lost guineas

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Coffeemama7, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Coffeemama7

    Coffeemama7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I raised 4 guineas in the garage. We let them out to play, and they flew away. We have searched, called the neighbors, and no sign of them.
    Everyone told me they would come home...3 months ago! Before we get any more, what do I do to not have this happen next time?
    I wanted them to garden with me!
     
  2. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] sounds like something scared them, every guinea i have ever raised stayed real close to the pen for at least a couple weeks after i turned them loose depending on their age.

    Are you in a neighborhood or on a farm?
     
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    How old were they when you let them out?

    Keeping keets in a brooder for 6 weeks then moving them out to a coop with an attached covered run for another 6 weeks so they learn where home, food and safety is and can get used to all the sights and sounds of your property before you start letting them out works best for me. (The 6 weeks in the coop/run works good for reprogramming adult birds also). Some get away with less time in the coop/run, some need more. Regardless of how long, 2 key factors are 1) using the same call every time you feed them or give them treats (so they associate that call with FOOOOOD so they learn to come runing when they hear it, and 2) also establishing a routine of getting them to come in at night. They need to be trained to come in, (I accomplish this by using the food call and herding them in on a regular basis and rewarding them with millet or a wild bird seed mix as a treat, usually at the same time in the PM). They typically do not choose to go in on their own and will roost in the trees or on roof tops if allowed to... where they can eventually get taken by predators. You have to be consistent for a while with making sure they go in each night until it sinks into their little pea brains, but Guineas like routine and once you help them establish one they will likely stick to it. Mine are usually impatiently waiting for me at the run gate, wanting back in so they can have their yummies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  4. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PeepsCA:Keeping keets in a brooder for 6 weeks then moving them out to a coop with an attached covered run for another 6 weeks so they learn where home, food and safety is and can get used to all the sights and sounds of your property before you start letting them out works best for me. (The 6 weeks in the coop/run works good for reprogramming adult birds also).

    X2, when I move them out to the coop, I leave them a good six weeks before letting them out. because you kept them in the garage, they did not know your outside was home. When moving them from indoors to outdoors, it is like a new place.

    As far as getting mine to back in at night, I have given up. Young ones go in for awhile but once grown, mine take to the trees. I took down their main tree, a huge Red Oak, (it had died). They just moved to the next Oak where some were already going​
     
  5. Coffeemama7

    Coffeemama7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2011
    Central Illinois
    We live on 5 acres in the suburbs. We have neighbors within sight, and a couple of tree lines.
    They were raised in the garage, in troughs. They were 4 months old, when they went out, free.
    We always use voice imprinting, so we were really shocked when they disappeared.

    We have learned a bunch this year about chickens and now about guineas. I really miss those sassy girls.
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bummer [​IMG] Sorry you lost your little flock... especially after spending the time and energy on them that you did. Something must have spooked them like Zaz mentioned, and they got lost and just kept going. Hopefully predators did not pick them off, but that is a possibility too... it's been my experience that small flocks just don't have much "street smarts" as a whole, between all of them. Not enough eyes and ears to watch out for each other effectively enough. I know you said you asked the neighbors, but have you posted flyers around your neighborhood and asked at the local feed stores if anyone found a small flock of wayward Guineas and cooped them up?

    If you decide to get more (which I say you should! [​IMG] )... I'd brood and raise them where you want them to come back to and coop up each night... and then when they are old enough to go out be sure to babysit them at first and also work with herding them back in as the sun is going down each night for a while to establish their routine of going in each night before just turning them loose completely.

    Hope your Wayward Four turns up eventually tho!
     
  7. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I raised up my lavender guineas with some chickens...... When we moved to our new place, the didn't go anywhere far from the chickens. Have one that was raised with turkeys and hangs out with them. I bought seven two month olds and they tried to run off after I kept them cooped for a week. Luckily two stayed in the pen and called them back later on that day..... So they are back in the coop for now. My lavenders just called at them but didn't follow when they left....... They know where the food is, lol. I'd like to find some other colors to raise.
     

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