Letting Guineas OUT for the first time . . . [update]

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by AlienChick, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I have 4 Guineas that are 9 weeks old, and I got them when they were 6 weeks old.
    They are currently housed in a large dog crate inside the chicken coop with the chickens.

    I have a small enclosed run on one side of the coop for when the chickens are not out free ranging (see photo).
    This is the enclosure I’ve allowed the guineas to roam around in when I let them outside.

    I would now like to let them out to free range during the day, but I do not want them to just fly away and never come back.
    I've read on this forum that I should let two out and leave two inside the enclosed run.

    Do I have this planned out correctly? . . . any suggestions?

    [see update below]



    Today (7/30) I let 2 of the guineas out to free range with the chickens, and they stayed close to the coop/pen.

    The did wander to eat some fresh greenery and bugs, but always wandered back to their two buddies stuck inside the pen.

    In the evening all I had to do was herd them over to the pen and open the door and they quickly ran back inside to be with their guinea-mates.

    I'm glad this all worked out. [​IMG]

    I'm gonna do this for a while till I'm satisfied they won't fly off and never come back (cuz I only have 4). [​IMG]

    THANK YOU, everyone, for your wonderful assistance!!

    This forum ROCKS!
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Sounds like a plan... I hope It works out for you. My 8 week olds are pretty wild but spend most of their time trying to keep together. I have them in a 6 x 12 coop so they can learn to run and chase each other without bumping their heads on stuff. I wont be letting mine free range till they are about 12 weeks.
  3. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Three weeks is not long enough to keep them up (IMHO) and feel confident that they will stay. I would leave the crate open and let them go in and out of the crate and the coop at will to see if they will go in on their own at bedtime. Let the chickens out to range if needed but keep the keets up for another couple of weeks at least. When they are going in at night to roost on their own and consider the coop their home, THEN let one or two out to range (alternating which ones get out) with the chickens for another two to four weeks before letting them all roam. I raised 30+ keets in a cardboard box in the garage until they no longer needed a light for heat. Then I moved the box to the enclosed run and they continued to go into the box until they could not possibly fit. They still loved that box and eventually destroyed it but would still sit on the flattened cardboard as long as I left it in there. YET, if I leave the garage door open, they will still try to go into the garage and it's been over a year since they stayed in there!
  4. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Yeah, I kinda feel like I'm rushing it. I was gonna wait till they were 12 weeks old (so that would be 6 weeks of "training"), but I was getting eager to let them out. I think I'll take some good advice and keep training. [​IMG]

    I do allow them to go out of their crate during the day; they roam around the coop and they roam around the enclosed pen. So far I've always herded them back inside their crate and never thought to allow them to go to bed on their own. I have to keep the coop door open during the day while the guineas are outside in the pen to allow the chickens to lay their eggs in the nest boxes. That means the pop door stays closed and the guineas stay outside. There's plenty of food/water and shelter from sun/rain in the pen outside. I do periodically close the coop door and open up the pop door to allow the guineas to come in/out of the coop if they want. But for the most part I keep the coop door open to allow the chickens to lay since they lay throughout the day into the evening.

    NEW PLAN: I'm gonna keep letting the guineas out for the next few weeks. In the evening I will allow the chickens to come into the coop to roost (they usually put themselves to bed early anyway) and let the guineas come in and roost (or go into their crate) on their own without me herding them. Once we get the whole come-into-the-coop-at-night-to-roost routine established, THEN I'll try the whole free-range training.

    Thanx for the tips everyone!! These guineas are a lot of work but they are also so much fun and infinitely amusing!

  5. Colettedre

    Colettedre Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2011
    Whitney Point, New York
    Guineas need to stay in for at least 6 to 8 weeks before you let them free range so that they are absolutely sure where home is or they will take off. It is well worth the wait of the extra few weeks to be sure. They have their own rules and this will be one you won't have to worry about.
    Mine stay outside until it is dark all summer - the chickens come in at dusk - but there is no talking or herding a Guinea Fowl into a coop when it does not want to go.
    Be patient, it will pay of in the long run [​IMG]
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    3 weeks is fine for 'baby' guineas, but I still wouldn't let them free range. At 9 weeks they are too small and too dumb to avoid predators, you'll most definitely lose some, if not all, of them within days.

    I kept mine put up until they were almost 6 months old, babies that I'd hatched from my adults. I haven't lost any and they are almost 2 years old. Earlier that spring I'd let some 12 week-olds free range and they were gone within 3 days.
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:Actually I like your idea better. I am planning on doing extra run space for them anyway....
  8. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    ETA . . . added an update . . .

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by