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Is a Coop Necessary?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by doublejfarm, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. doublejfarm

    doublejfarm In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Modoc, SC
    I have heard that guineas are self sufficient. That they will roost in the trees, and that total free range is fine. This being the case, why would you need a coop for them? My chickens free range and come to the coop for roost. Will guineas find a "favorite" tree and come back to it at night or if I total free range would they just roam off from the farm and I never see them again?

  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    A coop is for their safety. They do love to roost high in trees but at the same time, a predator can still kill them. If they don't know where "home" is, they can possibly leave and never come back.
  3. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Mine are totaly free ranged as are my other birds, i have run unders that the chickens roost in and some roost in the trees as do my guineas but they all roost in an area that is protected by a pack of dogs.
    I think it just depends on your preditor issues, about the only thing that ever tried to get my guinea is an owl at night but as soon as the guineas were flushed from the trees the dogs were there to protect them so no losses to the owls in 6 years.

    I feed my birds at 6:30 Am and 2 pm so the guineas can eat if they choose but if i am late feeding they are usually out in the fields already.
  4. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    I brooded my Guineas in their coop/stall in my barn and am in the process of training them to go out and come in at night. (they are 12 weeks old) Mostly so I don't worry about them being taken by predators. There are free range Guineas that roost in trees and make it just fine. Personal preference I guess.
  5. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Greene County, PA
    Guineas eye sight is very poor at night. Owls, coons, weasels, skunks, bobcats etc. all would love a good guinea meal. If you keep them outside you will lose some guinea. Why take the chance?
  6. racuda

    racuda Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    I have thirty-some Guineas and half roost in a coop and the others roost in a big oak tree. I have only lost one in two years, presumably to an owl. I found a pile of feathers one morning. I have two big dogs outside that I think have cut my losses.

    If I were starting with Guineas today, I wouldn't worry about building a coop.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    Most flocks of full time free range Guineas don't last long, because unless you have the perfect set up that protects them from predators (which most people don't) you will lose them one by one, day or night. Predators, loose dogs, even ferrel cats will return again and again until you have no Guineas left. I've had owls take mine out of the trees and I've had bobcats, foxes and coyotes snatch them as soon as they jumped down out of their roosting tree in the early mornings. So IMO, yes you do need a coop and a covered run for them, you need to train them to come back to the coop each night to roost and they need to know where home and safety is. And YES you DO need to feed them if you want them to thrive, plus if you do not provide feed for them they will have no reason to stay on your land.

  8. Balefire

    Balefire Songster

    Apr 11, 2011
    Orwigsburg PA
    If you really care for your birds, then you have a coop and food for them.
  9. melroseladi

    melroseladi Songster

    Mar 17, 2011
    Melrose, Florida
    I believe that we each have to do what we feel is right for our situation. We each have our own reasons and our own situations as to why and how we raise our guineas, or any of our other animals and I really don't think any of us should be judged as "not caring" because we choose a different way.

    Some of us have our guineas not only because we love them but because we need them to help maintain our property to keep ticks away. I live on 5 acres of mostly woods and ticks are a very big problem. While it would be nice if I could keep my wonderful guineas safe in a big run, that would pretty much defeat what I really need them for. It would be wonderful if I had a big coop to keep them in, but right now that is not possible, so they roost in a dog kennel. Safer then the trees but not completely predator proof by any means.

    Some people choose to take their guineas eggs and incubate them, some choose to let their hen hatch her own young. Some raise their keets in a big box under a light, some choose to let the hen raise her keets. Some keep their guineas locked up, some let them free range. Some let their guineas roost in trees, others have barns, sheds, or coops for their flock. Some use their guineas to make money, some use their guineas to help with pest control. Everybody's situations and circumstances are not the same and we each have to figure out what works for us, without being judged for those choices.
  10. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    Quote:I whole heartedly agree with these statements, BUT being a Guinea Breeder for years now, I do feel that if we are going to take one of NATURE'S creatures and confine it/them to the limits and confines of our property/yard/land that we DO need to provide the best that we can for their needs and care, and not just let them fend for themselves as far as predator protection or for finding their own food sources goes.

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