Juvenile delinquent guineas

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by brandywine, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    My 15 pullets and 7 guineas (and one cockerel) are just under four months old. They've been kept together since August. They share an 8x10 coop fashioned from a box stall in the barn, and free range most of every day on essentially unlimited pasture. I have a supplemental light on for about two hours in the evening when they are inside.

    Everything was quite peaceful until about a week ago, when there was quite a commotion in the coop, and I found my buff orps cowering in the corners. Guineas were beating the stuffing out of them. I caught the two guineas who were the main offenders, held them upside down, and delivered a spirited monologue on fine-grained dark-fleshed roast fowl. That seemed to settle it rather well that night.

    Since then, I've caught the little $#!^*'s at several times, in and out of the coop.

    I have employed the Broom of Instruction a few times, and that seems to have a pretty good deterrent effect, and my farm dog will stop them when he sees it too, but I'm pretty sure they are back at it when neither the broom nor the dog are around.

    Some of the pullets are afraid to come outside in the morning, because the guineas are hanging around near the door.

    Tonight a couple of the chooks were too terrified to go into the coop. I kept pitching them in the pop door, and they kept exploding back out. Guineas lying in wait. They now won't pull anything if they can see me, but I caught them chasing after the pullets when I walked away to get feed.

    Guess who got caught, pitched out the pop door, and locked outside in the run for the night?

    I'm not sure, but I think it is cock birds who are being the main creeps.

    Is this a teenage thing that may resolve itself? A test that requires them to fail in their bullying? Or the start of a nasty habit that will only end a couple days before Thanksgiving?

    Oh, and I'll do it, too.

    I asked this same question on the guinea forum, and got zero response.

    I need to make a decision about these foul fowl pretty soon, because I am not going to tolerate them beating the tar out of my laying hens.
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    It's too long to type out right now, but do a search with me as the author and guineas. I have a story that you will relate to. This picture will say alot:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I would just seperate and be done with it... if thats not an option...Thanksgiving is right around the corner. [​IMG]
     
  4. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    I would also behead the worst offenders. Do you know how many males and females you have? I'm not planning on keeping many of my males and if any of them get that nasty, into the pot they will go.
     
  5. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Williamsport In.
    I have found that the males are usually the worst...

    It seems they will target certain color or breeds of chickens
    also.

    I took my 2 males to auction and now peace and quiet
    once again......

    And they were raised with the chickens so I thought they should get along....
     
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I don't have enough experience to know if there is a way to stop the behavior. However, having read other peoples experiences with this guinea behavior - I don't think it can be stopped.

    If it was me, I'd either separate the guineas from the chickens or enjoy a tasty meal. My hens help our income with their eggs, chicks and the potential for meat so they would come first to me.

    If you do decide to eliminate the offending birds ... I'd start with the males and see if that alone stops the attacks as people mentioned above.
     
  7. aee96

    aee96 New Egg

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    Mar 13, 2007
    I have a mixed flock of chickens (~30), guineas (15), turkeys (3 toms) and one muscovy drake. I have a coop that is 8x12 and a pen that is 50x75. The guineas are free to leave the pen whenever (it's not covered) and often do to free range over most of my yard.

    I would say the male guineas are bullies but I have never had them pick on anyone for long. They will only defend the best spots of scratch or treats I throw in the pen or the feeders when I first fill them up. None of the chickens will challenge them but if the turkeys want something no guinea is going to scare them they just come plodding in. For the most part the duck holds his ground also.

    At night they all roost together.

    I guess I am very lucky that my flock gets along so well. I do raise everything together from chicks and integrate them with little problems when they are old enough.

    If you are having serious problems then I'd say have a nice guinea dinner.

    aee96
     
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Just a few words - the guieas won't stop the attacks. It is something in their nature. You'll have to pen them away from the chickens or suffer the outcome - which can be fatal.
     
  9. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Thanks all. I suspected the worst. I'm going to make a separate pen for them for now, and then start letting first the hens out, then the apparently most peaceable of the cock birds. If that goes okay, I'll keep just the hens and one or two cocks. Out of seven guineas, I seem to have only two hens -- anyway, only two birds who do the "buckwheat" call.

    D'yall think that the five cocks to two hens could be exacerbating the chicken-picking?

    They really are sneaky little $#@!s. They only attack behind my back, and Moe the dog's back, now.

    I've got one SLW pullet that runs with the guineas; my husband calls her Quisling. Wonder how the other chooks are going to treat her when her homies are removed?
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Guineas ruined my turkey's tail feathers until the turkeys had enough. I have a couple guineas missing feathers now.
     

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