New guinea owner :)

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by TJsguineas2016, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. TJsguineas2016

    TJsguineas2016 Just Hatched

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    Jul 22, 2016
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    Hello guinea owners; HELP!!! I originally posted my question on the main forum and they suggested I come directly to the guinea professionals, lol. Here's what I wrote:

    "Hello everyone. My name is Terry. I have just joined this site with hopes of learning how to raise my new babies (guineas). This is our first time having guineas, or any birds for that matter, and we are very excited (me more than my boyfriend.)

    We have 2 birds that are about 2 months old and 8 that we purchased as tiny babies a month ago. They are a lot of fun to watch. We were keeping them in the basement while we were constructing what we call the Guinea Mansion and Safe House. I was taking them from the basement to the yard in a bird cage as soon as the weather heated up. They would get a treat on the way in and another when I took them back in in the evening. They were responding to me very well as I spend quite a bit of time with them. All was going too perfect, I guess, cause now that I have put them in the mansion, I can't get them to come out by themselves even with treats. I'm trying to teach them their new routine of coming in and out but they're just not responding. We've made a ramp for them to come in and out of the house and I know this is probably freaking them out, as well. I open the door and they all just stand there and look at it and become very skittish. There's 2 areas they can exit the house, one in the front and one on the side. I thought I'd try the front entrance since it faces the house since the side one doesn't seem to be working. I'm not ready for them to free-roam yet (my nerves can't take it, lol) so I have fenced in a little area for them to come out and forage. (if they'd come out)

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance."
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Have patience. It takes time for guineas to overcome changes in their lives. If you have a covered run, open the coop to the run and just leave them alone. To encourage them to come out into the run, you could move their food and water into the run during the day. It will take time but they will eventually leave the coop.
     
  3. TJsguineas2016

    TJsguineas2016 Just Hatched

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    Jul 22, 2016
    Coolville, Ohio
    Thank you very much for the advise. I will keep trying. They know my voice when I call to them (it's so cute to watch them come running to the front of the coop) and they want to come out, but they just haven't found the courage yet.
     
  4. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guineas aren't really "domesticated" in the sense chickens are. They are essentially a game bird. So naturally they are much more nervous and cautious about everything. It take them much longer to adjust to new surroundings and changes to their routine. Lots of patience is my advise.
     
  5. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you post a picture of their Mansion? It might be easier to brainstorm some ideas if I could see the layout. Are all 10 in together and what size is it? On one hand it's good that they are happy in their Mansion. I've heard of some Guineas who don't want to go into their coop - that's one problem you don't have! They're still little and they'll come around. It takes time and a willingness to make constant modifications. What works one week, may not work the next week or will have to be tweaked. Good luck!
     
  6. TJsguineas2016

    TJsguineas2016 Just Hatched

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    Jul 22, 2016
    Coolville, Ohio
    Hi GlennLee. Sorry I haven't responded, I've just recently joined this site and actually forgot to check it the last few days. I'm happy to say, my babies (guineas) have finally come out of their coop. I added a small perch on the outside that has done the trick. They go in and out now like it's nothing. AMAZING! My boyfriend and I were so excited to watch them. Tonight will be their next trial; we're going to open the gate for them to forage around in the yard. I'm going to start with an hour or so since it will be early evening before I get home from work to let them out, but they've been doing great so I have faith. I've only named 3 of mine so far; Scratch is the oldest white male, Peatree is the oldest white female, and Little Mot is one of my Pied, and he/she is the runt. I've got 10 all together, so I probably wouldn't remember all their names anyway, but as they start roaming around the yard and I discover the males from the females, I'm sure I'll come up with more names.
    I'll take a few pics of them and their Mansion/Safe House (as we call it). It's nothing elaborate, it's a joke between him and me more than anything. We still worked hard on it, though. I still have siding to put on before winter, but I'll post a few pics anyway.
    Thank you for responding. I was thinking about joining the "Guinea Talk" forum but wasn't sure I'd have the time to keep up with messages. I may do it anyway, I like reading about everyone else's guinea experiences. Some of the things I've read about other's guineas, mine have already done or may be doing soon.
     
  7. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem TJ - glad that you decided to post in "Guinea Talk". And not worry about keeping up with messages, everyone just does it when they can. It is fun to learn from on another - I've received a lot of good information and support through this new venture.

    Please do post pictures of the Mansion when you get the chance - I'm sure we'd love to see the Mansion/Safe House! So good to hear that the keets have finally come out of their coop. Interesting that the porch did the trick. So much of what we do with them is trial and error and I'll keep that porch idea in mind if I have to come up with something to transition mine from their old coop into their new one. Pattyhen (in Guinea Talk) has found that hers love to swing on their glider swing and before her, Troy who started the thread found that his guinea could swim and enjoyed it. That gave me the idea to do some water therapy with one of my injured birds. Sadly, the bird did die, but it seemed to enjoy floating the the Epsom Salt bath while it was alive. Good thing I'm retired and have time for all this silliness!

    Good luck with their free ranging too. I think if you just do a little at a time like you said and reward them with their food to get them in, they'll do just fine. It's nerve wracking at first and I was driving myself nuts trying to keep them on the property, but I finally just had to let it go. Once they know they have a Safe House - and yours do [​IMG] - they'll look forward to returning each night. I have mine come back to a bell about an hour before sunset. They are doing great and most times have gathered around the coop on their own before it's time to put them in. They really do make that connection quickly - at least mine have - and probably yours will too.

    You have quite a variety - white, pied - I'll bet they're beautiful and I like their names too, very unique... Even with the 10, you'll find they have their own looks and personalities and it's fun to match up new names with the birds as they make themselves known. With that many, it's hard to keep them all straight while they are moving, but when you sit with them and they are bedded down (if that's what you call it with guineas), you'll find the same ones separate themselves out and hang together and you can notice the differences while they are still (markings on the feet, subtle shape of head, position of the eyes, profiles, voice, shape of wattles, etc.)

    Enjoy the wonderful world of guineas and hope to hear from you again soon. Thanks for contributing! It's good to be a silent reader, but that only benefits one person. Posting on the forum benefits us all.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. TJsguineas2016

    TJsguineas2016 Just Hatched

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    Jul 22, 2016
    Coolville, Ohio
    Here are a few pics of my babies and the Guinea Mansion/Safe House.
    Also, I have a question for someone; I'm still feeding mine the chick starter feed but now that they are getting older, how much should I be giving them. I've cut back to only feeding them in the evening when I put them in the coop, but wonder if I'm still giving them too much. I want to make sure they still want to forage and not just rely on the feed, but want them to be healthy.
    Thanks everyone:)


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  9. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Terry,

    What a great set up; it is a Mansion! I'll bet they enjoy all those levels, runs and hiding places and you did a wonderful job putting it all together. It reminds me of a children's jungle gym that you would see in a park. Your Guineas are beautiful and look very healthy too.

    As for feeding, I don't really measure... Like you, I only feed them when they come back in the coop at the end of the day- motivation for them to return and reinforcement for training. I have two feeders for the flock of 15 - only the bottom pans (they broke the originals) of two gravity feed metal feeders secured with a bungee cord to a half cinder block. I put in a couple of big scoops (don't measure) in each one. I'll measure it out for you to give you an idea and calculate per bird, but my Guineas are bigger, so they are probably eating more and they free range 12 hours a day at this point.

    My goal is to have them eat what is put out and not have any left over for the morning. You can probably play with the feed until you figure out what that magic amount is. Mine don't seem to overeat or under eat. You can work backward - take an amount of feed and watch to see how much is left - or if you need to add more - and use that measurement for the time being. You should be able to tailor the amount to your flock's needs as they grow. I found that they let me know what they need if I take the time to observe. As long as they are getting a high protein feed, combined with their foraging, they should be good.

    Eventually, I may restrict the flock's evening amount, but that's what I'm doing at this point with 13 week old French Guineas. I will forward a per bird amount to you when I measure.

    Best,
    Rhonda
     
  10. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central New York
    I did measure and my 15 Guineas are going through about 1/2 cup of food per bird when they come into the coop each night. They are free ranging about 12 hours a day at this point. I'm sure I'll have to give additional food in the morning once I cut back on the free ranging due to shorter daylight hours and winter weather. Hope this gives you an idea.
     

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