Staying close to home and housing?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by extraordinaryfowl, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Lancaster, PA
    I have a friend who wants to downsize and offered me a pair of guineas - they are about 6 months old. I read various places that once they grow up they will never stick around a new home. Is that right?

    And room is another huge consideration for me - if I kept them in a coop, how much square feet minimum should be provided?

    And I know many people ask about this, but if they were to be introduced to a chicken flock at 6 months old or so (the chickens being 6 months-4 years old) would my roosters be able to handle one male guinea?

    Thanks
     
  2. leonphelps

    leonphelps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
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    they will stick around a new home, it just takes some work. they would need to be kept in the coop for a couple weeks (hopefully it is large enough for that). 4 square feet is what I remember being the requirement. after the couple week confinement, letting one out to walk around for a few hours then letting him run back to his buddy a few times will help him learn the coop is safety.

    as for the fighting, no way to know. I have heard best results are to let them see each other for a week or so before introducing. I had two silkie roosters that were fine with my flock of 13 guineas.
     
  3. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the help!
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Years before I knew what I was doing.... I adopted five two or three year old males from a woman who was being evicted because a corporation bought the land she was renting. She had established them as a flock years before and all that was left were the males. All free range. They came back every evening for their meals and she captured them in the coop when it was time to find them new homes. I brought them to my house sixty miles away and locked them in my coop for about three weeks. They spent the next couple of weeks exploring daily and totally ignored my chickens. Keep in mind these fellows were at least two to three years old Well seasoned to free ranging. I was able to keep them for about three years myself till predation took them.... (Big fires drove predators into my area) one after the other.

    Just keep in mind If there are guineas in your area they may try to meld with those. Also Guineas are much more active than chickens four square feet I am observing for a captive flock is not enough. I have seven that are in a 12 x 18 coop/run. They play chase and tag in there hopping up and over and ganging up on each other in the corners. There is Feather pulling.... [​IMG] [​IMG] but no plucking. They roost in about 6 x 6 area but bounce around the rest. I am planning on a bigger run for them. My seven guineas are under a year old and I raised them from Keets. They have never been allowed to free range.

    I am reserving that for when I get my next batch of youngsters ready to go out into the coop. And when I get my first eggs from this bunch.

    Your roo should be fine. The trouble comes when you have more than two or three males. Because if they decide someone is a threat its not just one on one its All of them on one. Thats a survival strategy signature of Guineas.
     
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Being 6 months old already they have most likely already free ranged and only having one pair (that may or may not be a mated pair) if you let them out too soon there's a significant chance they will wander off looking for their old home and the rest of their previous flock, and also a chance they will get spooked and get lost in the process or eaten by a predator and you will never see them again. They may be a little noisy at first, calling for their old flockmates.

    Personally, knowing how re-homed (even re-cooped) Guineas' brains function, I'd keep them locked up in a separated section in your coop/run no less than 6 weeks, so they can be reprogrammed into knowing your coop/run is now home, also so the Guineas and chickens can get to know each other thru the wire before you integrate them but not get to each other (it typically takes that long to reprogram their brains so they forget where they were raised and they stop missing their previous flock, 2 weeks is not enough time IMO). If you can only section an area off in your coop for them and you have a covered run you could let them out in that during the day when you let your chickens out to free range, then put the Guineas back in before letting the chickens back in. That would also help establish a routine of being the Guineas herded in, plus they would be able to get used to you, the sights and sounds of your property and seeing your chickens doing their free range thing all day long. I'd rather error on the side of caution and keep them in a little longer rather than letting them out too soon.
     
  6. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. Are guineas seasonal layers like geese? How many eggs might a guinea lay in a year?
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Yes Guineas are seasonal layers, Spring to Fall... mine started in January last season, and I had keets hatching the first week of February, so I'm impatiently waiting for them to get busy this upcoming season!

    My Hens typically laid an egg a day, a little later each day and then skipping a day every 10-14 days. Then they'd start over early the next day, and on went their cycle. They started slowing down when the summer temps stayed in the 100s for weeks, and they stopped laying completely in September. Depending on how long your Hens' season is they can lay anywhere from around 150 to 200 eggs each season. Some Hens lay even more than that.
     

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