Integrating young adults with older

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by buckinfun, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. buckinfun

    buckinfun New Egg

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    Sep 3, 2011
    Hi all, I'm new to the forum [​IMG]

    I've had guineas for 3 years now (spring of 2008).
    I have taken (captured) the keets from 3 mamas and have them in a coop. 8 are young adults starting to turn blue on their heads and get waddles. 8 more are teens *first week of August*, and 10 of them are just a day old.

    The young adults have been in a wired coop and the older adults have been exposed to them daily. They like to 'posture' and get bossy with the little guys.
    I did have the teens out with the young adults but today it was noticed that the teens were getting beat up pretty bad. I had to move them into the coop with the babies.

    I opened the door to the outdoor coop and let the young adults out. They flew over to the older guys and all 5 ran at them and grabbed tail feathers and were just nasty. Like when two of the cocks are fighting.
    Now...it's been awhile since I had to integrate young adults with older adults and I don't remember how it went exactly. I know there was some bickering and I had one cock that was just nasty and ran off 3 others at mating season....
    I just don't know for sure if this is ok. What is considered 'out to kill' and what is considered 'establishing dominance'.

    Should I just let them out and let them deal with it? I mean they are about 2 months old (?), just a little smaller than the older adults.
    Or does the tail/feather grabbing and spinning in circles...running down, sound like it's a guinea out for blood?
    Do you think they will be relentless and kill the youngsters?

    I seriously cannot remember what I've done before! But then again I only had hens by the time I replenished the ranks!

    Thanks all!
     
  2. buckinfun

    buckinfun New Egg

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    Sep 3, 2011
    thanks! that really helped
     
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Hi buckinfun, sorry you did not get a reply to your post about integrating... sometimes when I bounce back and forth from forum to forum or from forum to my PMs it marks all topics as already being read on the forum list (I dunno why, but it happens frequently), so sometimes I don't see a post until someone else replies to it and it's moved to the top with new posts. And being it was just a 3 day weekend, maybe everybody wasn't at the computer much, or at all [​IMG]

    Sounds like you are on the right path to integrating, but integrating during the breeding season is always more difficult, the males are just too full of themselves. Maybe pen up the worst of the bullies and try integrating again. Changing things around in the coop and run and adding a few new roosts before letting them all out may help throw off the aggressive ones a little, giving them something else to focus on other than the newbies that are now in their space/territory. Providing some extra hiding places for the picked on birds to escape to/behind is a good idea too, just make sure they can't get trapped behind anything and pecked to death. Putting out lots of greens and other treats in different locations can sometimes change the adults' focus as well, but sometimes adding food to an already tense situation can make it worse. There is no one definite answer on how to integrate new birds into an existing flock since everyone's coop/run set-up and each flock's dynamics are different. Just keep trying different things. I find that controlling the bullies until things smooth out a little always helps move things along. It's a pain in the butt sometimes, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

    Good luck, hope you get it worked out [​IMG]

    ETA:
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    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011

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