How to Make Then Stay

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by mrbstephens, May 29, 2012.

  1. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Songster

    The ticks are so awful this year! I just picked up 7 guinea keets yesterday, but I'm thinking of getting some adults to release now. If I get adults, how do I get them to stay? I don't currently have a place for them to live unless I put them in the playhouse, but I think they might ruin it withe their poop (this will be my greenhouse maybe next year). Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  2. Oakieridge

    Oakieridge Songster

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    Lincoln Co., OK
    We used a 10x20 dog kennel that we covered the top on for a coop/pen for our guineas. They lived in that for 6 weeks then we turned them loose to free range during the day. Most come back to it at night but some will choose to roost in the trees. Now our 2nd flock we didn't keep them penned long enough only 3 weeks and they all roost in the trees. If you get older ones you will want to pen them for the 6-8 weeks or risk they will try to find their way back to their original home or they will not come back to roost at night in the coop.
     
  3. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Songster

    Was that predator proof? I think they'd have a better chance of surviving here if they were able to roost in the trees. We have all kinds of creatures who will want to eat them.
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

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    BFE, CA
    That's a common misperception... Guineas roosting in the trees are VERY vulnerable to predators; owls can pluck them right out of the trees, coons can climb up in the trees and grab them (Guineas are completely blind in the dark) and coyotes, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions etc can all sit crouched below the roosting tree waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting birds as soon as they fly down to the ground early in the mornings. A small flock can become a flock of 1 bird in a matter of just a few nights. Predators come back for a free meal as long as it's readily available. Unless you have a couple livestock guardian dogs, donkeys or completely secure perimeter fencing your Guineas stand a much better chance of surviving long enough to put a dent in the tick population if they are roosting in a predator proof coop/pen set up each night.

    Feeding the predators doesn't do much for tick control [​IMG]
     
  5. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Songster

    Drat! I really was hoping to just let them live out in the open all day and night. My husband agreed to this because he didn't have to build another coop. Too late......I already have 7 keets in the shed. Now what?
     
  6. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Songster

    Okieridge, yours sleep in the trees? Do you loose any to predators?
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

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    BFE, CA
    I have a flock of free rangers that sleep/roost in a tree that's lit up by my big yard light... from 32 adults I am down to 12, their numbers have dwindled that much in the past 4 years. Over those last 4 years the others have become a little more "street smart" from watching their siblings and mates get taken by predators, and they usually switch roosting trees after one is plucked from the trees. I have a donkey, 7 horses, 17 goats, 5 dogs and my 10+ acres is now well fenced and cross fenced (for goats). Great horned Owls are their worst predator now that the ground predators are kept out for the most part. They owls also took out 2 of my Turkeys. The rest of my (breeding) flocks stay cooped until mid or late afternoon after all the Hens have laid their eggs for the day, then they get to free range in the afternoons, supervised. My breeding flocks are too valuable to me to feed predators with my fancy colored birds (that I have bred most of myself). BUT, I am tick free, so are my animals... and the rattle snakes and spiders are under control too. Everyone has a different set up, different trees, different predator load, different birds... but realistically there aren't that many full time free range flocks that can sustain themselves on their own.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  8. Oakieridge

    Oakieridge Songster

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    Lincoln Co., OK
    We have lost 2 to predators in the last year. The dog kennel is predator proof because we wrapped it in 2x4 wire and then the top is sheet metal, we also burried a 18" skirting of wire to keep diggers out of the pen. The ones that come in at night to the dog pen have no worries other than they make a fuss because the ones in the trees get to start free ranging at first light where they have to wait for someone to let them out. I think the only reason we haven't lost more to predators is the one tree they roost in is fence in by our chicken run. Then we have 3 dogs that are on constant watch at night, they bark at anything that moves. But we still have lost 2 in the last year and we are just now getting into the part of the year where they will be more exposed to things hunting for food.
     
  9. prairie

    prairie Songster

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    We keep ours with our chickens and have raised them from 6 wk old keets. They free range most of the day but come back to the chicken house at night and roost with the chickens and ducks. We are hoping to get some of our chickens to go broody so we can substitute guinea eggs and let the chicken hens care for them.
     
  10. Every guinea I have ever lost to predators (which is about half) was taken out of their roosting tree.
     

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