Old wives tales about guineas and coops

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Chicks & Guineas, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Chicks & Guineas

    Chicks & Guineas Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 3, 2011
    I've had numerous local folks who have told me that you absolutely can not keep guineas cooped up, that they will not roost in a coop and that they are "wild" and only roost in trees at night. And that you just have to accept the fact that you will lose lots of guineas to predators. Poppycock!
    I hatched my flock from eggs and raised them in a nice dry protected new coop where they stayed until they were about 8 weeks old. My old timers from that first hatching are now almost 8 years old, with the addition of a few youngsters from time to time. They go out and free range during the day, come back to the coop before dark and I lock them in until morning. I guess being a transplanted northerner those old southern wives tales don't apply to me or my birds. I must not be raising them right.
     
  2. bantamboy93

    bantamboy93 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the guineas that I've had before were rather 'wild'. Quite flighty. But it's completely possible to raise them in a coop. Although if you want the full benefit of having guineas (i.e. bug control, alarm birds, etc.) it's best to have them running loose. It just depends on how you raise them.
     
  3. Eroicayori

    Eroicayori Out Of The Brooder

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    Mine roost on my chicken coop every night and have for 4 years. They never go farther than my neighbors yard and except for a baby being lost to a hawk ever year we don't have predation issues. We have 7 of the original 10 left.

    They also have a feeder and water under the raised coop. I think it keeps them close to home.
     
  4. ChickenMammy

    ChickenMammy Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2011
    I have been told several times they never stay close to home. I wanted some, but I am afraid they will disappear...
     
  5. weimanator

    weimanator Out Of The Brooder

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    i want to get guineas but i know nothing about them..any tips? and i have a roo that roosts only in the tree and freaks out about goin into the coop even to feed....anyone know whats up with that?
     
  6. partsRheavy

    partsRheavy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are 5 beep-beeps here. They sometimes roost on the roof of the coop but lately they've taken to coming in the coop at night.

    During the day they run around beeping.....funny creatures and but I've never seen a guinea egg even out in the pasture?
     
  7. Blarneyeggs

    Blarneyeggs Overrun With Chickens

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    I've read that the way to keep Guineas close to home is to start them from eggs. The theory was, if you get them as chicks they are forever trying to find their way home. Of course, this could be an old wives tale but I believe I read it in Hobby Farm magazine
     
  8. 1st_chicken

    1st_chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    My guineas roost inside the coop! And they do not stray far from it. They are pretty tame. I raised them myself from hatchlings.

    To get guineas to go to the coop at night you have to feed them inside the coop at the end of the day only.

    For the first few months you will have to herd the guineas back inside the coop.

    But soon they will start going inside on their own.
     
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep old wives tail indeed. I'm not a fan of full-time cooped/penned birds, but if you absolutely have to keep them penned 100% of the time then the more room they have both in the coop and covered run/pen, the happier they will be. And if they are allowed to free range during the day they will roost in a coop each night if they are trained/conditioned to. But if they are just turned loose and left to do as they please, then yah they will choose to roost in the trees... and unless you have Fort Knox perimeter fencing and reliable dogs, llamas or burros to guard your free range flock the predators will pick them off one by one at night and early mornings. (Once a predator gets a free meal they tend to return until the buffet is closed). Some, but not many of us have that type of perimeter fencing or trustworthy livestock guardian animals to keep the predators at bay... so for most of us the routine of only letting them out to free range during the day and religiously cooping them up each night is crucial to sustaining our flocks. Guineas are undeniably wild (and flighty) by nature but they are trainable, so really they are only wild if they are allowed to be wild/run wild. Unfortunately (for the birds), many see Guineas as disposable animals and just replenish their flocks every time the predators pick them all off [​IMG]

    But anyone can successfully raise and train keets and also re-program adults to roost in the coop each night, and stick close to home. Usually keeping them cooped/penned up for 6 wks in their new coop/pen will program/re-program their brains into knowing where home and safety is (some get away with less time, some need more time, depends on the birds and your routine with them). They have to be worked with about going back in each night once you start letting them out to free range regardless of their age tho, or they will choose to roost in the trees and up on rooftops... which inevitably leads to them being taken by owls and other predators. It helps to use the same call or sound like ringing a bell every time you feed them and give them treats from day one, because it teaches them to come running whenever they hear the call or sound. And feeding and herding them in each night at approximately the same time creates a routine for them. It takes consistency and a lot of time and effort on your part at first, but once you do get a well established routine going with them they will usually stick to it. And the way to avoid losing the Hens and eggs to predators during the breeding laying season is to keep the flock in until the Hens have laid their eggs for the day before letting them out to free range, that way they get in the habit of laying in the coop instead of out in the bushes (otherwise you should plan daily egg hunts!). Even with these methods of keeping Guineas there are still predator risks, but it most definitely reduces the numbers you lose.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  10. melroseladi

    melroseladi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got my guineas as adults. The first three had never stepped a foot on the ground and had been kept in a hutch their entire lives. The fourth was an adult hen who had totally free ranged her entire life. I have done fairly well at cooping them at night, HOWEVER, if they choose not to coop and head for the big oak, there is nothing I can do to coax them back down and into the coop. Mine do free range all day though BUT they do stay relatively close only wandering to the neighbors for a bit and then heading back home. They do come back to the coop area regularly during the day for drinks.
     

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