How do I get them to all live together?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by mrbstephens, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 3 adult guineas that sleep in a house at night. I have 4 guinea keets that will soon live in a different house. I want them all to sleep in the same house....the one that the keets are moving into. How do I do that? The adults currently free range and soon, I will be fencing in my backyard to keep them in. The keets are currently in my shed. Please tell me how to make this work. Thanks!
     
  2. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]
     
  3. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think what I have to do is move the adults into this house, via catch with a fishing net and shove them in. I would have the keets in there, but in a dog crate to keep them separated.

    But, how long do I keep them in the house this way so they will know that this is now their home?
     
  4. Naunnie

    Naunnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2013
    Buchanan, Georgia
    To answer quickly....the recommendation is to keep then in the run/coop for at least 6 weeks, then only let a couple out at a time. Put those back and let out a few more. The "free ones" won't leave the flock. After a while, they will know where home is and come back in to roost at night. I would lock all of them in at night.
     
  5. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow! 6 weeks? The adults are going to be miserable! If I make a small fenced in area around the house will they go back in it at night, or do I need to keep them in the HOUSE for 6 weeks?
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Oh boy, lol, you have one heck of a project (battle) ahead of you... keet integration/coop training AND reprogramming your 3 adults to a new coop, all at the same time. Just to warn you, this may take longer than 6wks to accomplish. Fun fun fun (not) [​IMG]

    IME, yes letting Guineas out into an attached covered run/pen (has to be covered, or they will just fly out) during the 6 weeks of confinement to a new coop is fine... but considering that you are also integrating keets into an existing flock of adults, keeping them all confined to their own section of the coop for several weeks first before you start using a covered run/pen would greatly work to your benefit... and that way they will all have more space once you do try to integrate them.

    After you successfully integrate them and start letting them use the attached covered run/pen you'll need to be sure to herd them all into the coop every evening, close them in and reward them with some wild birdseed mix, scratch grains or millet etc as a treat. During their confinement it's a good idea to always feed them their food and treats in the coop only. If you do this consistently it will help them learn the new coop is where they are supposed to roost from now on, and that they get yummies for going in.

    If this were my project... I would either get everybody situated/moved in at the same time, or get the keets all set up and comfortable in their own wired off area of the new coop FIRST, then bring the 3 adults over and add them to their own section of the coop a week or so later. (The keets and adults need to be able to see each other thru the safety of chicken wire or hardware cloth, so the keets do not get hurt by the adults, but they are all able to gradually get used to each other). The method to this madness is that when you add the adults to their side of the coop they will be completely out of their element and less likely to become so aggressive/territorial, but if you put the adults in first and they have any time to adjust they may become territorial of the coop and pen right away and be extra cranky towards the keets.

    I usually do not try integrating youngsters in with adults until I see zero aggression towards the keets from the adults thru the wire. Sometimes this takes a few weeks, sometimes it takes 6wks, sometimes it takes a lot longer... since not all Guineas are created equal, lol [​IMG] I'd make sure you keep an eye on how things go so you can step in and separate them again if you need to. And it helps if the keets have places to duck behind to avoid getting picked on (but not trapped behind).

    If the integration goes smoothly I would still keep them all in the new coop/pen together until you see they have all become one combined/bonded flock with minimal aggression, so that they stick together once you start free ranging them. You may get lucky and get all of this accomplished in the 6 wk timespan, or you may need more time. With the weather/season change coming soon it may go easier for you once the weather cools down... cooler weather usually equates to cooler temperaments in my flocks, and integration usually goes much easier.

    Also...
    If the existing coop that the 3 older Guineas have been housed in is still standing then once you let them all out of the new coop/pen to free range the adults will most likely always want to go back to that old coop, even after the 6 wks (or more) of confinement in their new coop/pen. They have already imprinted on their old coop, and it will be hard to break them of wanting to use it no matter how long you keep them confined. So I highly suggest closing up that coop once you let them out to free range after the confinement period, and do not allow them back in that old coop, ever, Ever, EVER. They may try to roost on top of it, since they won't be able to get in it... but you'll have to not allow that either. If they are uncooperative about returning to the new coop pen, then they'll need more time confined to it... or you'll need to remove the old coop, completely.


    Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes. Hopefully it all goes smoothly and quickly for you, but at least you know what you may be facing. Guineas aren't always the most cooperative birds to deal with (understatement!).
     
  7. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's pretty much how I was planning it. Dividing up the house and putting keets on one side and adults on the other. The old house will be moved from it's current location on the other side of the yard, to 10 feet away from the new house. I'll be cleaning it out, closing it up and painting the outside of it. I want to move a goat and or sheep into it eventually.
     

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