Lately I've been letting the guineas go out in the fenced in area as soon as they are let out of the coop, keeping them away from the chickens. They just pace back & forth until all of the chickens are let out -- for hours they will do this. They could easily fly away and free range as the fence is only 4 feet high. They have become 'chickenized.'

    Should I make the effort to make another separate coop for them? I'm just not sure how we can reduce this chaos & aggression with the guineas. I always do the addition of newbies at night when everyone is sleeping. The chickens don't seem to have an issue with the newbies, just the guineas.

    Any ideas or suggestions would help. Coop ideas would be great too. My husband is a carpenter, so I can get him to make whatever I need. I just don't want to waste his time & materials for something they will not utilize. And don't want to make something too big for them.

    Thanks.
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Your dilemma is a good example of three things I tell people new to Guineas all of the time.

    1. Guineas are not chickens so don't expect them to act the same.
    2. Housing Guineas with chickens can turn explosive without notice.
    3. A Guinea flock with more than ten birds is a more balanced, content flock.

    You have several problems that will need to fixing. The easiest way to fix the aggressiveness to the chickens is move them to their own coop. To get the Guineas to quit focusing on the chickens they need more to add to the flock dynamic.

    If you don't get the Guineas moved fairly soon you are going to end up with injured chickens.

    Once my flock started to grow to numbers above ten their whole dynamic changed. They focused on each other and most of the time left the chickens alone. Now that there is over 20 Guineas my chickens can go down to visit the Guinea coop without it being a problem.
     
  3. clacasse88

    clacasse88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 13, 2009
    Thanks Robin. I was originally going to keep closer to 15 or so guineas when I started with them and decided to go slow with them to see how things went. Now seeing what is happening, I should have done a little more research or I've been learning as I go along : )

    I will definitely remove them guineas into their own. I have a separate area I can keep them until I add more (most likely next spring).
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    There are boards dedicated to raising Guinea Fowl, my personal favorite is Guinea Fowl International. Those folks on that board have been raising them for many, many years. I learned most everything I know about them from that board before I dove in to them.

    Its also from a discussion on there about why some had so many problems with chickens and Guineas that it was figured out the bigger the Guinea flock the less they focused on chickens. Everyone that had a problem a couple of five, I think it was. Those of us that had more than ten didn't usually see any problems.
     
  5. clacasse88

    clacasse88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 13, 2009
    Thanks. I'll have to check out the website. I should have kept all 15 that I started with : )
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    From experience, I agree with Robin 100%.
     
  7. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    Robin that makes so much sense. I have only 5 and I'm pretty sure two are males and 3 are females. I have them in with chickens of thier same age.
    Just recently, one of the male guineas has been picking on two female (chicken)pullets. He keeps them corraled inside the coop and tries to keep them in there..doesn't let them eat or drink. So I have to take them out so they can. They are all just reaching sexual maturity and I can't see anything different about these two very docile pullets than the other 5 pullets in there, except they are a little redder in the comb and face than the other pullets. They are definitely females.
    I have 3 cockerals (chickens) in there the same age as well but the guineas don't care about them.
    think I might need to just separate all the chickens out of there now. The guineas are prob as tame as they are going to get and are used to roosting in a coop now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010

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