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Pecking Order at 14 Weeks- Fighting

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Lisa Pedro, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Lisa Pedro

    Lisa Pedro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2012
    Christmas, FL
    My Coop
    I have 8 Royal Purple Guineas who are 14 weeks old today. They are housed with the bantam chickens that are 19 weeks old today. They are not free range because we have so many hawks. I wanted them to get big enough to have a chance against the hawks. Well the other day I noticed the Guineas are starting to pick on the chicken hens who they are way bigger than. So I decided to let them out with a rooster with them. So I guess my Guineas are pretty tame as far as Guineas go and I have had no problem letting them out for awhile and getting them back in the coop. We this morning I let them out of their house but they were still inside the open part of the coop. I could hear something going on out there. Looked like the Guineas were fighting with each other. The same way turkeys or roosters do. This was a first. I am sure I have some hens, not as positive about males. I am just figuring that all 8 of mine are not all hens. Anyway, I went out to check and they were beating acouple of the Guineas up. Some of the Guineas were hooking the neck of the other with their beaks and making them hide their heads. Poor things looked so sad but not injured. Is this just establishing a pecking order? Or is it males fighting for dominance? I do not think they had a pecking order before, they moved like a school of fish. Do I need to worry about them hurting each other? I have never seen them trying to mate with each other. 2 of my chicken roosters love the Guineas and jump on them all the time. I wondered if the roosters even know which are male and which are female,lol. Let me know what you think.


    One of the Guineas standing on my foot.
    [​IMG]

    The Guineas with their rooster heading back to the coop.
    [​IMG]

    Their colors are starting to come in.
    [​IMG]
    It is usually the Guineas idea to go back in the coop. I just open the door and herd the stragglers abit. Silly Orange cat!
    [​IMG]

    Their coop.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Nice looking coop/pen set up Lisa [​IMG] Your Guineas are most likely working thru their pecking order, feeling their hormones and starting to get territorial all at once. They can/will draw blood, especially if the bird they are targeting can get trapped/cornered with no where to go. They may work it out, but it may escalate before that happens. You may already have it since you have horses, but Blu-Kote works great for hiding wounds/scabs/blood, and helps keep the other birds from cannibalizing any wounds. Letting the Guineas out to free range as much as possible should help, that gives the birds that get picked on more room to get away from the aggression and not get cornered and also gives the aggressors an out let to burn off their extra energy. Once the weather gets cold and rainy my flocks settle down and the aggression dies down, hopefully your flock will do the same. Next Spring it will start up again tho, and probably worse because they will be breeding and laying. You may want to expand your coop/pen set up, or build something entirely different for your Guineas.
     
  3. Lisa Pedro

    Lisa Pedro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2012
    Christmas, FL
    My Coop
    Thank you and thanks for the information. Yes I always have something for boo boos. The Guineas I had years ago were already grown when I got them and always free range so we never had a problem. These ones I got as day olds, so this part is new. Looked like turkeys fighting to me. I notice ones face seems to be flushed pink. Does that sound like hormones kicking in? Sort of like my chicken hens face go from pink to red and back since they are getting to egg laying age. But the Guineas face does not go back to pale like the rest. Does not seem to be anything wrong with it. I have chicken eggs in the incubator and new chicks on the way , so the Guineas may have to roost outside, because I don't think they will be nice to the little ones. We are going to build some more coops, but the Guineas probably won't want to go in by then. They love being out at night. I have to chase then in to the inner hen house every night. We are in FL so they should not get too cold at night. Thanks again.
     
  4. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    Googd lookin' slippers, if you could get another to finish the pair.

    At least two of my keets started this behavior just after their fourth week (they're five weeks today, I think). woulda got it on camera, but I sorta froze like the other thirteen did. I reached in the breeder, 'n stuck my hand between 'em, but it sure made me nervous after the strikes I'd seen. They appeared to be striking, but my have been slamming necks instead, in some manner of jousting. Others my condemn me for this, but I took a handful of [edit]loosely[/edit] layered paper towels 'n flogged the whole lot just as soon as I could catch 'em at it again ... if it's to determine who's the boss? That'd be me. <-- period. I feared the others might not be as friendly afterwards, but it seems they are actually less fearful than [edit]they[/edit] were (might be 'cause what I did hurt far less ~'-)

    Yeah .. I kept lookin' for the damage I was sure they'd inflicted, and can see where they'd be a handful for daylight predation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  5. karensc

    karensc Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2012
    Hi Lisa, my 2 birds were doing the pecking thing tonight. My older male guinea was pecking at the 4 month old and it kinda upset me. He did not hurt her but she did peep 1 time, I guess he poked a little to hard. I did not know what to do as I was poking him with a stick and I then called someone and he told me not to worry about it, that it is a normal natural instinct for birds.
     
  6. Lisa Pedro

    Lisa Pedro Chillin' With My Peeps

    311
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    Jun 12, 2012
    Christmas, FL
    My Coop
    Wow, that is alot earlier than mine. I just kept letting them in and out of the coop all day and they were very good to each other. I let them out a couple times that they just followed me around the yard. It was very cool. They even put themselves to bed instead of me chasing them into the inner part of the coop tonight. Must have been worn out. Little Dears! [​IMG]
     
  7. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2012
    Hurricane, WV
    Glad they're gettin' along. In my case, I believe it's due to overcrowding and limited roosting space (who get's the top bunk sorta thing ~'-)
    I'm gonna split the flock, soon as I can identify/choose who goes where, and combine keets/chicks 'til they're all relocated.
     

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