Tethered Guinea

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Sylviaanne, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Today I put the leather strap on one guinea's leg and tied it to the outside of the coop. It did not like that.

    I am wondering if there is an easier way to tell a male from a female at almost 7 weeks old?
    Easier than their voices?


    I am hoping that if I tie out a female the others won't go far. I have 9 and I know that if I let them roam, I won't ever be able to catch them all and get them in the coop at night. If I have one tethered to the doorway of the coop, it will likely go in at dark and maybe the others will follow it. Does this sound reasonable for guineas?
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Far as I know they'll likely just walk off and leave her and a predator will respond to the anxious tethered meal by taking it. Sounds better to build a run for them if you can't let them free range and roost wherever they will.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    I've had guineas twice before and they have left the property en masse. I keep getting bit by bugs whenever I go out side but when we had the guineas before, before they left, I wasn't getting bit, so I want them to stay and I have been told that if they are raised with the chicks it is less likely they will leave but I just don't trust them to stay. Someone else suggested only letting half of them out at a time but I am afraid I couldn't get the loose ones back in the coop at night. Someone else suggested tethering some of them and that is why I have tried one first. It doesn't do much hollering after it has gotten used to the tether but it does pull as far away from where I have it tied and then lays down with the tethered leg stretched out behind it. I'm not sure that if let it loose that it wouldn't run away all by itself.

    I love guineas but hate that they keep taking off. I don't want to keep doing a new hatch every year. Oh, I forgot to add that the other guineas are still caged up nearby the tethered one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  4. goatee

    goatee Out Of The Brooder

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    i've raised a couple batches as keets now and they stick around. I live on about 1.3 acres then have farm ground around me. I keep them in a coop with a run for about 2 months. then I let them out for a couple hours, chase them back in etc. Eventually they get to where they will kind of do this themselves. However, if you let them range alot they seem to always resort to trees then you don't get eggs, they make an egg clutch, they sleep on it at night and get eaten.
    If you keep them in the coop long enough as keets they should get used to it as their home and stick around. Coop them up a couple days every so often to reinfornce it.
     
  5. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    That might work. I will have to try it. If they run off again, I guess I could do one more hatch next year. This morning 2 of them escaped while I was feeding and changing their water. Luckily I had put chicken food on the ground and I was able to catch them while they were grabbing a bite. LOL
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    How strange that they left your property en mass. Is there any reason they would do that, that you can think of? I know sometimes my turkeys have abandoned my property in the middle of drought to take up residence in the house yard of a distant neighbor who watered their lawns through the drought.
     
  7. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    There is only one thing I can think of. About 5/6 miles out back of us there is a family with guineas. That is where I suspect my first flock of 9 came from and ended up going back to. Last year I hatched more and when they grew up, they vanished. The first guineas stayed here all summer and the flock I raised disappeared at the end of summer.
     
  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I think you've hit the nail on the head there. They can be serious wanderers, but if your first flock showed a tendency to migrate seasonally, makes sense others would too, especially if they can hear the vocalizations of others of their own kind at the other place.

    We had a distant neighbor, far further than the one with the perennially green lawns, with many hills and thick jungle between us and them, filled with numerous predators (pigs, dogs, goannas, snakes, and so forth). These neighbors had guinea fowl. The birds would travel well over 10 miles just during their wanderings, coming almost into our house yard.

    I suspect some had maybe gone feral on them. I did have two chickens (roo and hen) go feral on me, just wander off into the forest more and more each day until all I ever heard was a distant crowing sometimes; there was also a feral turkey in there, or perhaps a few; not ours, not our neighbor's, not belonging to anyone near us; it was a black and white a domestic mixed-breed. Also I ended up contributing some newly feral peacocks to the mix, too... :/ What can I say, all these birds thought the jungle was marvelous.

    I have also found both males and females from groups who already have others of the opposite sex present and available will still go on epic journeys to locate the source of the vocalizations of others of their own kind. I would guess perhaps this is the instinct that drives genetic dispersal in action. I've seen it in geese, turkeys, chooks etc. Some will stay home but some will go explore.
     
  9. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Yesterday morning, I let them out into the run. When we went to put everyone in the coop, we ran them in first, we had let the chickens out of the run but the guineas didn't want to come close to us and so wouldn't come to the gate. Worked out pretty well.

    When we ran them into the coop, they went right for their cage. Today, I opened the coop door and let them out the front, I am praying that they back up the ramp when dusk comes or go into the run. What I want to do is to figure out one that is a female and tie her up. The one I have tied up is a male. If I have a male and a female for next year, I'll be happy.
     
  10. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds good, hope it works.

    Might be an idea to try, if it doesn't work out, to get some older guineas from a place where they have stayed for several generations and not roamed far. Introducing them into the flock can strongly shape the younger guineas' behaviors. Alternatively you could breed that trait into the flock using birds of any age.

    With all of my animals I've noted the trait to wander is partly based in genetics and partly in environment/social circumstances and partly in learned behavior, and you can control most of those factors. If space, nutrition and housing is not the issue, then maybe the land is lacking; if that's not the issue, then it'd be social, probably, possibly also a familial trait to wander. Even in most migratory wild species you do get those family groups who don't go anywhere, or don't go far. Their ability to migrate is usually a learned behavior, too.

    I use older hens and roosters to influence the social behaviors and patterns of younger or new or subordinate birds, as long as they're dominant and respected they have far-reaching influences on everything the younger or subordinate birds do, from what time they go to perch to where they range to how far they roam.

    My entire flock stayed almost house-yard-bound for the first few years, only foraging in the fringes of the forest and the house paddock, until older hens and roosters began leading the younger adults to further afield; they were followed no matter what point of the compass they aimed towards, but always it was the same birds leading the exploration. These were not family groups either, they included unrelated adults who were raised on other places separate from one another.

    Kind of a bit like sheep I guess, I don't know if you know but there is a breed of sheep bred specifically to lead other breeds. They're smarter with better homing instinct, and have the reputation of bringing home flocks of other breeds through blizzards and other hazards safely, under circumstances in which normally the whole flock would either perish or lose a significant percentage.

    I've always seen that some chooks, geese, etc lead others, there's always a follower faction (being the majority). My leader chooks have been a few roosters and a few hens, all of them Silkie mixes (they seem far more instinctive and the other chooks of all breeds seem to think they're the best, lol, which I know isn't representative of most American Silkies so probably sounds weird) --- and it hasn't had anything to do with physical ability, just mental ability and instinct levels. Even age has nothing to do with it. They lead older chooks around. Even with chicks you can often see the followers and leaders already decided.

    I once had a ewe who was a leader-breed sheep, she attracted followers like a magnet attracting metal shavings. They'd break out of neighbors' paddocks to follow her like she was irresistibly attractive. I've seen the same thing happen regularly with dumber breeds like Isabrowns and smarter breeds like bantam mixes.

    Anyway, best wishes with your guineas.
     

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