predator problems and a guinea with chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mikey1957, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. mikey1957

    mikey1957 Just Hatched

    11
    0
    12
    Jun 8, 2016
    I keep reading how by letting chickens free range integration is easier and they will eventually all get along. I have a slightly different problem. I got guineas to go with my flock and a neighbor dog got into my yard and killed all but one guinea and three chickens. So I got two leghorns who were raised with the one remaining guinea (a male). The guinea protects the leghorns and keeps them away from areas where predators can get them deep in the woods. A month later I got 6 new chicks and integrated them as everyone suggests in a separate area in a wire dog crate inside the coop. The new chicks are now almost 4 months old and almost full grown. The problem: The guinea and the leghorns are vicious and won't let them eat or come into the coop at night. When I try to let them all free range together the guinea chases them into dangerous areas and I can't get them to come back. I lost 2 of the six the other day and still have not been able to let the 4 remaining younger ones out to free range because the guinea stands guard and won't let them come out. My question: If I got rid of the guinea, do you think the younger ones could safely be integrated with the leghorns and the two older chickens. (18 month old RIR and 18 month old buff orpington) in time,
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Yes, The guinea is your problem.....Sell the guinea or pen it.
     
  3. mikey1957

    mikey1957 Just Hatched

    11
    0
    12
    Jun 8, 2016
    If I got rid of the guinea (and I will) is it too late for the remaining 4-month olds to integrate and learn the ins and outs of free ranging. My leghorns and older chickens stay fairly close to the house and coop while the younger ones just go nuts running all over and getting lost and not coming back. It was very easy to train the older chickens and the leghorns and the guinea just followed the protocol of my older chickens. They will put themselves up before dark if I leave the door open then close it after they are all in. But these guys are now terrified of all the chickens.
     
  4. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    586
    86
    83
    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    You have two problems:
    The guinea is territorial. I'd get rid of him, IMO.

    You need to fence in your birds or they will all get eaten sooner or later.
    You already lost of bunch of them to a dog, was not that warning enough that they aren't safe truly free-ranging????
    Sorry to be so harsh, but it makes no sense to keep adding birds to a flock that's already been decimated if you don't take measure to secure them, its irresponsible.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    No, Never too late...They are young birds, teenagers are always a bit flighty. Pecking order will need to be established. It is never pretty introducing birds. I for one never over think the aggression unless someone is bleeding and that has not happened either.
    I have a flock of mixed ages, 11 pullets in total. I free range to first introduce them. The young birds stay close to the coop at first and always go in at night.
    You wont know till you bite the bullet and decide to leave them all as one flock and not interfere unless things get so out of hand your worried for their safety..I think it will be fine if you put them all together. Might be two separate flocks for awhile but they will start mixing in time.
     
  6. mikey1957

    mikey1957 Just Hatched

    11
    0
    12
    Jun 8, 2016
    FYI: Just wanted to let you know that your advice has been very helpful. I have not gotten rid of the guinea but I do not allow him into the run or coop at night. He is very helpful in keeping the older chickens under control when free-ranging and is an excellent watchdog. He now goes into the barn at night. The younger chickens are being allowed to free-range a couple of times a day under supervision. still having some trouble getting them to come back when I want them to. ( LOTS of dried mealworms, LOL.) They are still very flighty but are getting along fairly well with the older chickens already. Still two flocks but they are not so scared. The guinea is behaving much better as long as he is not confined. Still every morning he is waiting at the door to the run waiting to rejoin his "friends". It is hilarious!!! The younger chickens have found that just keeping their distance from the older chickens and guinea but still keeping them in sight is helping them to learn their way around. Thanks again for your advice!!!!
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    That is great!
    Glad I could help...Sometimes we just need to change things up a bit and stand back and watch as nature takes its course....Congrats..In time they will all be one happy flock...Cheers!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by