Ok, ive never had Guineas.......

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by SteeleFarms, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. SteeleFarms

    SteeleFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2012
    We just purchased our 7 acres which is mostly open with a good stand of very mature pines, i plan on having some chickens for eggs. I have considerd a few Guineas for pest control, ive never had any.
    Are they really that good at eating ticks and bugs? I mean is there a noticable difference?
    I have never really thought they were terribly attractive birds.
    Do they fly, i mean like a chicken. Would they stay in a fence, the whole acerage..

    Ive heard they also eat ants, is that true?
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a horrible tick problem here when I first bought this place, I was pulling at least 50 ticks A DAY off each of my poor horses, not to mention I had them crawling on me too (ICK!). I started out with 7 homely Guineas and then increased my flock to 28 their first breeding season. From that point on, less ticks every year. Now I don't pull even 50 ticks off my 6 horses, a mini, a donkey, 2 cats and 5 dogs COMBINED in a year. They don't do it over night, but they do eradicate ticks. And they also take care of the grass hoppers, spiders and snakes around here too.

    Guineas aren't for everyone tho, so it's wise if you do your research on them first. I had no other poultry when I started with Guineas, so they had no distractions and got right to work on pest control.


    ETA: My flocks don't mess with the ants around here... they taste nasty! Wish they would tho!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  3. SteeleFarms

    SteeleFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    snakes? what do they do to keep snakes away? and do you mean posionus snakes too?
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, mine take care of even poisonous snakes. Not all Guineas will take care of snakes, but out here in California my flock of bully free range Guineas does kill... they will shred the baby snakes (even play tug-o-war with em 'til there's nothing left but something that resembles a bloody string - eww!) and they make snake sushi out of the adult snakes to the point that they do indeed kill them, or the snake crawls off and dies from all the holes that the Gang of Guineas have pecked into them. I've seen it, so has my neighbor down the road that also breeds and sells Guineas. The adult birds will circle the snake, surround it, scream/screech bloody murder at it, and take turns pecking and scratching at it from every direction... the snake doesn't know who or what to strike at so it just coils up and tries to hide it's head until it's either dead or has to slither off bleeding and all mangled, lol. The Guineas always make a major commotion when they find a snake; my dogs start howling, the donkey starts braying, horses are snorting and running around spooked and the rest of my flocks (85+ more birds) all sound their alarm call, so I always know when they're going after a snake and if I can get to it I'll go dispatch it so the commotion stops. The Guineas are right there the whole time watching me and telling me how to do it too, (or cheering me on) lol.

    Before I got Guineas 3 of my dogs were bitten in their covered 10'X10' kennel where their dog houses are by one little 18" rattle snake. One dog (the smallest and the first one bitten) almost died from the swelling, and they were all vaccinated with the rattle snake vaccine!! That was about an $1100 vet bill. And the following year my reining filly was tagged in the nose by an adult rattle snake in early spring while she was out grazing in the pasture... she had to have tubes in her nostrils for 3 days so she could breathe and kept in cross ties so she could not rub the tubes out. I had to pump tons of meds in her AM and PM for over a week straight, oral meds and injections IM, so it hurt I was running out of places to poke that poor little filly. She HATED me after all those huge needles, thick injections and nasty tubes of paste meds I squirted in her mouth. That was about an $1800 vet bill not including the follow up appointments.

    So the following Fall after that I got my Guinea Gang, and now very seldom do I find a small snake under a log, wood pile or board laying on the ground any more. I haven't seen an adult rattle snake on my 10 acres in yearrrrrs. My other (breeding) flocks will scream and holler but not attack the snakes, but these free rangers are wicked for whatever reason (I'm not complaining tho!). I have even seen them attack and harrass jack rabbits out in the pasture too, lol.
     
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Wow Peeps..... I have shared this story before but I had seven guineas a few years back that actually escorted a coyote off the property screaming at him with their wings up and beaks bared. Every time hed stop to turn around and look at him they'd charge again untill he would look back without stopping as if to say.... "This Aint Riggghhhhttt..."

    The Coyotes eventually did pick them off one by one but that was before I knew I could train them to a coop.
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You get a gang of exceptionally cocky and confident bullies going, and they'll feed off each other and actually turn into a little Guinea Mafia, lol. I think full time free rangers are a rougher breed... and definitely more streetwise!

    The coyotes are pretty sneaky around here (cuz ummm I've shot at several so they are wary of me and my donkey does perimeter patrol) so I have never seen my Gangstas chase any off (plus my perimeter is fully fenced now... and the adult jack rabbits are trapped here, but well fed, lol), but if they got the chance I'm sure they'd go after coyotes too!
     
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Yeah my life would be considerably less stressfull if I could afford to fence my 18 acres.... Even just field fence and t Posts with a strand of hot wire. Sigh.... Last time I had it quoted the SOBs wanted 5 dollars a linear foot.

    Sigh. One day....
     
  8. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hahaha, good stories gang. I had guineas in FL before I moved to GA 4 years ago. I only had 3, but in the time I had them, I saw a huge reduction in the fly and mosquito population in my chicken yard. predators finally got them all just before I moved.

    Here in GA, I live on 23 acres in the deep woods and on the side of a low mountain. I purchased 20 keats in the summer of '08. The predators decimated the flock down to 3. Those 3 seem to have figured out that they are safer up in the yard, instead of half a mile away at the neighbors, or roaming the woods. I got them for tick control, just like Peeps. Well, I have seen a huge reduction in ticks, scorpions, spiders, moths, grasshoppers, and it's been over a year since we have caught a mouse in any of the glue traps in the house. We only have one hen and every time she starts a nest, it gets destroyed, probably by a possum or coon. We also have rat snakes that eat eggs, but they shouldn't be here muck longer as the guineas are working on them. The guineas sleep in the rafters of my pole barn, about 14 feet up. Yes they do fly, but more like pheasants than chickens. It would be impossible to confine them without a secure top. Mine are always free range and I'm glad they roost in the pole barn as they are out of sight of the owls and out of the weather at night. People that own guineas love them as they truly are entertaining, even if they are like getto street gangs. Try them. You will love them........Pop
     
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    It's definitely not cheap to fence land, but I had to. My predator load in this valley is wicked. I was replacing 20-24 free rangers each year, I'd end up with about 3-4 birds left over at the end of predator season (down from around 28-30), and I'd be LUCKY to have one Hen brooding a clutch in a safe spot. I'd risk life and limb and steal the keets from her as soon as they were hatching lol, and then I'd raise them til they were old enough to be integrated with the remainder of the flock so I had my constant supply (gang) of tick and snake patrollers. I used goat fencing (plus t-posts, wooden posts, cement etc plus a couple strands of hot wire), so I can rotate all my animals, on all 3 of my pastures, and keep most of the ground predators out...

    I'm not even going to calculate the cost per foot. Don't even wanna think about it. Took 6 yrs to get it all done, I'd just do what I could afford, a little at a time, in sections. TOOK FOREVER... but the cost and labor (ugh) was well worth it as far as predator losses and security goes. And the goats are stoked too, lol.


    ETA: I still have 2 more small sections to do that's fenced in field fencing already (cross fencing), but I want that gone... because horses get legs thru it, pull shoes off on it etc and my dumb goats get their horns stuck in it!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  10. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Ideally I would love either Diamond mesh or vMesh or Anti climb fencing but the idiots crossing my property will eventually mess it up so. Field fence would be the anti Canine predator barrier The hot wire would be for the idiots.

    Interior would be the horse and goat fencing and it would be all Electric. I got a horse that has number nine hooves. She respects hot wire though but if a dog messes with her those hooves come down with a big Eight inch across PLOP. LOL. I want a donkey or mule to keep her company so they can tag team.....

    you and I have the same predators thats why My Guineas are on lock down till I can be assured that I have some Keets in the Grow out pen.
     

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