How Far Is To Far?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by BCL1766, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. BCL1766

    BCL1766 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 14, 2012
    Northern N.J.
    Only for the last four or five days have my 5 six month olds been venturing through the fields to my neighbors house about 1200 feet away. I have called them back the times I hear them over there and they run back to me and follow me to the coop. They are locked up every night in there coop at dusk and always have been at night. My question is if I were to just let them roam about, will they instinctively come back to the coop at dusk or will they get confused or lost? When they stayed on my 5 acres they would always mill around the coop at dusk and then go in for the night by themselves, once they are in I give them some meal worms and close the door for the night. They have been free ranging since about 6 weeks old and I have never had them roam that far. I thought at 6 months they had established there roaming area and would not venture any farther, they have showed me different.
    What is the advice, keep calling them back or will they be ok to return by themselves? I am afraid that they will keep going in the opposite direction.
    Thanks,
    Brett
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Well, chickens do tend to expand their territory as they range and they generally return to where ever they call home to roost. However I don't feel like that is the biggest problem with a situation like this. Do your neighbor's mind that the chickens are visiting their property? Chickens can do a lot of damage to flower beds, vegetable gardens and so forth. Not to mention what they leave behind in the way of manure. And then there's the danger of predators like roaming dogs, fox, coyote etc. wiping out your entire flock.

    Personally I do whatever is necessary to keep my animals on my property whether it be my dogs or my chickens. I certainly expect my neighbor's to keep their animals at home so I make sure mine don't ever go wandering. Maybe consider a run for your chickens or even a moveable pasture area for them to forage in with simple poultry net fencing to keep them in.
     
  3. BCL1766

    BCL1766 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 14, 2012
    Northern N.J.
    My 5 are Guinea fowl and fencing would not be practical.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,732
    181
    243
    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Guineas are roamers/rangers by nature and can range too far and get lost (not all do, but they can). Sometimes they can wander off if they hear another flock of Guineas in the distance, other times there's no obvious reason as to why they will wander too far. I've gotten an early morning call before from a neighbor that saw one of my fairly young flocks about 1/4 mile up the road from my property while she was driving her kids to school... she said she just wanted to let me know that she saw a bunch of my Guineas way up the road and they looked like they were heading to town, lol (I live 3+ miles out a gravel road and 20 miles from town, lol). I had to go get them on my quad, riding back home slow, shaking a scoop full of feed and calling to them to lure them back home. They probably would have kept going had I not gotten that phone call, so IMO it's best to keep an eye on them and call them back when they go too far. They eventually outgrew their urge to wander, and have learned to stay home, so I think it's just a phase that they go thru as they mature (or at least it was with my flock).
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  5. BCL1766

    BCL1766 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 14, 2012
    Northern N.J.
    Thanks PeepsCA,

    I was hoping that as this is totally new behavior. They have the life here, food, water, and TREATS. Millet, meal worm, water melon and greens. Sometimes I think that I am their pet. LOL. Hopefully in a short time they will see that the grass is not greener on the neighbor’s side of the fence, so to speak.

    Thanks,
    Brett
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,732
    181
    243
    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Might be a good idea (since they are wandering farther than you like) to call them on and off thru the day for treats, or do this more frequently if you already do call them on and off, and be as random as possible. Keeping them guessing as to when the goodies will be coming helps keep my birds a little closer to home.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  7. Hello:

    Yep, this is a real problem with the Guinea crowd.
    If you have a neighber who enjoys FREE tick removal
    like I have, you should not have a desperate problem.
    If you have a busy road, then you need to keep your
    flock closer to home.
    Guinea birds LOVE to roam. They follow the bugs and
    expand their territory to find them.
    If you notice a few breaking off from the main rasp (flock)
    then you have a problem. These birds WILL eventually
    not make it to the roost at dusk and will be forced
    to roost away from the coop.
    This is when is gets dangerous for them.
    I feed BREAD on a regular basis to keep my Guinea
    birds friendly and happy. They usually run for the feed
    cart to see if I have a treat for them that day.
    I have had neighbors that are over a mile away
    that have seen a few of my birds on their
    property. I do loose about 5 to 10 every year.
    The rest seem happy to stick around and these
    guys are my "core flock" that other new birds
    follow.
    Good Luck
    G.G.
     
  8. wpage

    wpage Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Dec 15, 2012
    Is it possible to just feed them weekly?
     
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,732
    181
    243
    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Do you mean fill a gravity flow feeder once a week? That is possible and a lot of use that method, but the draw back to that is that it also feeds the rodents and other local wild life (if it's accessible). If you mean just toss them some feed once a week, I'd have to say no... they won't stick around your place or roost in the safety of a coop if they have to free range for food the rest of the week. And after a couple days you may never see them again because they've found a place down the road where they can be fed each day, lol. Food either free choice or at least put out once a day for them helps keep the Guineas home. They also need a constant source of fresh water...
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  10. BCL1766

    BCL1766 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 14, 2012
    Northern N.J.
    I keep 10lbs gravity feed full and a gallon waterer with fresh water in their coop at all times. I have done this since they were keets. I give them there treats at the front ramp to their coop. the only other thing I could possibly add to the coop is cable TV. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by