how many guineas make a happy flock?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by naturespace, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. naturespace

    naturespace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hi
    We are in the processes of learning about Guineas and have read a lot so far. We were hoping to get 3 guineas, but my DH just read that we should have at least 6 to make a proper flock. He read that with less than 6 there can be more noise and fighting.
    Also, we are getting about 10-12 chickens this spring and a rooster. We were hoping to have them all roost together.

    I found Slate Blue guineas that are 3-6 months old on craigslist for $10/each.

    should add that they will free-range during the day, separate from the chickens. they would just be locked up at night together.

    also, if we had a small coop for guineas and a different one for the chickens would that make a difference?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If your keeping them with chickens I would defiantly advise at least 6. Guineas like to spar alot. If they did this with the chickens this could seriously harm them.
     
  3. naturespace

    naturespace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks!

    i should add that they will free-range during the day, separate from the chickens. they would just be locked up at night together.
     
  4. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    I started out with one that happened to wander up while I was incubating eggs for my new flock. I got him a girlfriend and they did great for several months until she went to nest but by then I was able to let a few out with the older guy and he stayed close to the barn with them. They never bothered all my chickens.
    It is only recently that the adolescent Guineas have started getting after the young roos in the grow up pen even though the Guineas can go and do go over the 3 ft fence onto the farm. Come evening they started acting the fool and bother the youngsters but I have not ever had any Guineas or chickens fight. Maybe I am just lucky or have the right set up. They do all roost together in the barn at night.

    At this time I have about 7 that can free range together and I have 14 in a pen together.
     
  5. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Years ago a farm that I worked at had a flock of them. Every year, started with a dozen. Every year ended with 3. After a few years, they stopped getting new ones and the 3 were still happily together when I left.....
    [​IMG]
    Just sayin'
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, Guineas do better in larger numbers, especially when free ranged... there's more eyes and ears to watch each other's backs, so the better the survival rate is. I do have a couple friends/customers that have just 2 Guineas, either a male-female pair or 2 of the same sex and they do fine too tho.

    As far as how many Guineas will work best with chickens in a mixed flock... it really depends on the temperaments of all the birds, the space they all have to cohabitate in (extra space is always a plus in this case), how much free range time they all get, and the particular poultry care routine for that mixed flock. It varies from flock to flock coop to coop.

    I don't personally own any chickens, but I have a couple friends with 30+ Guineas in a mixed poultry flock and I also have friends with 2-3 Guineas in mixed flocks with chickens and turkeys, ducks and geese. I also have a friend with just one Guinea Hen in with all her chickens, and she's perfectly happy/content. There really is no magic number that works for everyone.

    I really try to shy away from selling less than 6 Guineas or keets at a time tho, just because in my experience they do better in larger numbers... and most people don't establish a cooping up routine with them and they end up letting their Guineas roost outside. So IMO, more than 6 is usually better.
     
  7. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would recommend at least 10. That way they will leave the chickens alone in the spring when they get a little frisky. [​IMG]
     
  8. bemba

    bemba Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definatly at least 5-6 I have about 40 of them LOL, they tend to hang in a big flock in winter, but in spring they tend to separate into pairs/small groups.
     
  9. ozguineafowl

    ozguineafowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have about 50 and they do an awesome job around the house cleaning up
     
  10. Cadeau

    Cadeau Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011
    I had to start over this year with guineas, but:
    I have 8 that were raised with 7 hens and they still all stick together (guineas and chickens) So far, no hanky panky between guineas and the hens, though.

    I have 6 more guineas, about 2mths younger and they're not allowed to join the group and stick together like little bowling pins!

    The older guineas keep the younger guineas and any other YOUNGER chicken away.
    They got in my grow out pen the other day and totally wreaked havoc terrifying all the young roos mercilessly...

    BUT all the guineas seem to do find with all the free ranging chickens, though, but they have two nice, but vigilant roosters in charge who would take care of any nonsense [​IMG]

    At night, all the guineas and all the free-rangers pack into one house (though I wish I could get the Guineas to go in their OWN coop!! [​IMG] )
    That's WAY more than I would think would be happy together, but everyone seems fine!
    (14 guineas and 14 hens and 2 roos in an 8x8 coop)
     

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