My guinea problems

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by bossynbella, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
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    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    Well most of the time I love my guineas, just seems like a couple months a year I almost hate them. This is one of those times. First a little background, we started with Guinea keets spring of 2009, with royal purples, coral blues and Opaline. We found out by fall of 2010 that we had three purple boys as well as 2 coral blue boys and only 3 coral blue girls and 1 Opaline girl, We gave away/sold all two purples and one blue male. Then the purple male disappeared. Leaving us with 3 coral blue girls , 1 Opaline girl and 1 coral blue boy. The attacks on the chickens stopped immediately when we only had one male. The females all hatched out keets this year. two hatched out two clutches. Our male guinea attacked one of the keets from the first clutch, breaking its leg. We separated the adult from the others and the little guy did well, he is still around today. The second hen(Opaline) who hatched a clutch didn't do well as a mom, we ended up bringing in two of hers and one from the first group that was lagging behind, we raised them inside away from the rest. When we turned them out with the others at about 3 months, one disappeared right away, the other two didn't stay together at all and soon the youngest a purple died. The oldest one a coral blue HEN did well never hanging with the guineas who would chase her but with the chickens, who accepted her as a chicken I guess. Here is why I am ranting. Yesterday I was in the bathroom and happened to look out the window. I noticed all the guineas and then saw they where following the Coral blue hen around pecking her. I hurried out, but it was to late, she was just laying there, not dead but couldn't move. I shooed them away (then never are aggressive toward us) and grabbed her bringing her inside. It was to late, she died about an hour later. There was really not much blood, I am not sure if it was the stress that killed her or what but I am furious. She was so much friendlier then the others, more like the chickens and I got attached. Now the males are going. I don't know how but if we end up having to butcher them so be it. We will keep one purple male for the winter and that is it. We tried separating them but they can get out of almost anything/ any place we have that's big enough for them. Short of shutting them up in rabbit cages.
    Any one have male guineas that live in harmony? is it just because of the girls? WHY would they kill a girl? that's what I don't get? She was definitely a girl she was always calling "buckwheat" like she wanted the chickens to answer her.

    Some pictures of the big group of guineas
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    The ones who are causing the problems when they where little and sweet
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    My males get along....there's always some sparring amongst them in the spring, but I've never had any problems with them....even when I turned younger birds out with them.
     
  3. roocrazy

    roocrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2009
    minnesota!!!!
    ditto
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Your mistake was getting rid of the extra males. Guineas react differently than chickens when it comes to having more males than females. The males will focus on each other when it comes to sparring and will leave the others and the chickens alone.

    You need to add males. You should not turn out young birds that have not spent time in a secure area in the Guinea coop for them to get to know each other.
     
  5. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2010
    I purchased 2 guineas when I purchased my 2 chickens and 1 rooster, they were all approx 3 weeks old. We were hoping for one of each but they are both males. I have 1 hen 1 yr and all others about 6 months old now. When the boys spar, which they do alot the rooster steps in and tells them to knock it off. The problem I'm having is they chase and pull on the 2 younger hens tail feathers, the hens are clearly afraid of them but they dont' bother the 1 yr old hen. When the guineas chase and catch the hens the rooster does nothing so I've taken to chasing them with a broom. Now the 2 hens hide behind me for protection when I'm there. My worry is they will become more aggressive and if I have to close everyone up any period of time this winter someone will get hurt or killed. I've tried to place the 2 guys but no one wants them!!! They do love the chickens though and follow them everywhere, if they get separated they yell their heads off. One thing I have noticed is being raised with the chickens when hawks fly over they hide with the chickens and don't make a sound. If I rescue them and run them for cover in their run in close the gate that's when the rooster will start flapping his wings and the guineas start yelling. Weird.
     
  6. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Quote:Quite simply, you don't have enough Guineas. I really wish people would learn about this creature before they add them to their flocks. Guineas should have at least ten Guineas in the flock to keep them from focusing on the chickens. Their genetics dictate that they behave in a certain way and nothing you do will change that except to add to the Guinea numbers or get rid of the two.
     
  7. silkydragon

    silkydragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    618
    0
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    Nov 1, 2009
    ohio valley
    Quote:Quite simply, you don't have enough Guineas. I really wish people would learn about this creature before they add them to their flocks. Guineas should have at least ten Guineas in the flock to keep them from focusing on the chickens. Their genetics dictate that they behave in a certain way and nothing you do will change that except to add to the Guinea numbers or get rid of the two.

    i did research and asked my dads friend who raises guineas chickens pheasant turkey and quail he said "just get a pair and find out how you like them if you do after a yr or 2 then add a few more" he keeps 6 with no problems so i got a pair luckily i did end up with a yung male and female the ppl i bought them off of didnt know the difference untill the waddles get bigger i read the females make a different call but im never confident in that stuff feal like hearing the buckwheat and whistling assuming that ment i had a male and female was just hopefull thinking
     
  8. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Quote:Quite simply, you don't have enough Guineas. I really wish people would learn about this creature before they add them to their flocks. Guineas should have at least ten Guineas in the flock to keep them from focusing on the chickens. Their genetics dictate that they behave in a certain way and nothing you do will change that except to add to the Guinea numbers or get rid of the two.

    i did research and asked my dads friend who raises guineas chickens pheasant turkey and quail he said "just get a pair and find out how you like them if you do after a yr or 2 then add a few more" he keeps 6 with no problems so i got a pair luckily i did end up with a yung male and female the ppl i bought them off of didnt know the difference untill the waddles get bigger i read the females make a different call but im never confident in that stuff feal like hearing the buckwheat and whistling assuming that ment i had a male and female was just hopefull thinking

    The one thing that made Guinea keeping better for me was when my flock numbers were above ten. It seems to be the magical number for Guineas to ignore chickens and not try to involve them in their territorial, leader of the flock actions.

    I've raised Guineas for years now, I would never recommend someone just get a pair if they are also keeping free range chickens. By doing that they've added to your stress because they are after your chickens and you are losing out on the positive aspects of keeping them. Do mine ever frustrate me? Of course they do, trying to move a flock of Guineas can be like pushing a rope when they don't want to move. But having the numbers I do also means I can free range my chickens without concern, my chickens visit the Guinea coop with no threat from the Guineas. Other than a dodge at one of the chickens when it gets too close to a mate there is never, ever any problems with the two species interacting.
     
  9. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
    1
    163
    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    Well first of all I don't think I made a mistake getting rid of the extra males when they where tormenting my chickens and attatcking the other guineas and even chasing our dog. Once they where gone and all we had was one male it was like a different story, they where calm, the male and three hens hung out together and never bothered the chickens or picked on each other. We did do research before we got them, and the guy we got them from has bred them for over 20 years, he gave us a lot of advise as well. Whenever we have more then a couple males they form what can only be called a "gang" and harass all the other animals on the farm, its like teenage boys, you get to many together and bad things happen lol. Anyway, thanks for the help,
     
  10. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Quote:So now you have one male that has no other male to spar with. Read what I said, Guineas co-exist with other birds if their numbers are significant enough to behave as a flock of Guineas will and do. If they are not they will go after the next best thing. The Guinea is a wild creature, it is a territorial creature, there is constant vying for top of the hierarchy. That can not be changed, its what they are.

    My husband watched our younger Guineas run a herd of deer from the back of our property to the front and kept after them until the deer jumped the fence. That is a Guinea, that is what a Guinea is wired to do. They will eventually relax about our small herd of deer. For now they are practicing their flock unity.

    Just as we accept that there are differences in different breeds within a species we also need to accept there is a difference when the species is different even though it has feathers and can fly.

    And yes, it was a mistake to remove your extra males. Chances are good that things would have settled and the boys would be pounding on each other and not have killed the female. Although if that was the female that was turned out without reintroduction then the outcome was to be expected.
     

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