Plans for integration and changing coops

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,444
8,536
656
Stillwater, OK
Hi All, hoping to run plans by other guinea owners to get feasibility opinions. We’ve had 8 adults, 7 female, for one year. They free range and are trained to return to the 6x8 coop at night. We wanted to add to the flock and the coop seemed too small for that, so I’ve made a new 8 x 16 ft coop, next to their current coop. Current coop will be repurposed for chickens. We’ve had 11 keets (3 weeks - 2 mo old, most are 2 mo) in the new coop for the past week. I’d like to 1) integrate the groups and 2) move all to the new coop.

I thought that the adults would hang out next to the keets and so integrate through that exposure, but they mostly ignore the keets. If I feed treats near the new coop, adults will come and eat, look and keets and chatter to themselves a little, then leave. I haven’t seen aggressive behavior, just disinterest. I’m wondering if I should try to herd the keets out to meet the adults/integrate? Maybe with temporary fencing put up at first?

As for switching to the new coop, I had hoped that the adults would naturally gravitate towards the keets and start roosting in the new coop voluntarily. That is seeming like a pipe dream now since they aren’t very interested. So, I guess I need to place a temporary run around the new coop so I can confine the adults and keets there (need integration first) until the adults view the new coop as home. I’m thinking about an electric poultry net, 100 ft fence with solar charger, and nylon netting over the top of that. Anyone use electric net with guineas? How do they do with it? Thanks for any insights!
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,861
164,881
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Hi All, hoping to run plans by other guinea owners to get feasibility opinions. We’ve had 8 adults, 7 female, for one year. They free range and are trained to return to the 6x8 coop at night. We wanted to add to the flock and the coop seemed too small for that, so I’ve made a new 8 x 16 ft coop, next to their current coop. Current coop will be repurposed for chickens. We’ve had 11 keets (3 weeks - 2 mo old, most are 2 mo) in the new coop for the past week. I’d like to 1) integrate the groups and 2) move all to the new coop.

I thought that the adults would hang out next to the keets and so integrate through that exposure, but they mostly ignore the keets. If I feed treats near the new coop, adults will come and eat, look and keets and chatter to themselves a little, then leave. I haven’t seen aggressive behavior, just disinterest. I’m wondering if I should try to herd the keets out to meet the adults/integrate? Maybe with temporary fencing put up at first?

As for switching to the new coop, I had hoped that the adults would naturally gravitate towards the keets and start roosting in the new coop voluntarily. That is seeming like a pipe dream now since they aren’t very interested. So, I guess I need to place a temporary run around the new coop so I can confine the adults and keets there (need integration first) until the adults view the new coop as home. I’m thinking about an electric poultry net, 100 ft fence with solar charger, and nylon netting over the top of that. Anyone use electric net with guineas? How do they do with it? Thanks for any insights!
Keets hatched and raised by the flock are the only group that is readily accepted. It can take a long time for keets that are brooded and raised separately to be accepted. Many times they can actually end up as separate flocks. In your case with such a heavily female flock, once the keets are adults there will be almost instant integration of new male members as they hens seek mates next spring.

Guineas become very bonded to their "home". Moving your adult guineas to the new coop and getting them to accept it as "home" can easily take 6 weeks or longer of confinement in their new "home".

Good luck.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,444
8,536
656
Stillwater, OK
Keets hatched and raised by the flock are the only group that is readily accepted. It can take a long time for keets that are brooded and raised separately to be accepted. Many times they can actually end up as separate flocks. In your case with such a heavily female flock, once the keets are adults there will be almost instant integration of new male members as they hens seek mates next spring.

Guineas become very bonded to their "home". Moving your adult guineas to the new coop and getting them to accept it as "home" can easily take 6 weeks or longer of confinement in their new "home".

Good luck.
Yes, would have loved to have brooded these keets from within flock, but you may recall my posts on how that didn’t go too well! Any thoughts on how I integrate the flocks before confining the adult guineas to the new coop with electric net run? Only other thought I’ve had is to split the coop and run and confine them to separate sides so they integrate and learn their new home at the same time. All of that splitting would be considerable work however...
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,861
164,881
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Yes, would have loved to have brooded these keets from within flock, but you may recall my posts on how that didn’t go too well! Any thoughts on how I integrate the flocks before confining the adult guineas to the new coop with electric net run? Only other thought I’ve had is to split the coop and run and confine them to separate sides so they integrate and learn their new home at the same time. All of that splitting would be considerable work however...
I built a 3 sided cage with a door and a roof that I screw onto a wall of the coop with the coop floor becoming the floor of the cage. I put the new additions in the cage while the flock has access to the rest of the coop. Once the members of the flock stop trying to attack the new ones through the cage wire, I begin releasing the new additions one a day until they have all been released. After that I remove the cage until the next time that I need to introduce new flock members.

This year it took a little longer than usual for me because I was introducing a new male into a flock of 7 hens and 5 males. He is just now starting to be tolerated by the rest of the flock and it has been two weeks since he was released.

Good luck.
 

dwlacy

Songster
6 Years
Dec 30, 2014
96
107
141
oklahoma
my first try at integrating new birds into my existing flock went fairly well and was quick....I had 4 birds & added 5 more....I am now adding 7 more, 6 as a snake got my new lavender, is not going as smoothly....yesterday, the existing flock didn't appear to be to tolerant of the new birds and kept chasing them around, today not so much chasing & they are allowing them to stay close by....so, I guess time will tell if they all integrate in to one flock as I hope....
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,444
8,536
656
Stillwater, OK
my first try at integrating new birds into my existing flock went fairly well and was quick....I had 4 birds & added 5 more....I am now adding 7 more, 6 as a snake got my new lavender, is not going as smoothly....yesterday, the existing flock didn't appear to be to tolerant of the new birds and kept chasing them around, today not so much chasing & they are allowing them to stay close by....so, I guess time will tell if they all integrate in to one flock as I hope....
I guess that my major question is whether they can be integrated when they are housed in separate coops, as they are now. If they need to be in the same coop, then I need to divide it and put them all in the new one...

Also, sorry that you lost your keet to a snake! Only four days after moving my keets into the new coop, I found a large black rat snake in the coop and two dead, 2 mo old keets, including our only coral blue that we bred from 75 hatched keets this summer!!! I’ve since been making the coop tighter so snakes can’t get in...
 

dwlacy

Songster
6 Years
Dec 30, 2014
96
107
141
oklahoma

two of the new birds to the far right, then 3 of the original, then 4 of the new birds and one of the originals....the newer birds always stay hunkered down when around the orginal birds & the original birds seem to allow the new pearl more leeway....
 

dwlacy

Songster
6 Years
Dec 30, 2014
96
107
141
oklahoma
thanks, I like the pastels & lavenders the best....the lady I got mine from just got some chocolate & coral blue ones....I'll be getting some of them when she has them....looking better on integrating the two groups into one flock....the orginal flock is starting to be more tolerant of the newcomers....
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