The Great Guinnea Debate/Pros and cons.

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by 2boxers, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. 2boxers

    2boxers Songster

    Feb 16, 2008
    Halifax Co Virginia
    It took me a year to talk my husband into letting me raise a flock of chickens. Now that we have our little flock established, I am ready to try guineas. He is reluctant to permit this-he seems to think they will be very difficult to care for. I am thinking that they aren't any more or less difficult that chickens, and chickens are quite easy, really. So I want to hear from people who have them. I want the good the bad and the ugly. Lay it on me!
  2. VaM715

    VaM715 Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    Fincastle, VA
    I have 11 total. 5 two year olds and 6 four month olds. The older group come and go out of the lot as they please. I had six and a fox got one about 2 months ago. They travel all around my house and have been to my dad's house about 1/4 mile away. They always come home at night to feed and water and then head to the trees. The youngster I just put out with th older group and they are still learning to fly. They roost on top of the cage above where they were brooded. I hope they move shortly and team up with the older group. I get eggs when I catch them in the pen, if not, who knows where they lay them. Gret watch dogs and chatter at about anything fomr cars to people to deer. I love them and so far no neighbors have complained. You can hear them from far away when they start hollaring.
  3. pixiechick

    pixiechick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Jonesborough, TN
    we have guinesas that free range all the time. for us, the pros far out-weigh the cons. the cons: they insist upon roosting in the rafters of the barn and therefore a lot on the floor and they are very noisy. the noise doesn't bother us--actually it lets us no if somethings amiss, but the noise it probably too loud for someone who lives in a neighborhood. Pros: they eat bugs like crazy--especially ticks!!! They can fly like a wild bird so they're less vulnerable to predators. plus, they are very entertaining and quirky. I luv'em.[​IMG]
  4. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    Mine are so easy to care for. They free range all during the day. Come back into their coop at night. During the winter I fed them wheat screenings and had a heated dog dish for water.

    The only con was they would sit on the front porch when it was really cold out. They were sunning themselves. It was warm against the screen door and facing the west. They would sun themselves and yak.

    I have noticed a huge decrease in wood ticks and bugs.
  5. Nupine

    Nupine Songster

    Nov 21, 2007
    I personally don't care for them, stupidiest things ever. They let our dogs chase and kill them, and they all ran off. No more for us.
  6. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    My first experience with them was all negative. They were very stupid birds compared to my chickens. I spent countless time trying to show them how to go in or out of the door. A couple of them would just keep flying into the wire on the side of the pen trying to get out with the rest of the birds instead of simply walking out the door (a full sized screen door).
    As chicks, they were super fast and I made the mistake of trying to let them forage outside like I did my chickens when they were little and I could keep an eye on them. They would take off running for the nearest cover and good luck catching them!
    My neighbors about 1/2 mile up the road have some and they will not get out of the road when we drive by. We frequently have to stop on the highway to let them pass. I don't know, but i prefer my Muscovies and chickens anyday and they eat a lot of bugs too.
  7. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I am on my first batch in the brooder right now, but I grew up watching them run the same countryside where I live now. My grandpa's neighbors always had them, as there are lots of rattlers and ticks out here, two things they are known to kill or chase off. They are from Africa, so they are not necessarily stupid about roosting in trees (until they freeze to death), they just aren't climatized to North American winters. I plan on putting mine into the chicken coop over winter this year.

    If you live in a rural area, I think they are a fine free-range bird. As they do fly and run about wildly, I wouldn't have them if you didn't have the space, though.
  8. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    I love guineas! I would only get them if they can free range though. Also, they are VERY noisy, so if this will bother dh, I wouldn't get them either. My neighbor had a flock of about 20 last year, this year there are only a handful, and we have ticks again:| I'm thinking about getting some.
  9. 2boxers

    2boxers Songster

    Feb 16, 2008
    Halifax Co Virginia
    Thank you all for the input! The noise factor isn't an issue for us-we live in between two cow pastures, so if it doesn't bother the cows, then it's all good!

    I don't mind if they aren't too bright, either. You should meet my dogs. [​IMG]

    Free ranging isn't a problem-we live a good ways off the road.

    The information in this thread is exactly what I was looking for-thanks, y'all!

    One more question, though: Are they really known to be too dumb to run from dogs? That could be a huge problem.
  10. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    one of my doxie's love to chase them. She waits till they are in a group, then jumps in to scatter them. She even tries to jump up and grab one. (like that is gonna happen)

    They run from dogs, until they realize the dog is harmless, at least mine do anyway.

    by the way, the white ones seem to be the dumbest [​IMG]

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