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Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by chicksooner, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. chicksooner

    chicksooner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
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    I have chickens and guineas and decided to let everyone wonder for a couple hours the last couple nights. Everyone went back in the coop except tonight. The guineas decided to make a bid for freedom. They have decided to roost on my roof. As it is dark I had to lock up the coop. My question is will they be fine? They are about 3-4 months old.
     
  2. prairie

    prairie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never had any trouble with my guineas returning to the coop until the last few nights and I found them in the trees near our house and it was too dark to try to coax them into the coop. Some of mine too are about 3-4 month old -- born July 5. They have been just fine but never know if a hawk or owl will get them during the night.

    I got them all in tonight by taking and sprinkling treats of cracked corn into the coop -- all but one and she headed for the roof. She will be out all night too-- cause I don't want to mess with them after dark -- it's fruitless. Don't know why all of a sudden they started staying out but I think maybe I had the automatic door closing too early. Mine don't like going in until it is quite dark.
     
  3. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long were the Guinea kept in the coop before you let them out? I kept mine locked up in the coop for 8 weeks before I let them out. That was two years ago and they always come back into the coop at night. Have hatched out more and this year a guinea hen hatched out some. The new ones just follow the lead of the older ones and come back at night. Maybe when they all come back you should keep the locked up longer for awhile. Good luck!
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have to make it a routine of getting Guineas back in the coop before dark until they learn that's the drill, and you have to be consistent, no exceptions. Either you establish their nightly coop up routine... or they will make their own [​IMG]
     
  5. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did exactly what Peeps says to do - trained them to go into the pen at dusk, then I'd go close the door before dark. They went in by themselves 90% of the time. The other 10% I had to herd them in and close the door. There were no exceptions to where they slept, or to their dusk "curfew". Same for my chickens. Chickens go in more reliably I've found, so the automatic door would make more sense.

    Something else I noticed my guineas doing - they had a free-ranging "routine" and I could almost tell you exactly where they were at any given time of day. They had a morning spot, their "breakfast bar", then they could be found in the clover at about 2:30....so I took advantage of that and fed them treats by the pen and coop close to dusk so they'd be hanging around there when it was time to go into the coop. Herding them in was easy.

    This didn't take months to accomplish either. A couple of weeks investment time and they had the routine down. (But don't take it for granted!).
     
  6. chicksooner

    chicksooner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they spent the night on my roof. This morning they were waiting by the coop for their breakfast. They are now back in the coop. I am going to leave them there for a while then try again. They have been in the coop for almost 3 months. I think I will do the treats in the evening to get them back in. That is a good idea. I have only been letting them out for a couple hours and wonder if they just decided they wanted to be out longer. Oh well. Everyone is back safe and maybe not so happy now after their taste of freedom. [​IMG]
     
  7. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chicksooner, I agree with you. Leave them in for a couple of days. That's a good plan. Then let them out for an hour or two (or three), herd them back into the coop and give them treats when they go in. RIGHT when they go in, not when you close the doors. Then close them up after treats. Repeat, extending the time they're out every day. They'll figure it out and go in by themselves. Do it at early dusk though. Don't wait until 15 minutes before dark in case you need the extra time for herding. Train them to go in before they would normally go to a roof or the trees to roost.

    This method works, and is worth the time. It's inconvenient to you only for a little while, but once it's done, all you have to do is go out and close doors and you have peace of mind and a much safer flock.

    By the way, Peeps taught me everything I know, so I give her 100% credit for any suggestions I may have for others. I'm a 200% believer (not all are - this is just my opinion) in cooping fowl at night to cut the chances of being taken by a predator by 2/3. They give me eggs, keets, chicks and lots of enjoyment, and I give them as much safety as I can in return. Keep food and water in the coops, too.

    But I believe in herding sticks. It doesn't matter what they are: PVC pipe, 2 x 4's (I used old strips of thin shoe moulding from the basement). One for each hand that extends about 6 feet from your arms. Go slowly, and never touch the guineas with it - they'll freak every time they see it from then on. Took me about 10 minutes to get the hang of it.

    So I go out every night at early dusk, herd any stragglers who are reluctant to go in the coop if there are any, close the doors and go have a glass of wine. That's MY treat for getting everybody to bed. :).
     
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  8. chicksooner

    chicksooner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Herding sticks-good idea. My mistake was thinking they would follow the chickens example and just go in and go to bed. Wine is my favorite treat too.
     
  9. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've made that mistake, too. In this regard - hey, maybe in every regard - chickens are smarter. And that's a HARD thing to do LOL. Good luck and let us know how it goes. :).
     
  10. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wine? Give me a good shot of bourbon!
     

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