Moving Guineas into a New House


10 Years
May 25, 2009
Long Island, New York
I'll be moving my guineas into a new house soon. The one they are staying in will be turned into a greenhouse. I'll be moving them into a different house that will be about 40 feet away from the house they stay in now. I free range them during the day and they sleep in a house that I lock up at night.


How do I catch them to stuff them into their new house?

How long should they stay locked up in it (24 hours a day) before letting them out to free range again?

If you can catch them at night, by grabbing them one at a time off of the roost... that's probably your best bet. Otherwise I suggest taking away access to their food after you let them out of their old coop/house to free range and shut the old coop/house. Don't feed them anything all day and then try coaxing the birds into their new coop/house with food/treats (before dark) while you have someone else calmly herding them in. Guineas hate change, so they may not cooperate tho. Once you do get them moved, the norm is supposedly 6 wks to reprogram Guineas to a new coop... but with their new coop/house being only 40 feet away from the previous one you might have a lot of issues getting them to go to the right coop, even after 6 wks. Do you use a food call to get them to come running when you call them? If so that should help, as long as they are willing to enter the new coop/house.
Best of luck!
6 weeks??? ARG! That's a long time! I was figuring one or two! No, I don't use a food call. I know I should have from the beginning like I used to with the chickens. I guess I overlooked that one. Darn. I was hoping this would be a little easier. Really? That long?
Well, I guess I could plan the move around the coldest time of the year. That way I won't feel bad about them not free ranging at all. I wonder if I should put up a temporary pen for them so they don't get too cramped or is that not necessary?

BTW, how many square feet does a guinea need to sleep in the house they'll be locked in just to sleep? About the same as a chicken?
When i first got guineas, i also cringed at the fact of locking them up for six weeks. I only locked them in for one week, and it worked perfecly fine. The only reason it worked though, is because this was their first coop, they didnt have an "old coop" to try to sneak back to.

I think what you should do, is only keep them in for a week or two, and feed them a lot while they are in there. The food would make them feel more comfortable there. Make sure to close any windows at night so it is not drafty or cold, make it seem safe and secure at night for them. When you let them out, have the old coop inaccessible to them. Lock the doors so they cant get in, and at dusk scary any of them that try to go near there. With no other choice, they will gladly go to the new coop. They instinctively look for a safe dark spot too sleep at night, and making the new coop a closed in and secure spot, will draw their attention when night starts to come. And they need about as much space as chickens does. If it's just a sleeping house for them, it doesnt need to be too big, it should be more tall, because guineas like to sleep up high, but if your going to keep them in there for some time, they do need to have some good room.
When I got my last batch of guineas I did about three weeks,and I had no issues, they went in every night with the chickens in till about 8 months later at which time I am unsure what happen, I think I lost them while they were sitting on there eggs in the woods.
Ill be getting another batch this week I hope and Ill prob do it for about a month this time I ll see how they are acting.
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Only a week or 2 probably won't work, with the other coop being 40 feet away (inaccessible or not)... they will still know THAT is their old home and want to roost there. Guineas generally are not cooperative like chickens in that aspect, they have to be reprogrammed to living/roosting in a new space. You want them to completely forget about the old coop and feel safe/secure in the new coop, hence the 6 wks (that's how long it usually takes to reprogram adult birds). If you only keep them in a couple weeks chances are they will still choose the old coop and it will be a fiasco for you to get them into the new coop each night. Scaring them if they go anywhere near their old coop will more than likely result in scattered birds up in the trees (or on top of their old coop) that trust you even less than they already do. And yes, a temporary pen would help your situation, especially if you don't want to try the full 6 weeks... that way you can herd them in from a confined space and make an established routine of going into THAT coop before you let them out to free range.

How long you leave them locked up is of course entirely up to you... but a logical way of looking at it would be how much hassle do you want to deal with chasing Guineas around at dusk each night (or in the dark) and how many of your flock do you want to risk losing to predators because you can't get them in? This time of year there are a lot of hungry predators...
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