I have no idea what to do with my Guineas, need experienced advice pls

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by HollyTree, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. HollyTree

    HollyTree Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2009
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    I have 7 guineas that are just about all feathered out (with the black & white feathers). They were just a few days old when I bought them on 7/1/09. So that would be about 9 weeks old, I guess. They are in the chicken coop & run with my 14 chickens. They are all doing well and getting along.
    Now that they are older, I'm thinking of letting them out in the yard. They only thing I know about these birds is: they're crazy!
    I live in very heavy woods with lots of predators so I don't want them to roost in trees. I have them mainly because they are great egg layers- I want the eggs and meat if they populate well.
    I'm going to only feed at the hen house, so hopefully they'll get the idea that's where to go at night. I'm thinking of building a pole roost by the hen house and would like for them to roost there everynight. Do you clip thier wings? Winter is coming, should I wait until Spring to let them out?
    I have no idea what to do with Guineas. How do I keep these wild acting birds safe?
     
  2. skywatcher

    skywatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Arlington,Indiana
    When guineas start flying they will fly up on your roof & spend the night in the trees which is dangerious for them because of owls and raccoons get them in trees at night. They tend to wander off 1/4 or more investigating the area,so yes clip their wings. I thought by not cliping their wings they might avoid predators better not so I found out.Raccoons would catch them in the day light hours when they wander into the tree line. they sure can be amusing .I would let them free range durning the day so they don't pick on your roosters you'll be ok if they all grew up together chickens & guineas.
     
  3. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Are your chickens free-ranging? If so, just let them out with the chickens. They should come back to the barn when the chickens do. I have a few that stand in the doorway until I come to close it up. If I am late, they start screeching for me. LOL!

    Mine have never ever tried to roost in the trees, but they do roost in the rafters of the barn with the chickens. They will get on the roof of the barn if they don't make it in in time, but I usually just go out and call them and they fly down and run in the barn.

    Shelly
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  4. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Texas
    Our guineas and chickens are completely free range (day and night) on our 13 acres, but they prefer to sleep next to our house on the window-sills all around the house. The wild-turkeys and sometimes some of the guineas sleep in the trees right next to the house. I have to sweep the window-sills and the porches every morning, but they seem to be fine sleeping there. I used to try to get them into a coop at night to sleep, but gave it up after awhile. It's kind of funny when guests come over because most people aren't used to seeing chickens looking in at them from the windows (at nearly every window of the house including bedrooms). Now I just use the PVC-pens for the young chicks, so they'll be separate from the adult birds that would try and peck/kill them otherwise. Also that keeps the food separate for the chicks, since the adults would eat all the chicks food otherwise. For the adults I use a big plastic bin with a lid, and drill holes in the sides of it so the birds can peck the crumble-feed out of the holes. Then I just move the bin to a new area and re-fill it every few days (we have around 60 birds total).
     
  5. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    If you let them out, they will most likely hide their eggs. They are great at it. You may get lucky and have some that lay in the coop. Some of ours do, sometimes.

    Ours free range, and most of them coop at night although they tend to go in later than the chickens. Sometimes some of them will roost in a tree next to the coop. We have given up worrying about it & just let them enjoy themselves.

    They are here for the ticks and chiggers, so we're not concerned about the eggs and meat. Your needs sound a little different and it seems like confining them may be better for your purpose. I personally would not clip them if you're going to let them free range even part of the time.

    Have fun!
     
  6. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Quote:Hey! I was thinking about posting an update to you the other day! My 2 guinea babies are losing their baby feathers on their head and are starting to look like "real guineas". The other 2 just disappeared right in front of me in their cage one day. [​IMG] No idea what happened or what might have gotten them. These are the sweetest things ever! They come and stand on your feet and chirp at you for food. They are really friendly. They don't associate with the other guineas, though. They think they are the Buff Orpington pullet's babies! [​IMG] I know at least one is a female. Not sure about the other one. I am guessing male?

    Anyway, sorry to hijack! I just wanted to update you on the babies! [​IMG]

    Shelly
     
  7. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Hi Shelly! [​IMG]

    Glad you've still got two. My three mama-hatched ones are down to one now (a girl, thank goodness). It has been a rough summer on the mamas. They kept hiding on us and getting eaten. I still have six males, but only two females, plus the baby. Hope I can get the ladies thru the winter and convince somebody to brood in the coop next spring.

    Judith

    (we now return you to Hollytree's regularly scheduled thread...sorry! try to think of it as more guinea behavior info, not a thread hijack!)
     
  8. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    well here's what i did with mine.

    i kept mine in they're coop for 3 months before letting them out

    they were fed approx 1 hour before dark every day

    they now sleep in they're coop every night no matter what and will come in at approx 1 hour before dark to eat, go back out for 20mins then go roost in the coop.

    as to get the eggs laid in the coop here's what i did,

    make a nest on the floor of the coop out of straw/hay wait for them to lay the first eggs then put them in the nest the next day keep them in tell about 2 or 3 so they lay the eggs in the nest

    repeat for 2 or 3 days

    then mark 2-3 eggs to be left in the nest at all times! they will lay/go broody in this nest no matter what it seems inless they kick all the hay around then they scream at me tell i fix it [​IMG]

    hope that helps [​IMG]
     
  9. HollyTree

    HollyTree Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2009
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Thanks! I am going to start feeding them an hour before dark to help train, good idea. Since they do recognize my white feed bucket, hopefully they'll follow me right in the run.
    I guess me and my 4 year old will have to play "find the hidden eggs".
    To those who have acreage with treelines. Do your guineas go into the woods? I'm hoping they'll stay on the edgeline.
    I'll never find them if they go into the woods. Mr. Owl lives dangerously close.

    Maybe I have a strange idea, but what do ya'll think about me tethering out a couple of them in an area I'd like for them to feel "at home at". What I mean is taking one of those dog ground "screws" tying the guinea by leg to it loosely but can't get away. Think the others would stay close to them since they like being a group? This would be under my supervison of course, just a few hours to get them used to being outside with a little freedom. I've seen roosters docked out like that before, so that's where I got the idea from.
     
  10. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    I would like you to send me a video of that! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    J/K! As high strung as even my "tamest" guineas are, I am almost 100% postive that it not only wouldn't work, but would stress out that guinea, plus all the other guineas, and might make them leery of coming to close to you again.

    Roosters, and chickens in general just have completely different mindsets and personalities than guineas. You really can't compare them.

    If you want to cage a guinea, that would work, but I think it's unnecessary. You said they were raised with the chickens? Then they will follow the chickens wherever they go.

    As far as the woods, mine will follow me into the woods...sometimes. They much prefer wandering around the perimeter of the house, and staying on the cleared side of the treeline. I have about a 10 by 20 piece of tall grass/wildflowers that they will go into. They chatter constantly when they are in there. It is between the coop and the house, so they feel it is "safe enough" to do that. The one along the treeline...forget it! LOL!

    As soon as my chickens start heading for the coop at dusk, the guineas start running. They usually beat them there! LOL!

    Shelly
     

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