How cold hardy are Guineas?

ChickieBooBoo

Cold Canadian Chick
10 Years
Dec 2, 2009
28,316
31
374
Canada
I would like to get a few Guineas, but I'm not entirely sure if they can handle our Manitoban winters. We frequently get temps below -15F (air temp, not counting any windchill) for weeks on end during January and February, sometimes even colder. They would be kept in a shed thats sheltered from the wind with lots of bedding, but I can't provide any extra heat. Your thoughts?
 
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Lexiluke

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 13, 2012
168
3
91
While not as cold as you, this week in NH, it averaged a balmy 10 degrees with nights going below 0. This weather was only for a week straight but my guineas did well in an unheated hoop house with my turkeys. They do not appear to be stressed at all and are out scavenging around like it is 50 degrees. I would think they would be fine especially if you keep them inside during the really cold spells. The wind is what really makes the difference. Mine spent 3 days outside at one point and during that stretch, it snowed a foot and was in the single digits also.
 

fancyfowl4ever

Songster
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
1,283
23
181
Cranbrook, BC, Canada
They fare fine in our rocky mountain SE BC weather(so not the "warm" coastal winter). If they have a draft free place to perch they are generally very happy campers in any temperature.
 

JLeigh

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
965
30
133
North Georgia
Keep them dry and out of wind during bad weather. Cooping at night, or covered during the night/day will accomplish that. They're very cold hardy, but need cover.
 

kadizkidz

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 25, 2011
68
1
31
Wisconsin
I live in Wisconsin, night time temps get below Zero. My guineas are in a shed out of the wind and elements at night. During the day they run around. They are cold hardy.
 

wolfpak

Chirping
9 Years
May 9, 2010
77
8
91
Its advisible to give guineas some heat source in the winter, even a light bulb in a heatlamp over their roost in the shed.... however, I have one that lives outside in the Midwest USA, and has survived thus far. We've had single digits, wet freezing rain & it hangs out in its spot in the tree rain or not. The others will attack it non-stop if its put in the coop.... but these guineas get along fine with their lg breed chicken coop-mates so far. There are 5 roos that live outside as well, but roost in a tarp covered partial enclosure. If out of the wind, they should be fine.
Also, if you provide straw & let the litter in the coop build up, as long as its mostly dry, it will compost itself & generate some warmth. (deep litter method)
 

JLeigh

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
965
30
133
North Georgia
A heat lamp isn't advisable unless you're putting youngster out in the cold. Heat lamps can catch fire in coops and cost a fortune in electricity.

A fully feathered guinea will be fine if out of the wind and rain, especially at night. That said, insulation is very nice if you live in extreme northern temps. If the temps go to below zero temps, then they really need an enclosed space where they can perch and "huddle" with each other for body warmth. Also, it's good to have a 2 x 4 board with the wide side facing up so that they can hunch down on their feet. Their bodies will keep their feet warm and prevent frostbite.

Just my opinion.
 
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PeepsCA

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
4,732
200
256
BFE, CA
X2, no heat is needed for fully grown Guineas, and X2 about providing a wide enough roost so they can fully cover their feet/toes while roosting (it can be a round roost or branch etc, doesn't necessarily have to be a 2"x4"). Vulturine Guinea Fowl are the breed that needs supplemental heat (and heated roosts), Helmeted Guinea Fowl don't.

Providing heat for Guineas weakens their immune system and makes them less hearty. Plus if you have a power outage after the birds have acclimated to having a heat source and they rely on it being there, they are going to suffer every time the power goes out. Give them a dry sheltered place to roost out of the elements and they will be fine. The birds will tuck their head and neck under a wing to stay warm while they sleep. You can feed a little extra corn and protein in their winter diet to help keep them warm from the inside, if it makes you feel better, lol.

Without a ton of ventilation (which lets cold air in/warm air out), insulation is just a trap for moisture and mold in the coop. Birds have their own insulation. Ever stick your hand under a Guinea's wing on a freezing cold night? 103 degrees under there
 
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Joe.G

Songster
8 Years
Nov 16, 2011
1,410
43
186
Eastern NY
Mine are out in the snow more then the chickens, the cold does not seem to bother them one bit.
 

NoMoreHoppers

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 9, 2012
10
0
22
We have had a few cold snaps this winter into the minus teens. I have found that the colder it gets the closer the flock stays near the coop. On the coldest days most have stayed in the coop all day only to come out briefly to eat. I have a 125 watt heat lamp and find that some will hang under the lamp momentarily but overall it does not look to be needed. It seems that wading through the snow offends/hampers them more so than the cold.
 
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