Should I keep guinea hens with my chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by deadendacres, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. deadendacres

    deadendacres Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2015
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    We always did way back when, as they would keep snakes at bay, if not actually eat them.

    We don't have any poisonous snake around here but we have good size egg eating snakes.

    Our guinea were always just out. Never had a house. I'd assume that I would do the same here.
     
  2. OnlyOrps

    OnlyOrps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been thinking of buying a few to keep snakes at bay. The land we bought has a pond and snakes... I am interested to follow this thread...
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    As you read this, keep in mind I am not a fan of guineas (which will probably be obvious by the tone of this post).

    Last June, I received 16 keets from Cackle hatchery. I've ordered chicks several times through the mail, that was the LOUDEST box I'd ever had to travel home with. My ears were ringing by the time I'd finally driven the 15 minutes home. They outgrew their brooder quickly and into the coop they went. All was well, for a while anyway. They shared a coop with 4 chickens and 6 black Spanish turkeys. When they reached 6 months old, I started noticing some pretty aggressive behavior. I went outside one day to find them pulling one of my (much larger) turkey hens around by her wings and kicking her. They were immediately moved to their own coop. I locked them in there for a month. The first time I let them out, back to their old coop they went, where their bullying immediately started again. We decided to butcher all of our extra cocks that day and whittled the guinea flock down to 9. No change. That week I lost 2 of the 4 chickens in their coop. So, we culled them down again, this time to 5. Things were okay for a little while, then they started in on the turkeys again. They would choose one bird, and gang up on it. Pulling on its wings and tail until it took off across the yard to get away from them. The last straw for them was the day I looked into my garage to find them roosting on top of my car. They went on every free sale site in my area and I gave them 2 weeks to either be sold or find a new home in my freezer. Luckily for them, someone wanted them.
    They did put a good dent in our tick population, which is why we got them in the first place, but putting up with their antics just wasn't worth it. They'd scream at me every time I went outside, poop all over my porches, fly up on top of everything, including the house and cars, peck on the windows and doors and they'd beat up all of the other birds.
    I know lots of people here keep them in mixed flock without any issues, I obviously wasn't one of those people. I wanted them to work, I really did. But, they literally made my life miserable for the 8 months I had them.

    There is a guinea section. Y'all might consider going there and doing some serious reading. They seem to have pretty distinct personalities, and I'd read that all of the things I dealt with were a real possibility. I live on a 48 acre farm and I think if they'd have done some wandering and made use of it, they'd still be here. I could have dealt with their behavior if it was only in short bursts. However, they saw fit to stay right around the house and make a complete nuisance of themselves.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  4. OnlyOrps

    OnlyOrps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your point of view. I've heard similar things. We were thinking of getting a pair to try them out. I will look at the section you mentioned.
     
  5. Adeth Chicken

    Adeth Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had two guineas that we raised with our silkies. They were about twenty weeks when we got them.. Unfortunately a dog killed one of our girls.. We only have one now. And everyone is in the coop no longer free ranging, they get along just fine. They are spastic and get frightened easily.. But we just adore them. They are decent layers also.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. deadendacres

    deadendacres Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow. Sorry to hear about any bad experiences, we never really had that problem.
     
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    No worries, you can't win em all. When I ordered them, I was expecting them to be skittish and easily frightened, but they really weren't. They were friendly enough to be annoying as all get out. I'm not sure why, because I didn't handle them any more than I had to.
    But, I ordered myself a bunch more chicks to take their place. I'll just have to have a huge flock of chickens to deal with the ticks around here (which is OK with me) ;)
     

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