My young guineas follow my neighbors older guineas back to their property

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by ruby2shoes, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. ruby2shoes

    ruby2shoes New Egg

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    Jan 14, 2012
    Wondering if anyone has had this experience. Been training my 3 month old guineas to enter the coop at night. This morning when I let them out they followed my neighbors older guinea (that has been visiting mine while they are in the coop) back to my neighbors property. I have tried twice today to herd them back with millet to our property and they will not come. They start to follow me and as soon as one of my neighbors guinea calls to them they turn around and run away from me. Any Suggestions? I am just wondering if they will come back at dark? Thanks for your advise.
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I doubt they will come back on their on, or even with some coaxing and food lures, so you may have to go catch them all at dark and put them back in your coop. I'd keep them in for a few days or even a week, to try to break this habit, and the next time you do let them out chase them home as soon as you see them heading over there, you will have to be persistent.... but more than likely your Guineas will always choose to be with your neighbor's birds if they have that choice, they are flock birds by nature and will typically prefer to be with more of their own kind.
     
  3. ruby2shoes

    ruby2shoes New Egg

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    I appreciate your input. My plan is when I get them back in the coop. Keep them there for a week. Then only let 1/2 of them at a time. Then practice herding them back with 8' sticks when bringing the outside group back to the coop before dark. I am interested in the golden feather guinea.
     
  4. ruby2shoes

    ruby2shoes New Egg

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    Whew, I went out and called the guineas about 45 minutes ago this morning with my usual round up call. The male guinea that I did have in the pen started pacing back and forth and calling at sunrise this morning. The rest of the flock came waddling up about 5 minutes ago. They are all safe in the coop. I'm beginning to wonder if they might have come back to roost if we hadn't gone chasing them. Who knows with Guineas! I do love them so.
     
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excellent news, glad they are ALL back home and contained and you didn't lose any. Your plan should work. Herding sticks can be useful, sometimes those silly birds are just like cattle. It helps to start practicing with the sticks while they are in their pen, so they get used to them in a controlled environment... because sometimes the birds will freak out about the sticks and just take flight and scatter.

    I haven't ever had much luck with letting a few of mine (or half) out at a time, it just stresses them all out and they all pace and squawk/call to each other all day, nobody free ranges, and nobody's happy. (I'm not saying that it's not going to work for your flock tho, because it works like a charm for some, just not with my flocks). I find that feeding them and giving treats only in their coop/pen so they understand that is where the food is, and always making the same call over and over to them whenever you are feeding or giving treats helps associate that call, and their coop/run with food, which is really helpful in training them to coop up.

    I've had great success with starting off letting mine out a little hungry in the late afternoons for a while at first (I will take their feed away after they've had breakfast, or by only feeding them a small amount, then wait until the afternoon to let them out) and then I shut their pen behind them after I've let them out so they cannot come and go to eat food while they are out tends to create a little "food dish separation anxiety" lol... and they will want back in, especially when they hear/see I have food. Having a helper doing the herding while I am in the coop/pen calling them, shaking a scoop of food or shaking their feeder at your normal feeding cooping up time helped ingrain the cooping up routine really easily, since Guineas can be really food motivated (that is if they are hungry and have not been eating over at the neighbor's house, lol).

    I gradually work up to allowing them them more and more time out, as long as they cooperate and come running back to the coop/pen when called. Some days I just call them in, give them a little treat but let them right back out. The unexpected treats during the day while they are out tends to keep my flocks from wandering too far, plus it's really nice to be able to call my flocks at any time of the day and they all come running/flying back to me because they know they are going to get some goodies. It's also kinda cool to show visiting friends and family how well your birds come when called too, lol... I show a lot of my Guinea and keets customers how my birds will come running/flying to me from all corners of my 10 acres. They usually all laugh when they see all the little white bald heads pop up, look at me and immediately head my direction, like it's a race. Some people even comment that their dogs don't even come like that when they are called [​IMG]

    Good luck with your training, whichever method or methods you use. Consistency is key, because Guineas like routine and will tend to stick to one once it's established (but if you don't create one for them, they will create their own [​IMG] )
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  6. Okie Amazon

    Okie Amazon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a neighboring male that would come up to my pens and love-talk all my girls into following him off. This happened once and I lost about 5 girls. He tried it again and THIS time I penned his butt up with them until he became MY bird. No more luring of the girls!
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL, score! [​IMG]
     

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