Please help with guinea questions...

fledgling

Songster
10 Years
Apr 8, 2009
237
1
129
Keystone Heights, FL
We want to buy guineas to free range on our property (36 acres). We plan to have a feeding/watering station and there are plenty of trees for them to roost. There were two guineas already here when we bought the place but they have since passed away (they were quite old). I swear that the fire ant population has increased since their demise.

How many would be best (the minimum number)?

If we buy adults, will they learn their new home or is it better to start with keets?

How long until keets can be turned loose (assuming they were purchased as day old chicks). Found the answer on another newbie post: 12 weeks.

How long would you have to pen up adults before turning them loose?

Thank you!
 
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patyrdz

The Madd Hatcher
10 Years
Feb 26, 2009
2,421
18
181
Southern Pines, NC
I would go with keets. That way they might not be so crazy!! Mine will walk right by me and come up to see what I have to eat! Plus there is a greater chance they will run away if they are grown.
I have 7 on three acres. I would get about 15 for your property. My 7 get kinda bored sometimes. The adults will get used to your property, but they will be more skittish (if thats possible!). I would lock them up for at least a month.
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Good luck!!
 

froggie71

Songster
10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
2,972
24
191
Shamong, NJ
I agree, it is possible to have adults get used to your place, but much easier for them to know you and your place if you start with keets. We only have 1.5 acres and have 4 guineas, but we have ducks and chickens too.

Good luck!
 

Backswampcub

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 7, 2008
55
0
29
Richlands NC
Whether you get Keets or Adults you will be happy with what they do for your horse pastures. Our guineas will spread the horse poop out looking for leftover grain. Most of the time I don't have to drag. They will also go in the stall and eat dropped grain. The horses have learned to live with them. Where are you located I have keets if you are on the coast of NC
 

fledgling

Songster
10 Years
Apr 8, 2009
237
1
129
Keystone Heights, FL
We're down here in Florida, but thank you!

Sounds like I should order keets.

I am letting the brooder air dry after a good cleaning this morning so I'm ready for the next batch of babies.


It looks like I have 2 management options:

A) They start out in the brooder for the first 6 weeks and I can make a large metal portable pen to place in our garden for them to play in during the day. How old is old enough to play outside? Should I worry about stray fire ants wandering in to their pen (obviously, I wouldn't put their pen on a nest). It will be in the upper 80s and 90s through the rest of the summer. Once they graduate from the brooder, I can pen them up temporarily in the garden until they are 12 weeks old and then remove the pen, set them loose but maintain a feeding/watering station there.

B) The other option is to start out in the brooder just like option "A", but then put them on the large side of the chicken coop at 6 weeks old (see my page for the design). They can bunk with the meat chickens we get periodically.

It would be more maintenance to have them in the coop at night. I wouldn't cover the pen so they can fly out during the day and fly back in at night.

Which way would you guys do it?
 

CurlyLindsay

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 28, 2009
72
3
41
MO
I raised my guineas from keets with chicks. At about 2-3 weeks everyone went out to the coop together, and about 2 weeks after that I started opening the door to the coop in the late afternoon. This worked really well for me, because they were used to hanging out with chickens the guineas had no problem learning to return to the coop for the night. Mine are about 10-12 weeks now and have been free ranging all day, locked up at night for about 3 weeks now.


They crack me up. They run around in this ugly little gang of awkward teenager birds trying to act tough. I've started unconsciously humming the gang-songs from westside story when they approach.
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fledgling

Songster
10 Years
Apr 8, 2009
237
1
129
Keystone Heights, FL
gig.gif


Well, I did it. 15 keets due at the end of this month. If anyone is wondering, Purely Poultry is just about the only one left with keets. And they are cheaper. I got the hatchery's choice so it will be fun trying to figure out what color they are!
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purelypoultry

Songster
Aug 2, 2008
873
13
216
Fremont, Wisconsin
Glad to see I could help you with your keets. Guinea keets are always fun. We do still have guineas available for July and August shipment. We have the Pearl Guineas, Royal Purple Guineas, the Lavender Guineas, and the White Guinea keets all still available. These guinea keets are at great prices.
 

greathorse

Songster
11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
2,065
33
191
Northern Colorado
I beleive keets is the way to go, for one thing adults can be a bit pricey. If you want 15 guinea you may consider getting 25 keets. They get smarter as they get older, but you will (unfortunately) likely get some picked off by predators and other events. I tend to lose a few along the way, and others have told me the same.

Good luck with your guinea fow, I think you will get a kick out of them
 

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