Looking for advice...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by meeko626, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. meeko626

    meeko626 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    1
    36
    Apr 4, 2015
    Hi, I'm the Director of Agriculture at a golf course in Ohio. I've recently raised up a flock of 85 guinea fowl which were released to free range the property about a month ago. They are protected by 2 Jersey Giant cockerels, a Cornish cockerel, and a giant, feather-footed, mixed breed roo named Henry. Henry has done an absolutely fantastic job at protecting the entire flock (he ushers them all in at night, fought off a hawk, etc..) Anyway, the roosters have kind of split the guineas up into their own harems and I'm looking at getting hens next spring for them to breed. Basically, I want the hens to exhibit these traits:

    1. Extremely capable of free ranging. We provide supplemental feed and water, but definitely want them to get most of their nutrition from the property. They are surrounded by bugs, clover, seeds, etc and have a creek about 60 yards from their barn.
    2. Broodiness. We want a self-sustaining flock that can breed at a higher rate than predation (but we've made sure that the coyotes know what an AR does to them)[​IMG] .
    3. Cold hardiness. Its Ohio and the winters can get cold.
    4. Awareness of their surroundings. This kind of goes with the free ranging aspect.

    Basically I have it narrowed down to the Old English Games and the Moderns. Any suggestions for other breeds that fit the litmus test?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,308
    369
    191
    Jul 19, 2016
    Iowa
    Buff Orpingtions are very broody,Cold Hardy,And decent free range birds
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    2,354
    328
    196
    Mar 21, 2016
    Ohio!
    Hmm, well, if I were you I would try to get your hands on some nice Buckeyes. While they're more rare, they're truly amazing birds and were originally created in Ohio so are great in all of our crazy weather! They're great free rangers/foragers and amazing brooders and mothers. Not to mention they are nice, big birds that can protect themselves. Hope this helps! :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    2,354
    328
    196
    Mar 21, 2016
    Ohio!
    Agree. Buff Orps are great all round birds, they also have amazing temperaments towards humans and other birds too.
     
  5. meeko626

    meeko626 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    1
    36
    Apr 4, 2015
    I forgot about the buckeye. I almost got a hen for my home flock this past Spring. That pea comb could be great come winter time! Since our purposes aren't to show or anything, do you think that Meyer has a good enough quality stock?
     
  6. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,308
    369
    191
    Jul 19, 2016
    Iowa
    I need to get myself some next spring[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  7. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    2,354
    328
    196
    Mar 21, 2016
    Ohio!
    They're great birds! Oh yes, Meyer or MyPetChicken will be fine for your purposes. :)
    :thumbsup
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,744
    5,505
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Curious......well, it's only been a month but...no problems with them tearing up the greens or dust bathing in sand traps?

    Do they have a secure coop to spend the nights in?

    Do you think the Guineas will stay on the property....is the course in a populated area?
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    18,301
    5,226
    496
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    My favorite bird fits all of your criteria, and is easy on the eye as well: Dominique. They are also a very gentle bird. Important for birds free ranging in a public area.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. meeko626

    meeko626 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    1
    36
    Apr 4, 2015
    The worst that has happened is that they ate all the seed off a green when our superintendent tried to reseed. They have an old barn that they sleep in and have food and water in. This weekend I am going to chicken wire some of the windows in. The course is 260 acres and the furthest they have wandered is about 400 yards. They don't seem to have any interest in dusting in the sandtrap I think because there is a lot of loose soil right in front of their barn that they dust in and the sand traps are all in the open. It's been interesting to watch them interact with people! The golfers love it!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by