Thinking about getting Guineas

Meaghan

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 3, 2014
152
7
63
Archer, FL
So, we have talked about maybe getting guinea fowl for a while now here at our small farm. We have five acres and we are littered with ticks and fire ants, so I'm wondering if they really are as good for bug control as they are made out to be (our neighbor's free range chickens don't even make a dent). A local farm store is going to have keets available next Friday.

A few things that I'm not sure about is the coop situation. Some people say it's okay to keep guineas with chickens, others say the guineas bully chickens in groups. Our chickens are not free range, but we will be building them a large coop and would like the guineas to return to that coop at night as we have at least one coyote that lives on or near our property (we've seen him twice in the last two weeks). We're just starting to build the coop (we completed their first run last week, we have a temporary box to shelter the chickens in in the mean time. If not, what sort of coop do they really need? We aren't planning on doing an actual coop for our ducks and turkeys since they don't like to be inside a whole lot. Are guineas more similar to that or are they more like chickens that like to go indoors at night? I know it can take up to 10 weeks to acclimate them to the coop, so we are willing to build them a small section of the coop so they can stay indoors during that time period while still allowing our chickens in and out of the runs.

Also, I've heard that clipping the wings can keep them from going over fencing. We don't have daytime predators save for hawks, so I don't think clipping would be detrimental to their survival, but I'm really not sure on this aspect.

The last thing I am curious about is the food. We only use organic food here, and it's primarily Countryside Organics. Our turkeys are doing fine on their starter food for chicks (we can't use their turkey starter, they are in with chicks), but I'm not sure if we should use turkey starter for them. Countryside Organics does not make a game bird starter/layer, only chicken and turkey varieties.

Any additional info is appreciated!
 

Ameraucanas

Songster
May 15, 2015
671
48
131
Cool! Guinea Fowl are awesome! Some info-

Guinea Fowl are very noisy (which can be good if they are acting as watchdogs, but can be annoying)
Guinea Fowl have great eggs, which taste just like chicken eggs, but are bigger!
They can damage some plants by scratching at them or eating them, but their poop is great fertilizer.
Guinea Fowl hens are very broody, and spend a lot of time on their eggs, and they are great mothers.
They are sort of sensitive to very cold weather.

Good luck!
 

HarmonyHen

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 14, 2012
36
2
32
I have 4 adult guineas with 5 hens and 6 pullets about 2months old. They can be bullies but nothing major. They are all chick grower wit h supplement oyster shell until the littles are bigger and then everyone will be on layer crumbles.mine free range with the chickens about 2-3 acresbut we have more property than that - they don't go too far. Our tick population is next to nothing now and we were overrun with them before the gf.they can be obnoxious at times but they serve a purpose and I appreciate them for it. They coop at night and they are quiet when inside.

Good luck!
 

sashanellie

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 19, 2015
72
11
99
I really have come to love my guineas. We did it this way:
We had three chickens. When we got day old chicks, we got 3 chickens and 6 guinea keets. So they grew up with the 3 chickens. They all were in the brooder together, and developed and trained to coop up together. I will say this about guineas - they are absolutely free range fowl, they need to run and flap and fly and cause chaos. They are great at the ticks and other critters, and we really love them. They share nest boxes with the chickens.

Some like to roost high in the trees, and so clipping their wings would make this survival instinct impossible. They are so fun to watch, also. Google some guinea videos!
Good luck,
Sasha
 

Sfraker

Songster
5 Years
Feb 17, 2014
560
69
151
Western NC
I raised my keets with my adult ducks. As soon as the guineas reached maturity they males started beating up my ducks. They had to be seperated. They we ill charge attack and pull out feathers. My big pekin drake would try to defend his flock but he would end up taking the brunt of the attack and would lose a lot of feathers. The ducks stay in their big pen and only come out to free range if I pen the guineas.

In my experience: They are fantastic watch dogs, the females spend a ton of time on their nests then don't take care of the keets when they are born so you have sick keets that pass away, also they will defend their nest against predators so are easily killed when nesting. I live on 10 acres of woods and have never found a tick on anyone in the family or the dogs since getting the guineas. My gardens are in much better shape with less insect issues since the guineas were released.

I don't clip wings and I don't coop them. They free range 24/7 and are kind of like dogs. When we go outside or come home from work they come running to say hello and see what you are doing. I can't imagine life without them, however I know my ducks would be happier without them. LOL!
 

Meaghan

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 3, 2014
152
7
63
Archer, FL
We are set to pick up 5 keets this weekend. I think we will have to wing clip for sure, although we have 5 acres our property is only a few hundred feet wide and very long so we could very easily annoy our neighbors with them. We also live on a semi-busy road that they could easily be hit on if they choose to fly over that fence. We also have a coyote that lives on our and our neighbors property as it's mostly a vacant property, so we cannot let them stay outside at night or we would soon have no guinea hens. Our other neighbors have lost half of their chickens in just a few weeks span until he started penning them in at night.
 

chickenscratch9

In the Brooder
Mar 25, 2015
8
1
29
Invest in a quality .22 rifle and plink those predators off. My dad always said shoot, shovel, and shut up. Then follow these tips (link) to help keep the guinea fowl around the farm. Some hatcheries offer pinioning as keets so the guinea is permanently prevented from flying well. You can also trim their wings but this has to be done periodically. If you raise the guineas from keets with other poultry, they usually get along better but may still bully smaller poultry.
 

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