Raising Guinea Fowl

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by kenzier093, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. kenzier093

    kenzier093 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Does anyone have any experience on raising Guinea fowl? I have some questions.

    At what age do they start laying?
    Is there anyway to determine the sex of them at an early age?
    How many eggs do they lay in a year?
    How do I train them to go into the coop at night?
    How are they around chickens and can they be together?
     
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    They start laying about the same age as chickens do but if they mature late in the season dont expect eggs till spring.

    The only way to sex a guinea reliably is by their call. Males do a Chi chi chi sound..... Females do that same chi chi chi sound but they also do a double syllable sound that is somewhat like Buck Wheat.... and they do it over and over and over.... and over again....LOL. People will say and I agree that you can tell by posture male from female but obviously there will be differences in birds.

    Determining sex isnt as important with guineas as it is with chickens because guineas form Pairs in the wild. Too many males in a flock and the extras will form a bachelor group. In the wild the bachelors will also help with rearing of Keets. (baby guineas) Domesticated Guineas are another issue. Some of the rearing qualities have been bred out in favor of Birds that will lay alot of eggs.

    Its been a while since I have posted in the Guinea area so Peeps if you are hear may be able to give some better answers. But expect an egg a day with a day or two off from your Hens. They start laying in spring and stop laying when it starts getting cold. In the area I am located San Diego and most of California that will be some where in February through September. A long very long laying season for Guineas in the US. So the short answer to this.... IT Depends... LOL.

    Training to the coop is simple and can be done for your chickens as well. Make a sound or noise they can hear from far off and accompany that with a treat. ITs good training for all your poultry. A clicker, A whistle, A bell, or seimply calling out your favorite word to call everyone in.... with me it was TREATS TREATS TREATS.... then feed something they find is very yummy.... White Millet is one good treat often touted by guinea people.... Same stuff that Parakeet seed is made with. You can buy it by the twenty pound sack if you want... Chickens love it as well. Black OIl Sunflower seeds is another sometimes referd to as BOSS. I keep that on hand for everyone... My horse loves her Seedsies. LOL,

    What ever you use for treats Start when they are young.... Millet is the best for youngsters like Keet Tweenagers.... You know some feathers but still looking like bacon heads. You can substitute other stuff when they mature. Every time you interact with them use your bell or call and feed some treats. It will go along way to semi Taming them.

    DO NOT EXPECT the same kind of interaction from Guineas as you do from chickens. They are two distinct species. Chickens have been domesticated Thousands of years longer than Guineas. Some will seek you out for treats but most will not. Dont take it any other way than that is the nature of the Bird.

    Once trained for food feed them in the coop and there is your chance to lock them up at night. Provide inviting perches and that will make them very happy. HIGHer than the chickens. Even a two week old Keet can fly up to six feet Keep that in mind when you are brooding them.

    Cohabitation with Chickens can be done.... Best if the Guineas are hatched by a broody hen. I had a flock of seven males that did famously with my chickens. As long as I provided two sometimes three feeding stations.... so when the guineas chased off the chickens every one had something to eat. At that time I was free ranging everyone. Guineas go for bugs in the brush, Chickens like to scratch in the dirt. But remember.... Chickens go one on one in aggression usually. Guineas will attack in a flock. Most people dont have problems but best be advised the potential is there.

    Guinea hens defend their nests if they have them not with just a peck but with outright attacks. So best not to allow the hens to free range till everyone has laid their eggs. You can observe that and time their free range time accordingly. Usually by noon or close to that. A hen that has gone commando is at risk from predators..... Her male partner will also be at risk because he will stay at her side to protect her..... UNless he has beeen tempted by the TREAT TREAT TREAT call. LOL

    I hope I have been able to impart a miniscule fraction of information... I am not an expert believe me. But I do love my Guineas...

    deb "Wow I wrote a book"
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. kenzier093

    kenzier093 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you! That helped. I think I will hatch them out in the incubator. I know someone who has guineas and he said he will try and get eggs for me to hatch. Hopefully they won't turn out mean and try to attack my chickens [​IMG]
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Guineas do best in larger groups Hopefully at least five will hatch out for you. [​IMG]

    Make sure you Get Game bird starter.... They need higher protien because they grow incredibly fast.... they eat alot too. At first when they hatch they will be small liike bantams So water should be served up with pebbles or marbles in it so they cant fall in.... Feed put in a small flat dish is helpful too OH they will mess it all up for sure.

    I learned this the hard way Put down either Towels or shelf liner instead of shavings. and dont be tempted to put shavings in just because they are eating and motoring around really well. I lost about six to them eating shavings. I think Peeps uses Grass Hay as bedding....

    After my experience of trying to Brood up 40 I will be building a brooder specifically for Guineas If I do it again. With wire mesh on the bottom. Of course I would put the towels down when they first hatch but later those would be removed.... This would make all feed knocked out and water splashed go down to a collection area and keep the brooder clean.

    deb
     
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Mean is a relative term. its a behavior. Aggession starts around the time the males and females are pairing off. There is ALOT of running and feather pulling amongst the Male Guineas. As long as the chickens get out of the way you are good go go. Once the guineas pair off the aggression settles down and life goes back to Guinea normal. This all happens when the hens get ready to start laying. So a simple solution to rotate days when the chickens and guineas get to go out to free range. In this case an enclosed run is a very good idea.

    Good luck.

    deb
     
  6. LUVMYCHIKAS

    LUVMYCHIKAS Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Eastern Shore of Md
    My 8 guinea (6 male,2 female) coexist very nicely with my 6 bantams (4 hens, 2 roosters). The aggression mentioned earlier is generally amongst themselves. Only occasionally will a guinea chase a hen (never a rooster) but it is brief. If they are free ranging, there is no aggression at all. It only occurs when they are confined in the coop and run. I put them all together at 3 or 4 weeks and before that they could see each other. Overall, they have done well and the experience has been good. I love the benefits of the guineas and the are great at keeping an eye on the sky when everyone is out free ranging.
     
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    That has been my experience as well. But in order to be helpful its best to understand it is possible to turn out different.

    deb
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

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