Newbie to Guineas

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Kansas Gal, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Kansas Gal

    Kansas Gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    Hi all! Three weeks ago today, we bought 6 3-week-old Pearl Guinea chicks, and unfortunately, did not notice a tiny space that they could get out of, and within 2 days, one chick was dead in the little pen and two were missing. My guess is that they had gotten out, and were running around the pen trying to get back in with the others, when our cats probably got them during the night. I immediately took the three surviving ones and put them in a 3' x 3' crate for a couple of weeks, and in the meantime, built a pen for them out of hog panels with chicken wire covering it, and covered it with boards for shade. I also put a little sheltered area in for them and a roost. It isn't the best, but it is plenty big for these little guys right now. (They get treats like melons, cucumbers, bread, fresh grass, etc., every day, along with any grasshoppers, crickets, etc I can catch, and also their regular feed). I built this pen in the chickens' 50' x 100' fence, to give the guineas and hens a chance to be around each other and get used to each other. I want to let the guineas be able to free range eventually, but don't want to let them out until they are older. When would be a good time to let them out with the hens? Two of my Buff Orpingtons seem to like to hang out around the guineas pen. I don't know if they think they are baby chicks or are just curious or a combination thereof! I know the guineas could easily fly over the chickens' pen, and want them to be able to get out in the yard, but am worried that at this age, they would just disappear and/or be killed. I liked the suggestion of putting white millet in their feed, and use a whistle or bell or something every time they get this treat, to teach them to come back to their enclosure at night. Any suggestions will be very much appreciated! I just want some guineas around the yard to take care of the ticks and other critters out there, and want them to be safe and enjoy themselves!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  2. kitty928

    kitty928 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Haslett, MI
    I assume you have a chicken coop for your other hens? If you want them to roost and stay in the chicken coop at night you should have them in there now. You will need to keep them confined somehow in the coop for several weeks before letting them out to free range or else they will fly away. They need to associate food, water, shelter and most importantly safety with the coop before you let them out. Good Luck!
     
  3. Kansas Gal

    Kansas Gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    Thanks for the info! I would love to put them in the coop, but it is pretty small, and I am not sure how I could confine them in there with all the hens. I have a 13' x 14' pen leading out from the little chicken door that I would like to use for the guineas, but it does not have a top on it, and I am afraid the guineas could easily fly over the fence. We talked about covering the top, but just don't know where the pullets who roost out in that pen in this hot weather at night would go then! Very frustrating! I just want these little guys to be safe, be able to integrate with the hens, roost with them eventually, and then be able to free range during the day. I guess where there is a will, there is a way, however! The hens will just have to lose their small exit door and just use the front door for awhile, to allow the guineas to come and go outside and back into the chicken coop in the evening. Will have to really think about a solution!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    [​IMG] to both Kansas Gal and Kitty928 from San Diego

    Guineas are pretty active in general I think giving them a separate place to roost is an excellent idea. I have had Chickens and Guineas together before with no problems but I had a large coop for them I set up separate perches for the guineas because they can fly higher than the chickens therefore there was no competition for roost space.
     
  5. Kansas Gal

    Kansas Gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    I am going to build yet another pen for the guineas in the morning. I figured out a way to put them in the coop by using a dog kennel as their temporary 'coop', so they can get familiar with the hen's coop, yet not get out and fly away. The guineas will have the small chicken door that will open up to a small pen for them to runabout, and there are already two roosts I built for the pullets that the guineas should really enjoy! Ho boy! More work in these 100+ degree temps every single day! Just hope the guineas enjoy it!
     
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Woo Hoo awesome solution.... I love Kennel panels. Soo versitile. I have about 300 linear feet of them.... LOL. Dont ask....
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  7. Kansas Gal

    Kansas Gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    I got the guinea pen up, and they are seeming to enjoy their new digs! I turned the mister on for them (and two for the chickens all in the shade) and when I checked them this afternoon, about 20 of the hens and pullets were hanging out around the guinea pen enjoying sharing the guineas' mister!
     
  8. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Success..... [​IMG]
     
  9. Kansas Gal

    Kansas Gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    I am SO glad I got that pen built this morning! The forecast tomorrow is for a high of 111, and temps in the 100s the rest of the week! Sheesh! I am really getting tired of this, as are my poor chickens! I just thank the good Lord that they have lots of trees to chill out under!
     

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