Ready to free range, but....

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Foghorn Mike, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Foghorn Mike

    Foghorn Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2009
    Virginia
    My guineas are now 14 weeks. Attached to the coop is a large covered run area, 14x30. They are ready to explore my 4 acres, however I am a little nervous due to a red tail hawk I have here. I see him flying around at various times of the day and I know he has been checking them out. At 14 weeks old, have they gotten a little too big for him to mess with? I'm not so sure.
     
  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Not sure either. I guess it depends on how hungry your hawks are in your area. I have RT hawks that nest om my property and haven't lost any to them. They do like to hang out with my Pyreneese. I guess they know he protects them. I know it can be a hard choice but anytime you freerange birds, you will loose some! That's why I leave my breeders in their pen and freerange extras I hatch. When you do let them out, don't worry if they hang around the coop for a week or two, they will venture out when they are ready. Pretty soon you will be worried they are going too far! They are so fun to watch in the yard or fields and when they all come running when they see me. They greet me better than my kids do when I get home from work in the evening! lol
     
  3. Foghorn Mike

    Foghorn Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2009
    Virginia
    With that Pyreneese in the yard, That RT probably knows his role.
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Mine are about the same age. We have hawks, had one try to grab one of the adults a few years ago which didn't work out so well for the hawk. I'd say maybe they'd be OK. A young inexperienced hawk might try and probably fail. Of course then you'll have a Guinea to tend to for a couple of days for the talon wounds, which is what my bird had. The good thing about Guineas is if their back is wounded or bare they carry their wings higher to cover the area. Keeps curious beaks away and keeps flies off it until it heals.
     
  5. Foghorn Mike

    Foghorn Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2009
    Virginia
    I think I am going to uncover the run area next week. I have bird netting over it now (14x30). I have what can be called a perch area in the front that they could fly up and out and back on. I really don't want to open the run area door to the outside and have them get use to that. Something could run back in, so to speak, if I did that. I rather them learn to fly in and out on their own. At least they could get away from a fox ect. that way.
     
  6. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    I was absolutely terrified to let my guineas out to free range the first time! I kept putting it off and putting it off. One day, I finally let them out. They were more terrified than I was!! LOL

    We've only lost one guinea and she was foolhardy and wouldn't go back into the coop one night. We tried and tried but she just wouldn't. The next morning she was gone. Either an owl or coyote got her, I'm sure.

    What I've found is that guineas work together so when there's danger, they alert one another. They'll all surround a snake and stomp on it together or chase something away. (That small raccoon didn't have a chance against my Goonie Squad!)

    We've never lost one to a hawk or eagle although we have plenty here. They alert when they see one and then they all come together as if to defend. It's quite unique to watch!

    Good luck!

    Laurie
     
  7. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Quote:You're probably going to run in to problems not using the man door in the outside pen. Once any of them are inside those left outside will panic and will never figure out that they need to fly up to go in. I'm sure you've seen the posts about how they don't walk around a fence when they see the others on the opposite side. There is not training that will get them past that part of their linear thinking.
     
  8. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I don't think so ... a Hawk can carry a full grown chicken, or guinea!
    I lost 2 guineas in one night to an owl ... [​IMG]
     
  9. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    Do many people not have pens for the guineas? I have a pen set up for mine. They are free-range during the day and then come to the pen at night for lockdown...is that normal?
     
  10. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    I have a large pen and glad for it. The top is also wired to keep them from flying over. The biggest benefit is in Spring when laying season is getting fired up. I can keep the flock up to train the females to lay in the coop or pen but they can still be outside.
     

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