Letting the guineas out

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by deniserago, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. deniserago

    deniserago Out Of The Brooder

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    My guineas are about 8 weeks old. They are starting to make distinct male female sounds. They have been in the coop from the house for about 5 weeks. Should I let them out yet? Everyday they look like they want to come out of the stall
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    They shouldn't be free ranged until at least 16 weeks, preferably 20. 8 week olds will be picked off quickly.
     
  3. deniserago

    deniserago Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Thank you. I feel bad for them because they want to come out. Also they are reliant on chicken food because they are not learning to hunt bugs in the stall. I bring crickets home when I can but they are not that excited about them.
     
  4. hyelaw

    hyelaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I let mine out earlier than 16 weeks, but it was supervised and for short spans of time. I wanted them to get used to the outdoors. I also didn't let the entire flock out, only a few birds at a time, and they never wanted to wander too far from their friends.

    After awhile I felt comfortable that they would return and they all would go out, and eventually unsupervised.

    If you have a garden, let them run around it in it for a little while on a dry sunny day. That's how I got mine started. And I gave them mealworms, they are crazy about mealworms!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
  5. deniserago

    deniserago Out Of The Brooder

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    They don't like the mealworms! I throw them in and they pick at them but don't eat them. I was surprised. I am afraid if I let any out I will not be able to catch them and get them back in because they fly.I do not know their exact age. I got them 7/3 at the feed store so I figured they were about three days old.
     
  6. hyelaw

    hyelaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you know of any foods they do like? Even the grain? Only let 2-3 out max at first, they will stay close to the others because they don't like to be without their friends. If you only let a few out, they will pretty much hang outside of the coop door. Once you feel comfortable, let a few more out each time.

    Entice them with grain if they go out of your comfort zone. I just throw it on the ground. (But mine devour mealworms like piranhas would eat a steak). Also, you might have to herd them a bit to go where you want them too, which can be a little difficult... But both you and them will get the hang of it. Just be patient, and do it when you have a lot of time just in case they don't want to go back in when you want them to.
     
  7. Midwest97

    Midwest97 New Egg

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    Mine are 13ish weeks old, and the 8 of them have safely free ranged 24/7 for over a week now.
     
  8. chickbird

    chickbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing i have learned from my guineas , 40 +, they had rather walk than fly, and they love their flock, the first few days when I let the first batch out, we had to herd them back into the coop in the evenings, after that they came in on their own, when i let the next batch out, they followed the first and came back to the coop with the first batch , i have about 4 different age groups of about 10 in each and as they get old enough, i have let them out, I have been waiting until mine were about 4 months old before letting them out. IF they are like mine, you can just drive them back in by slowly walking behind them and mine don;t try to fly. They do not like sudden movements or loud noises and i don't ever spook them. I just love them, they are different from anything i have ever raised.
     
  9. chickbird

    chickbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They love the small bird seed, tsc now has a 20 lb. bag for 5.00. They also like almost anything green, turnips, cabbage, collards, grass clippings.
     
  10. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    I let mine out when they were less than a month old. No problems.

    If you are really worrie you could let half out and keep the rest in the coop.. they never want to split up and the free ones will stay around the penned ones.

    You need to make sure they go back in the coop to roost.. don't let them roost outside.. or they will get more and more wild and may leave after a few weeks and they are in danger of predators at night.

    Mine were raised with my chicken flock.. and they would follow the chickens where they went for the first few weeks.. so they got good chicken teachers to tell them where to go and what time to go back into the coop.

    If I ever wanted them to come back I would call them and throw them pieces of lettuce... which was their favourite food ever.

    Your property is fenced so no dogs can get in right? Dogs were the biggest killer of my birds until I enclose the entire property with fences and walls.

    The first few times you let them out stay around and keep an eye on where they are going.. and check they know how to come and go from the coop.

    I re homes my guinea fowl in the end. because they started to bully the chickens a lot... chasing them and jumping on them. They thought it was a great fun game.. and so I had to decided chickens or guineas... the chickens won.. as they gave me lots of eggs and were cuddly tame to handle and so more like pets.
     

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