mean guinea alpha in chicken flock

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by jemimarose, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. jemimarose

    jemimarose Out Of The Brooder

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    I have one guinea (the alpha), a flock of 5 hens, and another flock of 5 hens (adult layers rehomed to me) that will soon be out of quarantine. The guinea has always been kind of mean, but over the past several weeks, she has been getting meaner and meaner. She spends most of her time chasing the other hens away from any food they might encounter. I have started broadcasting food all over the yard so that the other hens can get a bite or two before she can chase them away. If I didn't feel sorry for the other hens it would be kind of funny watching her run like a crazy lady from one hen to the next trying to keep them from eating. My question is, when I am ready to integrate the new hens, can I keep the guinea cooped up for a week while the other hens work out their pecking order, and then turn her loose? The reason I ask is that I read that guineas can't stand being confined, and I don't want her to get sick or die or anything. I have no place where I can let her roam where she won't get at the other hens. She'll have to stay in the temporary coop I made for the 5 quarantined hens. Do you think it will be ok? I like the idea of her losing her place in the flock--maybe it'll take her down a few notches and she'll back off her aggression some.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If you don't separate the guinea from the flock, it is almost certain that she will make life 'heck' for the new hens. Upon reintroduction do not be surprised if she tries to attack the entire flock once again. This is just the nature of some guinea fowl. Is it the breeding season where you live? Such behavior tends to be worse then.
     
  3. jemimarose

    jemimarose Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, I didn't know guineas get aggressive at breeding time. I have no idea when breeding time is here. I'm taking care of the flock for someone else and the guinea (Cruella) was already here. I know absolutely nothing about guineas. I'm wondering if I should get rid of her. She used to be a good leader, but now she's just mean. One of my hens is her personal "whipping boy" and is thin and missing many feathers because Cruella picks on her all the time and chases her away from food more aggressively.
    If it is breeding season, how long does it last? If I don't see her settle down some pretty soon, I'm not going to let her lead the flock anymore, she's going to go.
     
  4. jemimarose

    jemimarose Out Of The Brooder

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    Uh-oh. Update on the guinea problem. The wife of the couple that owns the flock told me the guinea is a hen, but the husband says it's a male. It does make the loud warning noises but I guess hens can sound like males but not vice versa. My tablet computer won't let me listen to the sound file, but my guinea only makes 2 sounds: a kind of nasal, whistley cheeping and a loud repetitive honking like a warning call.
    The other day I saw Cruella crouching on the "whipping boy"s back. Is that a dominating behavior for both guinea sexes or would that be sex-specific? Would the sex of the guinea make a difference in aggression level?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Guinea hens make a 'buckwheat buckwheat' sound whereas males make a harsh sort of sound. Sounds as if Cruella is a male gone berserk. He is capable of killing a chicken hen. I'd put his butt in the cooking pot in a heartbeat.
     
  6. jemimarose

    jemimarose Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not against turning him/her into dog food if necessary, but he/she is very protective of the flock, and we have hawks, eagles, raccoons, and a few other predators that don't bother the flock with Cruella around (unless we unwittingly leave the hen house open at night). I think they'd be in much more danger without a guinea. Once I heard the guinea trumpeting away and went to see what was wrong. There was a raccoon sniffing around, and the guinea was not 4 feet away, staring him down and making a terrible racket.
    Is there another creature that would be that protective without also being so mean to the hens?
     
  7. alije

    alije Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get her/him another guinea, so she/he will not have the time or intrest to harass hens :).
     

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