More guinea questions

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by mamaKate, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    I read "Gardening With Guineas" and came away with the idea that carefully tamed guineas are sweet tractable birds. [​IMG] I'd really like to have pair of lavenders, but having read lots of first hand experience here, maybe not .[​IMG] Will they be aggressive with my hens? If I have to pen them up when I'm not home, will they freak out and disturb the neighbors? [​IMG] Lastly, can I only buy keets in summer? [​IMG] Thanks guys-I appreciate you sharing your experience.
     
  2. feathersgalore

    feathersgalore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Central Ohio
    My guineas live peacefully with my chickens. When I add a chicken they pay no attention. While I've also heard some terrible stories, I personally haven't experienced any trouble with mine. I've had both chickens and guineas together for over 4 years. Guineas are seasonal layers. They are just finishing up their breeding season. My are done and won't start laying again until the spring. They can be loud but this usually when experiencing something new. When mine are in the pen, they are pretty quiet.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:That book only vaguely touches on the aggression that guineas sometimes show toward chickens with the glib phrase, "Guineas rule!". It really glosses over many of the issues I had and others have had. Yeppers, they do rule if they want to. I had four VERY tame guineas from day olds till right at egg laying age. They grew up in the coop from 4 weeks old with the chickens, who were a few months older. They lived with them and freeranged on the same territory, then suddenly one day, it was all over when my alpha male attacked a RIR hen. For awhile it was a war with those two, but progressed to all red chickens, then my rooster. Time for them to go. I miss them alot and want to have them again some day, but I'll let a broody hatch them and see if that helps at all.

    Yes you can only buy keets in summer and maybe early fall. They are seasonal layers. You can only pen them up if the pen has a top on it, though. They are excellent flyers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  4. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    People have such different experiences. Could color have any effect? Maybe different colors are more aggressive?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I've never heard that. One of mine was a very large pearl hen, then I had one lav hen and two lav cocks. Guineas are NOTHING like chickens, except they are fowl. They dont fight like roosters, but in a manner where they bodyslam their victim from all sides and just keep attacking. They need higher protein as keets than chicks for optimal growth, they are LOUD, LOUD, LOUD and sometimes for seemingly no reason.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    I've been trying to track down why some people have no problem with guineas and chickens and some end up with a very bad situation. A few people have said raising the keets with the chickens is actually the wrong thing to do. If raised together the guineas think of the chickens as part of the same flock and can turn agressive toward them in order to put them in their place in the pecking order. If raised apart they are more likely to make their own flock and ignore the chickens.

    The guinea farm here in Iowa offers chicks may-october. The feed store will order guineas in with the chicks at the beginning of the year. They don't seem to be any more seasonal than the chickens.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I also think that if there is a large group of guineas, that is actually better. They then tend to keep to themselves and form a separate society, more or less. At the time of my guinea troubles, I had 4 guineas and 11 chickens, not highly uneven. If I had many more chickens or many more guineas, it may have been different. The real thing people need to get straight is that they are not like chickens and may get a bit high and mighty with them; hopefully, it will work out, but it's better not to be blindsided by trouble.
    French guineas have a longer laying season than regular ones, so maybe that's what you're seeing, but regular guineas do not lay in winter. And French guineas sometimes cannot mate naturally, either.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  8. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    If you want my 2 cents' worth, our neighbor down the road had 4 guinea roosters (1 lav, 3 white) free ranging. The 2nd yr turned into VERY free ranging, including a daily invasion of our yard, where they terrified our chicken flock and just took over the whole yard and other neighbors' yards even further away. They were a big problem, and I was always chasing them with a broom, trying to keep them from discovering our chickens' feed in the coop, or it would be "all over". They were LOUD (our daughter does a good imitation of them) and left a very negative impression. :mad:
     
  9. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I love my guineas. I don't keep them with the chickens. I took our tool shed and made it into a guinea house. This way they have easy access to the garden which is their "run". As far as taming goes: 'good luck'. I handled mine a couple of times a day. They were willing to sit on my hand and have their throats stroked. It was very cute. I put them outside with the older guineas (too old to tame), and it was all over in a matter of hours. They're now just as wild as the others. I don't know if this is the result of putting them with unsocialized birds, inadequate training or just guinea idiocy.
     
  10. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I haven't had my guineas long enough to address the potential aggressive issues with my chickens. My guineas are only five months old right now and stay with the chickens all the time. Well, kinda all the time... the guineas usually fly out of the six foot run each morning so they are free ranging for the entire day. I let my chickens out to join them after lunch. They are always together when free ranging. I'm guessing by next summer I'll have a better idea if it's going to continue to work out.

    I did want to say that my female guineas are LOUD! ALL the time! They almost never shut up, I would think something was wrong if I didn't hear them all day long. Thankfully where we live it's fine and we like to hear them (from a distance). When I'm in the coop with them and they are vocalizing... it can literally hurt my ears.
     

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