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Oh what have I done?!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by RedheadErin, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bought 3 guineas at auction today. They look pretty healthy; they were a trick to catch once they got free in the basement. I am going to quarantine them down there with a hen we bought today, too. At least the hen can see some other critters around, unlike the OTHER quarantined hen how is serving out her sentence in our upstairs bathroom....

    So I put these guys on straw in a small cage near a sunny window, with a little bit of layer crumbles and water. I have to go buy some flock starter tonight I guess. What else do I need?



    ETA... Oh, man, i think these things are MALES! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  2. Country Chickens

    Country Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you have your hands full. [​IMG] Guineas that are in a strange new place are going to be making their alarm call a lot. It might take some time before they calm down enough for the females to make their buckwheat sound. So, don't despair yet on that front! Also, even males make great tick-eaters. [​IMG]

    How long did you plan to quarantine them? Guineas are not going to be happy in a small space where they can't roost up high. Also, adults need to be kept inside their longterm home for six weeks in order to imprint that place as home. Sorry if I'm repeating what you already know--and best of luck!
     
  3. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I meant to quarantine them for a month, same as everybody else. At the moment, they are in a small cage on the basement floor, next to a hen we also bought. I could put their cage on a table or something, to give them the idea they are off the floor. Otherwise, I have no idea how to make a place for them to roost up high. ETA: A disused shower might be just the place....?

    I hope nobody else tells me how long I have to keep them indoors in their new home, because every time somebody tells me, it gets longer. The lady who sold them to me told me to keep them locked up for 2 weeks, then the kid at TSC who has a flock of them told me 4 weeks, and now 6 weeks! At this rate, they will NEVER get into the garden.

    My original plan was to keep them in quarantine for a month, then rotate them through each of my 4 established garden beds. I think I will make a tall A-frame chicken tractor to move them around in. ETA: I just found a picture of one made out of PVC piping, like a hoop-house but with chicken wire. COOL!

    On closer and less panicked inspection, I think I have a boy and two girls. The were calling BUCK-WHEAT all afternoon, so loud my husband asked me if I hadn't accidentally bought geese! I told him, "Don't worry, that will keep the hawks away from your omlettes!" Now my concern is how Mr Guinea Thing will get along with my roosters.
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Exactly, lol what have you done? Nothing like jumpin' in feet first huh? [​IMG]

    Guineas are more like wild birds than domestic poultry... they hate change, especially changes to their living situation and normal daily routine, and they most definitely do NOT like to be caught and handled. To keep it short and simple... they usually think we are going to kill them and will explode into a full blown wing flapping, scratching, pecking, screaming/screeching panic attack when caught/touched (I am not exaggerating, honest!). They are typically not at all cooperative, easy going or docile like most breeds of chickens are. So just a heads up, you may have some major problems with your future plans for moving them around, especially if catching is involved.

    If you're gardens aren't covered by wire or netting, the Guineas will fly out... and typically not fly back in. The chicken tractor idea may work fine, (and right away after 30 days of quarantine even) if your gardens are covered and you can somehow butt the tractor up against a garden gate, let them out into the garden, and then be able to herd them back into tractor each evening (more easily said than done). It sounds like you have a lot of work cut out for you, to say the least.

    I too am one that recommends confining Guineas for 6 wks (especially full grown adults) in their new home before starting the free range routine with them (and also an introduction period; housed side by side for several weeks separated by wire when integrating Guineas into an existing flock of poultry). If you let Guineas out/loose too soon there's a pretty big risk they will fly away looking for their previous home and flock and you will never see them again. But if you're not cooping/penning them and just using the tractor and covered gardens for them, then the 6 weeks of confinement can obviously be bypassed, as long as the birds are contained 24/7.

    Oh and one last thing I'm sure you'll be thrilled to read... if the gardens are the only greens your Guineas will have access to for browsing, they are more than likely going to eat all your veggies and plants, especially the softest most tender plants... Guineas love greens.

    Welcome to the world of Guineas [​IMG]
     
  5. BritinMO

    BritinMO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the crazy world of crazy guinea keeping! Can't wait to hear how you get on with the lovely delightful creatures [​IMG]
     
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have named them, as a group, the Banshees. And the other new hen is Edna. SO now we have Edna and the Banshees in the basement!

    Well, the are definitely staying in the basement for a month, just to make sure they don't cough or spit their germs/worms/bugs on the rest of my flock. I found plans for a sort of Quonset hut made out of PVC pipe and chicken wire that I intend to build in a size to move around between my raised beds. If I have to drag it across the grass from one bed to the other, that will be fine. I can shuffle it around all summer if I have to. I have 4 beds that need work (bug extermination and weed control) now, plus 2 more veggie beds that I plan to put in this year and a perennial bed that needs to get re-habbed. Like I said, I have work for these guys all summer and the don't necessarily have to come out of their tractor, ever. By the time all those beds are de-bugged, they will have figured out where their yard is, I hope.

    Funny that they would remember their old home and friends for so long. I dint think they would be that smart.

    They have gotten loose in the basement 2 or 3 times already. I called home form work last night and my husband told me they had gotten out by pushing the top off their cage. I told him to put a bungee cord on it. Oh, no, he said, They Will be fine until morning. I forgot something and called back a few minutes later. "I CANT TALK NOW, THE GUINEA THINGS ARE LOOSE AGAIN!"[​IMG] Whatever. Serve him right. [​IMG]

    I guess the good news is, I will never have to repeat last summer's flea infestation. THey eat fleas, too, don't they?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  8. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Bwhahahahahah..... been there done that tried to raise up 40+ keets in the garage.... things went well till they discovered they could fly.... Amazing the spaces they can get into when they are avoiding capture.

    deb
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL @ them being Harry Houdini's in the basement! Are we having fun yet? [​IMG]

    My Guineas eat everything that moves... I don't have a flea problem on my dogs and cats (5 dogs, 7 cats), so I think it's safe to assume they take care of fleas too.

    Glad you have a plan worked out for them.

    Keep up posted, and post some pics!
     
  10. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Strangely, the plan for the Banshees is better than any plan I have yet worked out for the chickens....I think. We'll see what really happens when they get in the yard.

    I got them a play pen today. SO now they are much more comfortable than they were before, in the metal basket from our outdoor fireplace!
     

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