New owner of 8 guinea fowl - I need some advice

wyoDreamer

Crowing
9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
4,816
6,177
431
NE Wisconsin
Okay, the backstory: Dh and I are buying a place and the current owners have guinea fowl there. DH saw them when he looking at the place for purchase. He opened the door to the coop, saw the birds inside and shut the door again real quick. He was quite proud that he knew they were guinea fowl!
When we were negotiating on our purchase of the place, we were asked if we would like to have them. We figured - why not! It will be nice to have them around for pest control since we are moving to an area with massive amounts of wood ticks and Lyme Disease. I am going to get chickens eventually anyway.

So now - reality is sinking in, and we close on the place next week. AND I do not know how to care for guinea fowl!
I am not sure of the ratio of male and female. All I know is that there are 8 of them and they are currently cooped up.
I believe they have been cooped most of the winter, so they should be coop trained - right?

My plan is to let them out in the morning, leave them out during the daytime, put feed out in the coop at night and hope that they will come back to the coop in the evening so I can close them up for safety overnight.

Do I have a snowball chance of this plan working?

I plan on getting game bird feed for them.
 

R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,952
43,657
1,191
Natrona County, Wyoming
Okay, the backstory: Dh and I are buying a place and the current owners have guinea fowl there. DH saw them when he looking at the place for purchase. He opened the door to the coop, saw the birds inside and shut the door again real quick. He was quite proud that he knew they were guinea fowl!
When we were negotiating on our purchase of the place, we were asked if we would like to have them. We figured - why not! It will be nice to have them around for pest control since we are moving to an area with massive amounts of wood ticks and Lyme Disease. I am going to get chickens eventually anyway.

So now - reality is sinking in, and we close on the place next week. AND I do not know how to care for guinea fowl!
I am not sure of the ratio of male and female. All I know is that there are 8 of them and they are currently cooped up.
I believe they have been cooped most of the winter, so they should be coop trained - right?

My plan is to let them out in the morning, leave them out during the daytime, put feed out in the coop at night and hope that they will come back to the coop in the evening so I can close them up for safety overnight.

Do I have a snowball chance of this plan working?

I plan on getting game bird feed for them.
My best suggestion is to talk to the previous owners. They are the ones that can best answer questions directly pertaining the guineas that you are acquiring.

You can also learn practically everything that you need to know about guineas by reading the Raising Guinea Fowl 101 thread. Pay particular attention to posts made by PeepsCA.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/312682/raising-guinea-fowl-101
 

wyoDreamer

Crowing
9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
4,816
6,177
431
NE Wisconsin
When I said I would take them, I asked for instructions from the owner. What I got was a generic PDF document that was pulled off the internet the described what a guinea hen was. The realtors seem to work so hard to keep the sellers and buyers from meeting face-to-face. Every communication must go through the realtor.

One thing that I have read is that they like to roost high. It seems a lot of people let them just roost in barns and such, but we really don't want them to roost in the machine shed. DH's quote from yesterday was "If they poop on my tractor they are going into the pot." We also have a number of large trees in the yard around the house and I want to get them into the coop for safety. I am sure there are a lot of coon's, foxes and coyotes in the area.
 

R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,952
43,657
1,191
Natrona County, Wyoming
When I said I would take them, I asked for instructions from the owner. What I got was a generic PDF document that was pulled off the internet the described what a guinea hen was. The realtors seem to work so hard to keep the sellers and buyers from meeting face-to-face. Every communication must go through the realtor.

One thing that I have read is that they like to roost high. It seems a lot of people let them just roost in barns and such, but we really don't want them to roost in the machine shed. DH's quote from yesterday was "If they poop on my tractor they are going into the pot." We also have a number of large trees in the yard around the house and I want to get them into the coop for safety. I am sure there are a lot of coon's, foxes and coyotes in the area.
Sounds like your request never made it to the previous owners. Most owners either love or hate their guineas and if the former owners were among the guinea lovers I would expect them to be more than happy to talk to you about the guineas. Unfortunately you are correct about the realtors doing everything they can to keep the sellers from actually talking to the buyers.

The number one predator around here of guineas roosting in trees are great horned owls. I lost my entire first flock of guineas to great horned owls.

There is a lot of extremely good information in the Raising Guinea Fowl 101 thread. Some of the information is how to get your guineas to come to a call or bell using treats, how to herd your guineas using long sticks, what to feed them and much more.

It does appear that when guineas roost is when they crap the most, so you definitely don't want them roosting above his precious tractor. While they are delicious, they can't be doing pest control if they are in the "pot".

Hope everything works out for you.
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,521
1,311
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
That is so true realtors do want to be the middle man and all the
face to face to a minimum and best if nothing at all ....


Guinea will eat just about anything you put in front of them grass
and bugs are some of their favorites but try not to feed them to
much or they will depend on you and less on the bugs and guinea
are great buggers if you let them as my ant problem vanished
overnight with them and I do let them under the house to clean
out all the spiders and what a job they did on that but I would not
let the chickens under there at all .....

Guinea do like to roost up high and mine had a Bob-Cat all
bayed up under a shed last week but the Bob-Cat never got
to leave as the guinea held him up so he never got to leave ....




They do get along fairly well with others







Like Rice and corn








Checking for bugs







Yum, yum rice beans & corn




Enjoy them Guinea







gander007
 
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wyoDreamer

Crowing
9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
4,816
6,177
431
NE Wisconsin
We closed on the house and I spent the weekend there. Turns out that the guinea hens are already going into the coop every night to roost all on their own.
Yeah!


They are the coolest little birds. So entertaining. And they wander the property all day, staying fairly close the buildings for now.
DH is bonding with them. He has taken the responsibility of closing them in every night.
Seven grey ones and one white one. I call the white one - Biddy Betty. Whenever we get too close or are where she wants to go, she will standup, flap her wings and give us a piece of her mind. SH says she is not the top of the pecking order, but definitely not at the bottom either, just a little more pushy and mouthy than the others. Haven't figured out yet how may females and males we have though.
 

wyoDreamer

Crowing
9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
4,816
6,177
431
NE Wisconsin
They move around in a mass, Biddy Betty is the only one I can pick out of the group. :)
And they never hold still long enough to compare wattle size. Seriously, one minute they are behind the garage, the next they are on the other side of the farmstead behind the barn.
We were so busy moving into the house that we didn't really have a chance to get to know the guineas.

Oh, yeah, gotta tell you, Dh killed a mouse in the house, wrapped it up an a paper towel and set it outside by the garage to throw away the next morning. He didn't want to put it in the garbage can in the kitchen for some reason. The next morning, he let the guineas out, and then came in for breakfast. by the time I got breakfast cleaned up and went outside, the paper towel was ripped apart and the mouse was missing. I guess that was the ruckus I heard outside while we were eating breakfast.

I really like those guineas!
 

gfnovice

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 11, 2014
12
0
24
Alstead NH
I will soon be a guinea mom as well..we were thinking 12 but will go for 8….so I can't wait to experience what you are describing!
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,005
1,687
321
Boulder, Colorado
Betty is probably Billy. Males have a rounder, fluffier shape than the hens. They also tend to be more vocal if something is amiss. They will have longer handlebar waddles. Cocks will have a single syllable screech.
The 2 in the foreground are males. The one in the back is a hen. Very different shapes.

Hen and cock side by side.
If you observe 2 chasing each other with their wings fluffed up, those are 2 males jockeying for position.

My guineas always return to the coop at night. They do need a higher roost. Mine is 6'. Before I put one up high for them them they would sleep in the rafters outside the coop. As soon as I put that one up, they haven't slept outside.
 
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