So, my aunt dumped six Guineas on me....

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by BuckeyeFoodie, May 25, 2017.

  1. BuckeyeFoodie

    BuckeyeFoodie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2013
    Columbus, OH
    So, a about a month ago My aunt went to Rural King (a dangerous thing in our family....) and came back with half-a-dozen Guineas that she tossed in with my brooding chicks. Now, I'm not against having Guineas, but SIX???

    Anywho, I didn't come here to kvetch, I came here for some basic advice -

    I have between 5 and 6 foot fences surrounding my coop, will they be able to fly out?

    Do Guineas lay eggs in nesting boxes, or am I going to be playing "find the nest" all around the farm until I'm swimming in obnoxious noisy birds?

    Other than being good watchdogs for my flock, do Guineas have any other redeeming qualities?
  2. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    1. Yes they will be able to fly out.
    2. Yes, you will be playing find the nest...etc
    3. YES, they hunt for and eat ticks better than do chickens!!!!
    oh and they will eat horseflies and other pests off your you need some guineas! :lau (and donkeys)
    donkey guineas (3 of 1).jpg
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
    Nikasha, 21hens-incharge and CTKen like this.
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Guineas can easily clear any fence of any height. If it is wood fencing, the guineas will perch on top of the fence and very nearly 100% of the time will get down on the wrong side of the fence and then immediately forget how to get back in.

    Some guineas will use nesting boxes but the majority won't. Most will try to find the most hidden places to make their nest but if you don't locate these hidden nests you will most likely lose the hens once they go broody. At that time they become extremely susceptible to predators. If they do succeed in hatching a clutch, they may still lose most if not all of the keets by getting them wet and chilled by leading them through wet grass and weeds.

    In my opinion, guineas are not good watch dogs as their alarms can be caused for reasons only known to the guineas. Wearing different colored clothes than normal is just one of the many things that can set them off. All too often the alarms continue long after the guineas have already forgotten what they were hollering about. I have personally observed my guineas being silent as they watched a predator.

    Guineas are good for insect and small rodent control. They can bring joy, laughter, tears, anger and frustration to their owners.

    Good luck.
  4. CooksCritters

    CooksCritters Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2017
    FL - Florida
    I've read they are great for snake control, bug control, and they make good eating. They say they taste like quail X turkey.
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Having eaten guineas, they are delicious and taste like a good homegrown chicken only with a whole lot more flavor.
    Nikasha and CooksCritters like this.
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Great. Now we have to go get a donkey.
    6 really is about the minimum for a guineas flock. They will do much better than just 2-3.
    21hens-incharge and SueT like this.
  7. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    single donkeys don't do well, 2 is the minimum, to go with the 6
    Nikasha and 21hens-incharge like this.
  8. trev1lov3

    trev1lov3 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2016
    Ugh now i want a donkey even more. Im in rhe same boat as you have 7 guineas. Some kavender some french grey pearl. Have definitly seen less rodents at the chicken coops since i got em good luck
  9. BlueShadow

    BlueShadow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2015
    I agree with everything R2elk wrote.

    As far as fencing, we kept the guineas in a covered pen until they were teenage-ish. At that point, when I was certain they had imprinted on the coop and knew a bit about their surroundings so they could come back home at night, then I removed the covering so they could fly over the fence as they wished. That turned out to be not the best idea. Guineas have the amazing ability to fly over a fence to get OUT but they will spend the rest of the day pacing in front of that fence, trying to figure out how to get back in with their friends. That thing R2elk said about guineas bringing frustration to their owners? Yeah, that is guinea frustration.

    My guineas also often silently watch predators. The times a predator has gotten some of our guineas, the guineas were always silent. They have sounded an alarm for a hawk (that was too small to eat them), but usually when they sound an alarm, I don't see any reason for their upset. Typically I just ignore it.

    My guineas are interested in snakes, but I haven't seen them kill a snake. We have a lot of garter snakes here, and the guineas will watch and follow the snake, but I've never seen them attack one.

    We had one guinea hen successfully hatch a clutch last summer. Her nest was right by our front door. All other nesting hens were attacked (most times the hens were lost, a couple times only feathers were lost).

    I like them. I don't know why, they seem like worthless birds to me, but I do like them. As long as they don't bully my chickens.
    R2elk likes this.

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