How I raised chicken "friendly" guineas! and colors

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by soldier, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. soldier

    soldier Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Everyone knows that guineas can have the potential to be big chicken bullies. This year I thought I would experiment with my chicken/guinea flock. This year I had two clutches of guinea eggs hatched out and raised by chickens. When they hatched my husband said the hen probably does not know she is raising a bunch of "terrorists"!!
    The results were stunning. The guineas which now roam free (fly out of chicken pen) etc but still LOVE the chickens. Fact is they still remember the mama chicken!!! When I let the chickens out to play they run with total excitement about the thought of playing with their chicken "friends". No aggression what so ever. What is totally AMAZING is they STILL love the MAMA. They roam with her, dust bath with her, look for pickings with her as well as others and at night they roost side by side with the chickens, no arguments at all!!!. Truly amazing. SO, if you want "chicken" friendly guineas. The key is to let the chicken hatch/raise the guinea!!
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    In the photo above the buff was one of the mama's and the guineas are all around her discussing the good pickings and offerings of the day.

    Next I just have to share the beautiful colors I added to my guinea collection this year. Also put in with Mama chickens when they were young and Mama adopted "anyone and everyone"

    These are the Coral Blues - IMO coral blue is just exquisite coloring.

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    Our Royal Purple - gosh this is a beautiful bird - the color is elegant and rich - named appropriately - the "royalty" of colors - ready for the "Black Tie Affair".

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  2. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those are the best photographs of Royal Purples I've ever seen. When the light hits them just right......

    Thanks for posting!
     
  3. GuineaHQ

    GuineaHQ Out Of The Brooder

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    The first pictures is so cute [​IMG]
     
  4. rosy153

    rosy153 New Egg

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    I'm getting some keets in the spring and I was worried about that. I may need to try that!

    Love the first picture!
     
  5. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Great post, our tiny terrorist look like a wild mob if the chickens are in the same green space as them.
     
  6. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great shots, and a really good plan ... that's some fine lookin' birds you have there!

    I raised my guineas and chickens as neighbors, and then over-crowded them during the night by design. Today, I began splitting up the flock, and the dominant male gets very upset when the chickens are removed from the pen he is in. And, many of the guinea hens clearly felt the same way. I made my decisions based mostly upon the colors and size, but I will be puttin' back in the same yard together in the morning, and may switch a few around in the evening.

    Breakin' this group up is almost as upsetting to me, as it is to them ... you can clearly see that the chickens are upset as well. Even when they're all inside? There's a few of the chickens that are almost jittery, as the try 'n get me to slide the glass open 'n let 'em get out, or the guineas back in.

    There's been a bit of bullying, but it's not the way most expect ... one chicken would poke gently each eye of every guinea it came face to face with. I was considering including her in w/ a few others, as outcasts and problematic personalities, but she doesn't do that anymore: I found 'er dead early in the morning, w/ just one single hole. The guineas seem to be almost too tolerant of the chickens, and the chickens so very lucky they are ~'-)
     
  7. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cowcreek, I've read a few of your posts this morning, and I'm confused as to why you're separating everyone. The post here indicates to me that you're creating a lot of the stress for your chickens and guineas by moving them around too much. No offense, but why are you crowding them "by design"? I've read lots of people wondering why their chickens and guineas, who were raised side by side from hatching, suddenly at a certain age start getting testy with each other, or downright aggressive. Hormones is one answer, space is another.

    Here's where I quote Peeps again, and it's been my experience as well - - chickens and guineas need plenty of space. Many aggression issues occur when space is at a premium. Some chickens and guineas get along really well, some don't. My apologies if I'm misreading what you wrote, but it appears that your flock is on its way to the "Don't" side. My opinion is that if you're combining chickens and guineas, they need even MORE space than a flock of all guineas would need.

    How many chickens/guineas do you have combined, and in how much square footage per bird?
     
  8. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been sorta micro-managing and manipulating them since they got here. The result is that they generally get along better than most could imagine, and some of the guineas of both gender will raise their alarm, stepping between the chickens and the perceived threat, and herd them away ... to varying degrees, they're all comfortable enough to eat from my hands, and even climb up it into them, which is good reason to change my original plan.

    The splitting into multiple flocks is partly to control breeding, but mostly to have them serve specific purposes, and in different locations on our fifty acres. I was considering mostly the physical characteristics, and hope to move those least attached, and the most skidding, into one or two free-ranging flocks towards the center of our farm. Those that are most tame, and very protective of the chickens, will stay mostly in fully enclosed areas.

    But there's some choices made for me, whether I like it, or not: For example, I've only one Royal Purple, and she's among the least friendly ... not willing to risk losing her to predation, so she is to either remain w/ the chickens, or be removed to another secured area.

    As for space? It's limited intentionally during roosting, and more than generous during feeding. They're moved around from pens, where the previous clippings are replaced w/ fresh greens, and to temporarily fenced off areas, so they can graze more naturally. Crazy as this sounds? I move 'em individually, most nearly every time, but it gives me the opportunity to handle each 'n every one of 'em. There's a fifteen foot mobile circle, a 120 sq. ft. fixed pen by the box, and a J-shaped run of chainlink on top that awaits a bit more work (ten foot sections w/ 18" in the ground, and kennel panels that can be moved forming the curve), where runs can later be rotated to better keep everything green.

    Now is the time for gettin' all this sorted out, which is gonna put them and me through some changes. The stresses they're put through are intended for good, and are short-lived, and for the moment? Essential, so as to test their attachments (or, lack thereof) to the chickens, and identify for certain all subordinate males (noticed they'd been most nearly silent in the presence of the alpha ~'-)

    And, even as I typed this? I checked as to the cause of alarm, only to find my dog standing too closely and staring too long ... so, maybe some of these stresses ain't all that necessary. But, I wanna be sure of what I'm doin' here, so I don't have to continue moving buildings and fencelines, which I've already done a bit too much of around here.
     
  9. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cowcreek,

    Well, okay. But I think you're over thinking it all :). Flock adjustments are often necessary though.....Good luck and I hope you get things the way you like them!

    Leigh
     
  10. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NoOo doubt ... I take over-thinkin' to that point where only the clinically insane call it art -- the rest just call it crazy.

    One benefit of my Frankensteinian approach? The igloo intended for 5~7 was in the pen, and it got just a bit darker than I'd expected since last I'd checked on 'em all -- when I got there? Every single bird was inside of it, wing to wing and breast to tailfeather, actin' like too many people in one elevator do between floors (lookin' up at the light, at smudges on the walls, etc. 'til the door opens ~'-)

    It was worth all my wasted hours just to see such a hilarious sight. I say wasted, 'cause (as PeepsCA pointed out) I can't really do what I was wantin' to, and they're not likely to remain so friendly once their hormones start really kickin' in ... what was I thinkin' here?
     

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