Introducing incubated guineas to original flock.

Pounddogsrock

Chirping
Oct 18, 2018
32
52
59
I've have much experience with chickens, incubating, etc. I began just over a year ago with guineas. I have raised my flock since they were a day old. They free range, are coop trained, and locked up at night for protection. I have many questions and have had some strange experiences. I'll start with the question that is what I need an answer to now. Scenario: Thirteen adult guineas in very large coop. Six incubated juveniles in a smaller, but walk in coop. Of the 6 incubated, it was a set of 3, and then another set of three. They are about 3 weeks in age difference and I easily combined the younger 3 with the older 3 by rearranging perches, etc., so that the first 3 would feel the change and hopefully not try to dominate the new, younger, juvenile guineas. I'm scared that the older ones will not accept them. I experienced this with an injured guinea that I had to separate from my adult flock for medical treatment. I put him in a large dog pen inside the coop. I kept him there for two weeks. I did this because they went after him when I put him back in. It was like he was shunned. While 3 were attacking him and I was pushing them off, within 15 seconds 3 more were on another guinea. They killed her on the spot. She was part of the group. It's like they went on a killing frenzy because they couldn't get to the male I had released because I was focused on him and picked him up. I look over to see that they targeted her for no reason. I believe they broke her neck. She was (just as the released male) with head tucked in corner of barn coop with 3 on top doing whatever it is that killed her on the spot. This is why I'm so afraid of introducing my new 6. Because they are juveniles, I don't think they're a threat to the pecking order that is already established with the adults. Or, will the adults kill them and the smaller ones won't stand a chance? The best answer I have seen with research was that the adults were not threatened by the younger, and the owner had the younger stay in the new, bigger coop while the adults went out to free range. Partitions would be very difficult with double heat lamps at this time of year. I love my guineas, but have also seen them be ruthless and merciless. I know nobody that raises them and knows more than I do. This is why I'm reaching out. I even make my own mash from watching YouTube, etc. I'm not a novice, but sure have unanswered questions regarding their behaviors. Someone please tell me how to combine my two flocks- including time of day. One guy said he brought his juveniles out towards the evening time. I'd think this would be more stressful on the juveniles, not knowing where to perch, etc. I've also never done a forum before, so I don't even know how I will know if someone answers this. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
32,918
159,841
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I've have much experience with chickens, incubating, etc. I began just over a year ago with guineas. I have raised my flock since they were a day old. They free range, are coop trained, and locked up at night for protection. I have many questions and have had some strange experiences. I'll start with the question that is what I need an answer to now. Scenario: Thirteen adult guineas in very large coop. Six incubated juveniles in a smaller, but walk in coop. Of the 6 incubated, it was a set of 3, and then another set of three. They are about 3 weeks in age difference and I easily combined the younger 3 with the older 3 by rearranging perches, etc., so that the first 3 would feel the change and hopefully not try to dominate the new, younger, juvenile guineas. I'm scared that the older ones will not accept them. I experienced this with an injured guinea that I had to separate from my adult flock for medical treatment. I put him in a large dog pen inside the coop. I kept him there for two weeks. I did this because they went after him when I put him back in. It was like he was shunned. While 3 were attacking him and I was pushing them off, within 15 seconds 3 more were on another guinea. They killed her on the spot. She was part of the group. It's like they went on a killing frenzy because they couldn't get to the male I had released because I was focused on him and picked him up. I look over to see that they targeted her for no reason. I believe they broke her neck. She was (just as the released male) with head tucked in corner of barn coop with 3 on top doing whatever it is that killed her on the spot. This is why I'm so afraid of introducing my new 6. Because they are juveniles, I don't think they're a threat to the pecking order that is already established with the adults. Or, will the adults kill them and the smaller ones won't stand a chance? The best answer I have seen with research was that the adults were not threatened by the younger, and the owner had the younger stay in the new, bigger coop while the adults went out to free range. Partitions would be very difficult with double heat lamps at this time of year. I love my guineas, but have also seen them be ruthless and merciless. I know nobody that raises them and knows more than I do. This is why I'm reaching out. I even make my own mash from watching YouTube, etc. I'm not a novice, but sure have unanswered questions regarding their behaviors. Someone please tell me how to combine my two flocks- including time of day. One guy said he brought his juveniles out towards the evening time. I'd think this would be more stressful on the juveniles, not knowing where to perch, etc. I've also never done a forum before, so I don't even know how I will know if someone answers this. Thank you.
A flock of adult guineas are not very accepting of new guineas that are not added by hatching within the flock. If you manage to get the adults to accept the youngsters, do not expect them to immediately become part of the flock.

I built a cage that I can place inside of my coop for introducing new members to the flock. The adults can easily see the youngsters that are in the cage. I leave the youngsters in the cage until the attacks at the wire stop. Once the attacks stop, I release one of the young ones and leave the rest in the cage. This helps keep the released one returning to its buddies in the cage. If the adults allow the released one to stay, I then release one more each day until all have been released.

You say you have a very large coop, but a large coop to you and a large coop to me or your guineas may not mean the same thing. I consider 4 sq. ft. of clear floor space (no feeders, no waterers, etc.) to be the minimum necessary amount of space for each guinea. Even more space is better. There also has to be hiding places so that the lowest guineas in the pecking order have somewhere to get away from their attackers. It is beneficial to have multiple feeders and waterers so the low ones can have somewhere to eat and drink free from attacks.

Hiding places must have a separate entrance and exit so that the ones in hiding don't get trapped. A hiding place can be as simple as a large board leaned against a wall.

It is not uncommon for the young guineas added to a flock to become their own sub flock and never actually merge into the adult flock. It is also common for coop trained adults to make it difficult for the youngsters to enter the coop in the evening.

There are people who advocate adding new ones to the flock at night. This may work with chickens but guineas are not chickens and do not behave like chickens. It is a good way to get the new additions attacked and killed. Just adding them without any acclimation time is a good way to get the new ones killed.

Good luck.
 

agedog1

Songster
Jul 15, 2018
75
176
124
I've have much experience with chickens, incubating, etc. I began just over a year ago with guineas. I have raised my flock since they were a day old. They free range, are coop trained, and locked up at night for protection. I have many questions and have had some strange experiences. I'll start with the question that is what I need an answer to now. Scenario: Thirteen adult guineas in very large coop. Six incubated juveniles in a smaller, but walk in coop. Of the 6 incubated, it was a set of 3, and then another set of three. They are about 3 weeks in age difference and I easily combined the younger 3 with the older 3 by rearranging perches, etc., so that the first 3 would feel the change and hopefully not try to dominate the new, younger, juvenile guineas. I'm scared that the older ones will not accept them. I experienced this with an injured guinea that I had to separate from my adult flock for medical treatment. I put him in a large dog pen inside the coop. I kept him there for two weeks. I did this because they went after him when I put him back in. It was like he was shunned. While 3 were attacking him and I was pushing them off, within 15 seconds 3 more were on another guinea. They killed her on the spot. She was part of the group. It's like they went on a killing frenzy because they couldn't get to the male I had released because I was focused on him and picked him up. I look over to see that they targeted her for no reason. I believe they broke her neck. She was (just as the released male) with head tucked in corner of barn coop with 3 on top doing whatever it is that killed her on the spot. This is why I'm so afraid of introducing my new 6. Because they are juveniles, I don't think they're a threat to the pecking order that is already established with the adults. Or, will the adults kill them and the smaller ones won't stand a chance? The best answer I have seen with research was that the adults were not threatened by the younger, and the owner had the younger stay in the new, bigger coop while the adults went out to free range. Partitions would be very difficult with double heat lamps at this time of year. I love my guineas, but have also seen them be ruthless and merciless. I know nobody that raises them and knows more than I do. This is why I'm reaching out. I even make my own mash from watching YouTube, etc. I'm not a novice, but sure have unanswered questions regarding their behaviors. Someone please tell me how to combine my two flocks- including time of day. One guy said he brought his juveniles out towards the evening time. I'd think this would be more stressful on the juveniles, not knowing where to perch, etc. I've also never done a forum before, so I don't even know how I will know if someone answers this. Thank you.
I am so sorry for your loss. I have only had my Gunieas since July 2018 so I am not experienced enough to answer your question but I see someone with a LOT of experience has. I have 4 Guineas and 4 chickens a Sun Conure (he's 14 and my oldest feather kid). I am a disabled veteran with an ADI Service Dog named Ms.Stella
 

malinois

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 31, 2013
71
0
84
Butler Pennsylvania
Guineas are tough, unforgiving birds. Just today, I brought home 5 young birds that are from my hens, my eggs...but were incubated off sight. My best hope is to eventually allow the groups to free range together, but i provide separate housing for the groups at night. It is easier for me to maintain two, or three groups of say, 5 birds than to have 15 out all at once. I have had guineas since 2014, and i am no expert either. It seems some genetically are more forgiving or accepting of young birds, but that has not been my experience.
 

DoeAndGander

Songster
May 24, 2017
520
696
216
Southern Minnesota
Welcome! There’s a wealth of info here. Sift through forum, use the search bar, it’s great. So sorry for your loss! I’m not much help as I rescued a male pretty beat up from the flock and had no luck integrating him back into the flock per R2elks suggestion. They never got past the “we can be civil with a cage between us” stage. I also have a little gray hen lowest on the pecking order who I thought for sure they were going to kill. I can not tell you how many times I found her in a corner being ganged up on. Thankfully she’s still alive and things seem to be better. I take note where she is at all times... she’s my noisy one lol She seems to have learned to stay at a different level or opposite side of coop as most of the others. I leaned a board against side of coop so she has a place to escape to if needed. Others now use it when needed too. I may put her in with my hens if I notice it again. Guineas can be down right mean!

Best of luck to you! Keep us posted
 

Pounddogsrock

Chirping
Oct 18, 2018
32
52
59
A flock of adult guineas are not very accepting of new guineas that are not added by hatching within the flock. If you manage to get the adults to accept the youngsters, do not expect them to immediately become part of the flock.

I built a cage that I can place inside of my coop for introducing new members to the flock. The adults can easily see the youngsters that are in the cage. I leave the youngsters in the cage until the attacks at the wire stop. Once the attacks stop, I release one of the young ones and leave the rest in the cage. This helps keep the released one returning to its buddies in the cage. If the adults allow the released one to stay, I then release one more each day until all have been released.

You say you have a very large coop, but a large coop to you and a large coop to me or your guineas may not mean the same thing. I consider 4 sq. ft. of clear floor space (no feeders, no waterers, etc.) to be the minimum necessary amount of space for each guinea. Even more space is better. There also has to be hiding places so that the lowest guineas in the pecking order have somewhere to get away from their attackers. It is beneficial to have multiple feeders and waterers so the low ones can have somewhere to eat and drink free from attacks.

Hiding places must have a separate entrance and exit so that the ones in hiding don't get trapped. A hiding place can be as simple as a large board leaned against a wall.

It is not uncommon for the young guineas added to a flock to become their own sub flock and never actually merge into the adult flock. It is also common for coop trained adults to make it difficult for the youngsters to enter the coop in the evening.

There are people who advocate adding new ones to the flock at night. This may work with chickens but guineas are not chickens and do not behave like chickens. It is a good way to get the new additions attacked and killed. Just adding them without any acclimation time is a good way to get the new ones killed.

Good luck.
 

Pounddogsrock

Chirping
Oct 18, 2018
32
52
59
This is "pounddogsrock". I started this thread regarding introduction of new flock members to an existing flock. I guess that would could be looked upon as a real bummer, ending up being a blessing in itself. I'll get to the point, and then fill in detail later or another evening, and also end in questions that have popped up in my head regarding my next go around with introduction.
First, the point, I have successfully combined a flock of six (3 a little older than the first 3-not just combined them) to my flock of 12 that are a year and a half older. They are sharing the same large coop in the evenings and free ranging during the day. I've done so much research and there are so many differences in people's ideas, as well as what malinois chirping said above about certain flocks being genetically forgiving or unforgiving. I guess I got real lucky, and I literally told my original flock of twelve out loud, "how proud of was of how good they were- my good guineas". To go on will start to get into the "detail" category. I also get bothered when I'm reading "what I think is the answer" to one of my issues, to find that my set up won't quite make the perfect match. An example of this, is how to release guineas to stay home and know where "home" is and "coop train". I've got that down. Then, it came to a part of my hobby where I couldn't let one out of a time for several reasons. It couldn't "see" the flock mates in this particular coop because the bottom half is wood and only the top half is wire. I also didn't want one out vulnerable to the attack of the original flock of 12 (I know I could have left them in their coop). I also didn't want the one to be in distress all day, not knowing how to get in with its flock mates. Anyhow, it took the coop catching on fire. Before I share this, I might add that the original flock of 10 knew the group of 6 were there due to communication sounds, but had not "seen" them. Anyway, my dream view was to see all of my guineas happily together (I know there's the occasional pecking order squabble, sometimes the constant chasing, and sometimes when you think they really would kill the other). For the most part, my group of 12 lives very well together and protect each other. I have seen this multiple times! Anyway, I took a dog out to pee and while standing outside noticed that the entire front of my wooden, older coop with 6 guineas, was literally "gone", smouldering, a small flames here and there. Two of the six guineas were walking around outside the smouldering coop, the other four remained inside the coop, and many from my original flock of 12 were over there because this was "something different" to go check out. Due to the extremities of the odd situation, I don't believe their focus was on "who the strange new flock is". I knew that I couldn't have the group of 6 perch inside for the night because there was no way to lock them in without a front. I set up food dishes under trees that had easy to fly up to branches hoping they's get up high enough to avoid possum, coons, etc. The next morning, I counted all six (I thought-thank goodness they all made it through the night). They were walking all around the barn coop where I like up my original flock of 12. I said, "Okay, here it goes. I'll let them out like I do every day. I hope no one kills or hurts any other." It was on the verge of perfection. Of course their was a little chasing, but very little. No "one on one" battles. That night, the newer group of six went into the trees. The original 12 in their coop. A few of the newer group wanted in the coop, but just couldn't figure out how to get in and I was running out of daylight. I knew I had to get them to safe trees, plus didn't want to usher them into the coop for a few other reasons too: one, they'd be separated from the others in the group of 6, and two, I didn't have enough time to observe if it/they would be welcomed in the coop. Tonight, night 3. ALL, but two guineas were in the big, barn stall coop. The two youngest juveniles just couldn't find their way in. I did usher them in. I figured that since my original flock of 12 accepted the 4, they could accommodate 2 more, especially 2 juveniles. My next area of exploration will be on more successful incubation hatch number (I've kept it humid according to research, but am losing too many that were within a week from hatching) and my second area of pursuit is how to build adequate "hiding places" within the coop (because all of my research says it's about impossible to do better than nature). Of course, I need to successfully think of how to introduce spring babies again and when. I'd like to let them do it naturally, but you have to keep the females inside the pen because they are not that great of mothers and are vulnerable on the ground to predators. Research said that the male will guard her during the day, but will go into a tree at night. Anyhow, I hope someone finds any of this information useful. One thing I did learn for sure, is that my 3 that were about 3 weeks older, accepted the other 3. However, when I did this, I rearranged the limbs/perches, feeding dish location, etc., so that it was more newness to the older set than just the younger 3 coming in.
 

Pounddogsrock

Chirping
Oct 18, 2018
32
52
59
Welcome! There’s a wealth of info here. Sift through forum, use the search bar, it’s great. So sorry for your loss! I’m not much help as I rescued a male pretty beat up from the flock and had no luck integrating him back into the flock per R2elks suggestion. They never got past the “we can be civil with a cage between us” stage. I also have a little gray hen lowest on the pecking order who I thought for sure they were going to kill. I can not tell you how many times I found her in a corner being ganged up on. Thankfully she’s still alive and things seem to be better. I take note where she is at all times... she’s my noisy one lol She seems to have learned to stay at a different level or opposite side of coop as most of the others. I leaned a board against side of coop so she has a place to escape to if needed. Others now use it when needed too. I may put her in with my hens if I notice it again. Guineas can be down right mean!

Best of luck to you! Keep us posted
Hey, sorry to hear about your little hen that gets picked on. Your board is a good idea. Somewhere, I read where someone said to make sure that there isn't just an entry door to a hiding place, but an exit door as well. For instance, a long Tupperware container with a lid, but with a whole cut in each end (so that if she's followed in, she can get out. I wouldn't get "clear", because they'd see her in there. I'd put hay or pine shavings in it too. I do the same thing for my cats using cardboard boxes since I order a lot from Amazon. But, unless under good shelter, the cardboard wouldn't be waterproof like the plastic tupperware. I've found that Big Lots is even cheaper than Wal-Mart with their Tupperware/Sterlite. So sorry, they didn't take your male back as of your last note. One nice thing about guineas, is that they CAN usually "get away" from bossy others if able to free range.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,276
8,301
646
Stillwater, OK
This is "pounddogsrock". I started this thread regarding introduction of new flock members to an existing flock. I guess that would could be looked upon as a real bummer, ending up being a blessing in itself. I'll get to the point, and then fill in detail later or another evening, and also end in questions that have popped up in my head regarding my next go around with introduction.
First, the point, I have successfully combined a flock of six (3 a little older than the first 3-not just combined them) to my flock of 12 that are a year and a half older. They are sharing the same large coop in the evenings and free ranging during the day. I've done so much research and there are so many differences in people's ideas, as well as what malinois chirping said above about certain flocks being genetically forgiving or unforgiving. I guess I got real lucky, and I literally told my original flock of twelve out loud, "how proud of was of how good they were- my good guineas". To go on will start to get into the "detail" category. I also get bothered when I'm reading "what I think is the answer" to one of my issues, to find that my set up won't quite make the perfect match. An example of this, is how to release guineas to stay home and know where "home" is and "coop train". I've got that down. Then, it came to a part of my hobby where I couldn't let one out of a time for several reasons. It couldn't "see" the flock mates in this particular coop because the bottom half is wood and only the top half is wire. I also didn't want one out vulnerable to the attack of the original flock of 12 (I know I could have left them in their coop). I also didn't want the one to be in distress all day, not knowing how to get in with its flock mates. Anyhow, it took the coop catching on fire. Before I share this, I might add that the original flock of 10 knew the group of 6 were there due to communication sounds, but had not "seen" them. Anyway, my dream view was to see all of my guineas happily together (I know there's the occasional pecking order squabble, sometimes the constant chasing, and sometimes when you think they really would kill the other). For the most part, my group of 12 lives very well together and protect each other. I have seen this multiple times! Anyway, I took a dog out to pee and while standing outside noticed that the entire front of my wooden, older coop with 6 guineas, was literally "gone", smouldering, a small flames here and there. Two of the six guineas were walking around outside the smouldering coop, the other four remained inside the coop, and many from my original flock of 12 were over there because this was "something different" to go check out. Due to the extremities of the odd situation, I don't believe their focus was on "who the strange new flock is". I knew that I couldn't have the group of 6 perch inside for the night because there was no way to lock them in without a front. I set up food dishes under trees that had easy to fly up to branches hoping they's get up high enough to avoid possum, coons, etc. The next morning, I counted all six (I thought-thank goodness they all made it through the night). They were walking all around the barn coop where I like up my original flock of 12. I said, "Okay, here it goes. I'll let them out like I do every day. I hope no one kills or hurts any other." It was on the verge of perfection. Of course their was a little chasing, but very little. No "one on one" battles. That night, the newer group of six went into the trees. The original 12 in their coop. A few of the newer group wanted in the coop, but just couldn't figure out how to get in and I was running out of daylight. I knew I had to get them to safe trees, plus didn't want to usher them into the coop for a few other reasons too: one, they'd be separated from the others in the group of 6, and two, I didn't have enough time to observe if it/they would be welcomed in the coop. Tonight, night 3. ALL, but two guineas were in the big, barn stall coop. The two youngest juveniles just couldn't find their way in. I did usher them in. I figured that since my original flock of 12 accepted the 4, they could accommodate 2 more, especially 2 juveniles. My next area of exploration will be on more successful incubation hatch number (I've kept it humid according to research, but am losing too many that were within a week from hatching) and my second area of pursuit is how to build adequate "hiding places" within the coop (because all of my research says it's about impossible to do better than nature). Of course, I need to successfully think of how to introduce spring babies again and when. I'd like to let them do it naturally, but you have to keep the females inside the pen because they are not that great of mothers and are vulnerable on the ground to predators. Research said that the male will guard her during the day, but will go into a tree at night. Anyhow, I hope someone finds any of this information useful. One thing I did learn for sure, is that my 3 that were about 3 weeks older, accepted the other 3. However, when I did this, I rearranged the limbs/perches, feeding dish location, etc., so that it was more newness to the older set than just the younger 3 coming in.
Wow! So you are saying that successful integration of Guineas just takes a coop fire! Jk. Very scary, I’m so petrified of coop fire that I schlep water in and out of the garage to avoid electricity in the coop! So sorry you had to deal with that, but glad to hear that your integration went well!
 

Pounddogsrock

Chirping
Oct 18, 2018
32
52
59
A flock of adult guineas are not very accepting of new guineas that are not added by hatching within the flock. If you manage to get the adults to accept the youngsters, do not expect them to immediately become part of the flock.

I built a cage that I can place inside of my coop for introducing new members to the flock. The adults can easily see the youngsters that are in the cage. I leave the youngsters in the cage until the attacks at the wire stop. Once the attacks stop, I release one of the young ones and leave the rest in the cage. This helps keep the released one returning to its buddies in the cage. If the adults allow the released one to stay, I then release one more each day until all have been released.

You say you have a very large coop, but a large coop to you and a large coop to me or your guineas may not mean the same thing. I consider 4 sq. ft. of clear floor space (no feeders, no waterers, etc.) to be the minimum necessary amount of space for each guinea. Even more space is better. There also has to be hiding places so that the lowest guineas in the pecking order have somewhere to get away from their attackers. It is beneficial to have multiple feeders and waterers so the low ones can have somewhere to eat and drink free from attacks.

Hiding places must have a separate entrance and exit so that the ones in hiding don't get trapped. A hiding place can be as simple as a large board leaned against a wall.

It is not uncommon for the young guineas added to a flock to become their own sub flock and never actually merge into the adult flock. It is also common for coop trained adults to make it difficult for the youngsters to enter the coop in the evening.

There are people who advocate adding new ones to the flock at night. This may work with chickens but guineas are not chickens and do not behave like chickens. It is a good way to get the new additions attacked and killed. Just adding them without any acclimation time is a good way to get the new ones killed.

Good luck.
Thank you for all of your information that you gave me so long ago. My thank you is overdue. I reread everything, and you certainly gave very good information. I've posted a new thread that you may find of interest? Thanks again for your logical feedback.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom