Older Guinea attacked and killed younger Guinea

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by jen1, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. jen1

    jen1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2013
    So, I have my original flock, which are 18 months (9 of them) and new babies (6 of them this morning!) which were introduced in August of 2014 (8 months old). They have been sharing space ever since. I came home to a dead baby guinea today. They are cooped all together at night with the door shut (coop is about 10x8) and red light on. During the daylight hours, I open up their coop door into a new enclosed bird run (16x14). They have plenty of room to roam and often fly up into the trusses.
    I noticed one of the older guineas had blood on his legs...then I noticed the blood in the coop. I'm not sure exactly what happened but based on the evidence, I would say there was some sort of fight between the 2 guineas. No blood found on the dead baby though. This was my reason for investing in the new bird run...to keep them protected from winter weather in NY and to give them room to roam and fly some. I am shocked that this happened. I know the younger birds don't like to go in the coop at night. I usually have to heard them in...but they eventually go. I believe its a male that was killed....one of the pied's. Has anyone had something like this happen? Just wondering if I should separate them out again. They have been cooped up for about a month due to snow on the ground. Maybe they are becoming aggressive from being confined. I hate to lose any others as I hatch and sell the keets. Any thoughts?
     
  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm sure it was a shock. [​IMG]
    I think the key word is confined. And it looks like you will be getting even more snow the next few days. [​IMG]
    I have been raising and integrating young ones into my flock for years and fortunately I haven't had your experience. But there have been and still are conflicts between the different ages of my birds. Sometimes all 15 are out grazing together but most of the time it's like I have 3 or 4 different flocks, all living together. My youngest ones always have to run the guantlet getting into the henhouse at night. Usually with help from me. I have noticed with the longer days that all of my males are starting to feel their spring hormones. I've seen several doing 'the chase'. But males don't usually kill each other and I'm wondering if an accident happened while trying to impress the females.
    Have you checked the older guinea with the blood to see if it has injuries? No doubt the older one may have been chasing the young one around. And it's possible the young one flew into something and broke it's neck since it had no blood on it.
    I'm sorry I can't give you a way to solve your problem. Only letting them out to free range would do that and I know it's not possible right now. All I can do is offer a possible explanation for why it happened. [​IMG]
     
  3. jen1

    jen1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2013
    That makes sense. The new run has a trussed roof..lots of boards where he could have flown in by accident to quickly and broke his neck. I did not realize their necks break so easily. I did find him on top of a big box... almost like he fell from above. The legs on the older guinea seem to be healed..no more blood and he is moving fine. I am now going to keep the coop door (which opens into the enclosed run) open so they can get away from one another more easily. I definitely find that they break off into groups when they are out... even inside the run and coop. Sometimes the babies will be in the coop and the older birds in the run. When I let them out to free range the are separated most of the time. Do they ever fully integrate or is this how it will be? I have noticed an uptick in the chasing that's going on. I assumed it was as you say the "spring hormones". Unfortunately, snow will be on the ground for a while so they will not be out anytime soon. Wish I could let them out but I fear I would not get them back in with the snow on the ground.
     
  4. jen1

    jen1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2013
    PS
    Thanks for your response an insight... very helpful!
     

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