Minnesota!

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by foxhollow, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Rhetts

    Rhetts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DH has wanted guineas from the moment we started talking about getting birds a year ago. I would like to have them too I guess. I would hate to be feeding the local predator population any more than I already am. And of course free ranging them to get all those nummy bugs is the way we would have to go. Do they come back each night to roost or 'coop up' like chickens do?
     
  2. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    They do and they don't. They are very independent. They are fun to watch, they do stupid things, they chase each other they may even kill another one in some kind of gangland slaying ritual.

    They may go into the coop with the chickens, mine actually go in earlier than the chickens 90% of the time. I think they want the prime roosts. Once in a while they decide they want to stay outside for the night.

    During chicken TV hour, they will get close, but not close enough to grab or hold. They are very upset and fight if you do grab one. I "hope" to hatch out about 30 this year. I would like to get my number up to 30, figuring a 50% loss over the year until next hatch. They will eat at the chicken feeders but they do not stay at them long.

    They are vacuum cleaners for bugs, if you can stand the noise and the antics they are worth having. If you have neighbors you should skip them. Mine have started crossing the road, I expect a few will get smucked. There is a field with longer grass in it over there, I assume they are laying eggs in it. From what I understand they do not make good mothers. I lost about half of mine before they were 2 weeks old. they seem to die for the fun of it.



    I forgot to mention if a bird of prey flies over, they will announce it loudly and often! You will need ear plugs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  3. Rhetts

    Rhetts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bugs we have plenty of. It doesn't seem like the current birds made any dent in them at all last year. We have an over abundance of spiders and ticks here.
    Now did you raise your guineas with the chickens and that is why they roost together? Since that won't be the case here what if I raised up another batch of chicks with the guineas and introduced them at the same time when integrating them into the existing flock? Are they hard to raise like poults or worse?
    Neighbors haven't complained yet of the noise coming from the 6 geese, are guineas worse? I do have a dirt road right in front of my house that the turkey crosses to lay her eggs in the woods across the road. I am trying to get the fence line set up to keep them behind the house instead of wandering around in the front. Still a work in progress but by the time the guineas would free range they would be in a confined pasture (I hope) without road access.
    Can anyone recommend where to get the guineas from or just stick to what I know and go with Mcmurray?
     
  4. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  5. Cearbhael

    Cearbhael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in Foley, so yeah I know the area. Yes we have a coop here in St Cloud. I don't recall seeing herbs but probably they do have them. I get my thick cut locally grown oatmeal from there. My sis goes there every time she comes to visit.
     
  6. ejb3810

    ejb3810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Guineas which I raised from chicks. Once they were large enough to fend for themselves they were integrated with the free range chicken flock. They do come back to the coop to roost at night, but unlike Ralphie's mine are the last to the coop. They take whatever perch they wish due to their aggressive nature. When the hens go broody it is difficult for me to find the nests as a result of woods and brushy areas along my field. when on the nest they are vulnerable to predators. The best situation would be to confine them so they have to nest where you can see, but then they are not really on tick patrol.
    The Guinea hens are not good mothers, and the chicks are very vulnerable to cold and wet conditions. They are definitely entertaining and good to rid your property of ticks, but they are noisy, wander a large area, will be on the road and harvest many unprotected garden and landscape plants.
    Unfenced blueberry plants will yield food for free range chickens and guineas but none for the farmer.
     
  7. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are natural wormers available. Some people do a mixture of cayenne and raw pumpkin seeds. I add cayenne to my feed all winter, and the table scraps around here are pretty spicy all year round. ;) In the fall, I cut a lot of pumpkins I've grown for the chickens in half, they devour them. I use these as preventatives, though. For a suspected infestation, where you don't want to go the chemical route, there are wormers specifically for poultry using effective concentrations of herbs. At least on that front, that's what I've heard from others - I haven't had a worm issue yet to test them on. The name of the more popular one eludes me, though.

    Lalaland - do you know what I'm referring to? and have you ever used it? Vet-something.

    I have no problem using conventional medicine for the family or pets or livestock when necessary, but I do try the natural route first in most instances. Using common sense, of course.

    Raising the guineas with chickens from keet/chick does seem to have an effect on the homing instinct of the guineas. Other people I've known said their guineas would just wander off and never come back. If you get some, you will either love or hate them. No one feels "meh" about guineas!! But they are good eating, so if you can't stand the noise it's not a total loss! Rhetts, I've ordered mine from Cackle Hatchery before. Sometimes people on craigslist sell keets. They are not as awful as turkey poults in just trying really hard to die on you, but their mortality rate is higher than that of chicks. If you could get fertile eggs, it might be cheaper than ordering the minimum number of day-old keets from any given hatchery.

    Good luck on hatching out your guineas this year, Ralphie. My husband really wants me to hatch some more out, for tick control and eating, but I think I need separate housing for them or there will be no peace in the winter coop and a lot of guinea for dinner. My daughter suspects I have another male in the flock. I am eager to see if she's right and the eggs are fertile. Do you check yours for a bullseye, too, or just incubate them and wait & see??
     
  8. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    I am a terrible candler. I would not know a bullseye if the bull was till attached to it.. I candle them and see they have a reasonable air sac and test weigh a couple.

    Other than that, I just throw them in the incubator and worry like an old lady...

    I am thinking I found my problems, IT is that cheapy incubator I bought. I just wanted a hatcher so I got a cheap still air one. I have 3 thermometers in it right now, 2 probes in one vent 1 in the other. I have readings of 95.5..... 97..... and 104.. How is that possible does a fan make that much difference? I read on here somewhere still air make better hatchers, then Minnie said otherwise and I am thinking she is right, they are wrong, I may have to make a trip to Monticello for a fan for this thing...

    I put the three in the other incubators and they read within a few tenths of each other...


    I find it interesting EJB's guineas go in last, when mine normally go in first, BUT one thing about guineas they are unpredictable!

    And they do get their way with the other birds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  9. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    2 of my green eggs under my broody r hatching!!![​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    Orrock township, Minnesota
    Grats
     

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