Questions about Guinea Fowl...

ChickenGeek_101

Songster
Dec 7, 2017
172
390
161
I am known as the "Bird Lady" in my family. Any questions they have about poultry I'm the go to for answers. I don't always know the answers... especially if it's about Guineas. I hardly knew anything about them until a few weeks ago i got asked by my grandparents if chickens would eat the bugs in their yard. (My family and I are about to move in with them until we buy our own place.. long story)
I told them they would but they have a ton of predators around, i mentioned Guineas and ever since then if they have questions they ask me.

• How old should they be before they can be released?
• Is there a special food that they need?
• Will they scare off hawks and ground predators?
• what are some pros and cons of having them?

I am also interested in them as far as to help protect my flock, right now i have 18 chickens 14 chicks, 2 female ducks and 11 ducklings, I'm not free ranging them until family and I get our own place, but I'm super worried that something (Raccoons, possums, skunks, coyotes, foxes) will get in and well you know.
I am a worry wart when It comes to my feathery babies.

Any suggestions and/or advice will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
32,892
159,783
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I am known as the "Bird Lady" in my family. Any questions they have about poultry I'm the go to for answers. I don't always know the answers... especially if it's about Guineas. I hardly knew anything about them until a few weeks ago i got asked by my grandparents if chickens would eat the bugs in their yard. (My family and I are about to move in with them until we buy our own place.. long story)
I told them they would but they have a ton of predators around, i mentioned Guineas and ever since then if they have questions they ask me.

• How old should they be before they can be released?
• Is there a special food that they need?
• Will they scare off hawks and ground predators?
• what are some pros and cons of having them?

I am also interested in them as far as to help protect my flock, right now i have 18 chickens 14 chicks, 2 female ducks and 11 ducklings, I'm not free ranging them until family and I get our own place, but I'm super worried that something (Raccoons, possums, skunks, coyotes, foxes) will get in and well you know.
I am a worry wart when It comes to my feathery babies.

Any suggestions and/or advice will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
Read the thread Raising Guinea Fowl 101 and pay particular attention to posts made by @PeepsCA

If you don't keep your guineas in a safe coop at night, you will lose them. They are particularly vulnerable to nighttime predators.
 
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Tre3hugger

Let Your Freak Flag Fly
Mar 21, 2020
2,552
8,061
456
NW Massachusetts
I am planning on releasing my 9 guineas to free range next week. They will be eight weeks old. I brooded them inside for four weeks. Then moved them to their coop for a month of confinement to hopefully imprint the coop as home. I provided a brooder plate in the coop first 24/7, then just at night until they were six weeks. I put the baby brooder into the coop with them to facilitate this. Some people release them earlier, or do not give them a coop at all, but I want mine to stick around, coop up at night, and continuously control tick population in my yard. Eggs/baby keets would be an added bonus. So far they are funny and a joy to keep. MUCH flightier than my chickens. They require special food(gamebird starter 28% protein) for the beginning of their lives to give their skeletons the start they need. It is available at tractor supply or local co-op. They can eat all flock or layer feed from junevile age on.
Pros:Beautiful, tick control, entertaining, relatively clean(dry almost sandy poop)
Cons:Loud, predator susceptibility, neighbors wont like them, LOUD, oh and they're loud lol. Takes a little more work then chickens to get them on a routine.

@R2elk gives good advice. I learned basically everything I just told you from the thread he suggested and then directly from him.
 

sunnie7

Songster
Oct 24, 2016
864
937
226
Southern Indiana
I’ve only had guineas for a year now. I free range because we have a horrible tick problem around here. I started with 15 keets, raised them in the summer time in my garage for around 5 weeks then moved them out to a shed I used as my coop. I kept them locked up for 3 weeks in there and then slowly started letting a few out in the evening at a time and then locking them back up! I had soooo many nights of chasing guineas and trying to coop them lol, most unsuccessful! I knew my coop was soon going to be getting moved to expand our chicken flock so the guineas got the boot to sleep in the trees, which was my plan anyways. They actually took to sleeping under my kids playhouse, that’s very tall!

I’m now on my 2nd group of keets I’m currently hatching. I luckily found their nest twice already and I have 15 that are 4 weeks old (lost one, got away from me when cleaning the brooder and out the garage it ran 2 days ago...hard lesson but as of last night it’s still around I just can’t seem to catch it) that I’m going to move outside into a temporary pen until they are a bit older then start releasing. I also have had a hatch going on all weekend and I’ve got 24 out of 32 so far!!!!!

As far as noise, yes they are loud but I think I just have the most tame guineas ever because mine are not that bad! If a car comes they never alert and they are very used to my dogs and other animals they just go around about their business mostly! They get noisy at night when they are around to roost. I have pearls and lavenders. I’ve read that pearls are known to be a little more calm that others. Not sure how true that is but in my experience, possibly!

@R2elk and @Mixed flock enthusiast have been sooooo helpful in this board!
 

EarlJ

Chirping
May 18, 2020
136
295
80
Northern Ohio
As others have said, they're loud.
They'll start up when they spot something out of place, when they get separated, and when they think they haven't made enough of a racket in a while. Sometimes they'll only make a few calls and give it up, sometimes they'll keep at it for 5 solid minutes or more.

When I had mine confined so they'd know where home was, I let one out the first day. All it wanted to do was hang around the coop with the others. I did that a few days. Then I let a pair out, who behaved the same way. When it got up to 3, they started the same, then went adventuring. But they came back.

They are ridiculous creatures. Ugly, loud, stupid, flighty. I love them : p
 

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