Losing Guinea Fowl...Why?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by DeAnzaJig, May 21, 2017.

  1. DeAnzaJig

    DeAnzaJig Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2015
    I can't figure out what is happening to my guineas, and thought I could get some help.

    My guineas are completely free range during the day. My main reason for keeping guineas is tick control, and I am happy with their work. At night, they come into the coop and the door is shut. I keep them locked up for eight weeks so they know where home is. I have found no evidence of predators accessing the coop.

    We have a not-very-busy side road in front, neighbor to the left, woods in the back, and field on the right. Only one guinea was hit on the road. Another guinea was attacked by a hawk.

    I also lost three guineas to gorging themselves on freshly mowed grass. Thinking it was bird flu, I called my state Ag Dept and they took a bird and examined it. They found the grass lodged in it's crop.

    Last summer I started with 16 guineas and went into fall with only 3 males. We butchered them, and moved the 15 new guineas I bought as chicks To replenish the flock into the coop. Right now, it's only the end of May and I am down to 10.

    I did make one change this year and now they start free ranging at 1:30 pm. I was hoping it would force the females to lay in the coop, because I thought they might be trying to stay out to sit on nests.

    Most of the day they hang around my yard and the neighbor's (who is cool with them).

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    So you are losing them during the day? Probably predators like coyote.
     
  3. DeAnzaJig

    DeAnzaJig Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I am losing them during the day. Every so often, one won't come home.

    Is there anything I can do about coyotes?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Coyote are persistent and wicked smart, and very bold. I have lost chickens to them. They will leave quickly what time to come around, and have no problems hunting in daylight. As long as there's a meal for them they will continue to return. Shooting is the only option or keeping your birds locked up. They can be hard to hunt though.
     
  5. I just wanted to add in regards to the fresh grass that you lost 3 birds from,I also lost one bird a few years ago after feeding fresh cut grass My vet told me that like horses chickens get a type of colic caused by some grasses being too rich, They are ok if you feed them small amounts each time but they tend to gorge on it and they bloat and become really ill so yeah he suggested that I give them small amounts from now on which I have been doing and they are fine
     
    CooksCritters likes this.
  6. BlueShadow

    BlueShadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are your guineas actually laying their eggs in the coop? Or do you suspect you have a hen or two out sitting on a nest somewhere?

    Otherwise, if the guineas are acting healthy and alert, disappearing during the day with no notice, I agree that a daytime predator is the most likely - coyote, hawk, dog, etc.
     
  7. DeAnzaJig

    DeAnzaJig Out Of The Brooder

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    I know I was totally shocked when the result came back. I had no idea that was possible.
     
  8. DeAnzaJig

    DeAnzaJig Out Of The Brooder

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    I am only getting very sporadic eggs in the coop. Maybe 2 every two weeks. I found two in the middle of our yard. I strongly suspect a hen or two are sitting on a nest, but it would be impossible to find them as they cover such a large area.

    I think it is a daytime predator and hope to get it taken care of soon.
     
  9. trev1lov3

    trev1lov3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Very hard to hunt everytime they come onto my property and grab a gun. I go out the door and its like the sound of going out mixed with the fact the wind seems to always blow their direction, theyre always in and out before i can do a damn thing about it
     

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