thinking of adding guinea fowl to the setup

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by goodolsurvival1, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2015
    (*the post may sound similar as the birds that we want to add to our flock setup we are posting in their respective forum space)

    we are moving out to a 4.9acre property (buying family home from our aunt and uncle)... right now we have just buff orps (2 flocks since we have too roosters that are really good from last hatch but don't tolerate each other any more so had to make two flocks)

    We want to add guinea and know when we get them from ruralking they are straight run. We also for stress, disease, etc. purposes they would have their own coop/run setup and then free ranged when we are home...

    Here are some questions that we have and figured it would be better asking here from others experience.

    1. what are their coop requirements?

    2. our ruralking sells straight run and i think a min of 2 bought at a time, is there a way to tell what they are when they start growing?

    3. we where told they can help with snakes and keeping away hawks, and some other predators... is this accurate at all? right now we don't have any predator or snake issues but will more then likely once we move since its more in the country.

    4. is there a way to make sure they stay tame or at least tolerate us in their area (in the sense of comfortable around us and okay with handling)?

    5. do you ever have to worry about a male or even female being mean towards you look chicken roosters? (we have weeded out a mean rooster already from our chicken flock)

    6. right now we feed our chickens= grounded alfalfa, wild bird seed (it has corn, milet, etc. in it), black sunflower seeds with oil, oats, and some D.E. in it (its between 17-20% protein) along with some oyster shells. during wintertime we add crack corn to the mix as a treat (separate)... can this feed mix we make something that they can eat also? or do they need something more specific? I'm assuming what we aren't adding they are finding while free ranging and winter time they will just eat more feed and we may have to suppliment a little more.

    7. is it better they free range with the chickens or the turkeys that we will get? our free range system will be setup as podlock pasture systems so the flocks can get rotated to allow new growth in the areas. I know they probably wont stay in the fenced in areas, maybe, but figured wed rather group them free ranging with set of birds they get along better with.

    any other guinea fowl tips for new guinea people is welcomed :) as i always do my research extensively before every adding to our setup to make sure it is something I can manage (i have 3 kids and a hubby who enjoy the animals etc. but seems its 90% me responsible for tending too after the initial excitement of the new addition then all they want to do is pet or feed them and im left to the poop lol)

    we are in n.e. ohio if that matters when it comes to caring for guinea fowl

    TIA
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    1. My recommendation is to make it tall and as roomy as possible. A light inside helps them go in at night (more of an issue in the winter). I currently house my guineas with my chickens but my future plans are a separate coop, partly because of your question #5 which is that the guineas do like to harass other fowl, including turkeys. They will pull tail feathers and I am thinking they might be doing that to my rooster and my lead hen lately but I can't be sure. I get up at 5:30 to open the coop and close it up at 9 so the whole time they are in together is during roost time so I think it is happening during the day out in the yard.

    2. Yes and no. I have two seven-week-olds that this week have announced they are female by their cry, but that does not always happen so young. There are visual ways to differentiate but they are often not until they are old... like at least 6 months really. They say females feather faster, and using that guideline I thought the two just mentioned were a male and a female. Perhaps if I'd had more from that hatch that would have been a more useful sexing tool but either way I wouldn't rely on it

    3. We don't really have any snake issues. They won't keep hawks away (my turkeys help with that). They also won't keep foxes away but will certainly alert for any dangers - foxes, stray dogs, etc. A fox chased my adult flock of four out of the farm fields into our yard, and when it turned around to go back into the cover the guineas turned around and chased after it.

    4. Mine are tame in the sense that they tolerate my presence and I can walk amongst them. The two 7-week-olds are even more tolerant and will even jump on me, but that is because they were hatched and raised with turkeys. I still can't reach out and hold them like I can the turkey poults, though. Guineas are not snuggly tame kind of birds.

    7. What will likely happen is some will fly over the fence and then forget they flew over and start freaking out about not being able to get back to their flock and scream their heads off. After a while they will figure it out, maybe, sort of. They will go where they want to go, and that is better for everyone because of the harassment issues. Mine free range every day, all day, regardless of weather. I made them stay in the run when we had a small blizzard this past winter, but as soon as the winds came down I let them out. They are very hardy birds and need the room and freedom. Given the feed that you mention in #6, fulll time free ranging would be best anyway because they have higher protein requirements than chickens and will will need all the bugs they can get.
     
  3. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2015
    Thanks for the info.

    I figured maybe fenced areas they would forget how they got out to get back in, our chickens do that sometimes when we let them out of the pvc tractor back into their setup 2 of them we let walk with us till we are moved and they all get use to openess and not in sock that they aren't confined like now when we do the transferring around lol.

    I was thinking if we did get some they wouldn't have fence bounderies and actually be free ranging and not paddock ranged... but then I wouldn't know what to do come gardening time so there was no garden loss for us as we do a lot of canning and stuff.

    Since that feed list I have done some research for a better mix when we add other flocks to the mix and now it will be 20% protein (with an all livestock mix) + the extras that we will add from that list. but keeping the ground alfalfa separate so I can just mix it as needed into that feeding. We learned this time around its hard to get the mixing right by adding it straight we had gotten the ration to high when we first mixed and had to by some all flock so that we could get the mix correct again lol.
     

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