Thinking of populating my area with Guineas


10 Years
May 25, 2009
Long Island, New York
I don't know if that's actually a legal thing to do, family and I will be moving in October. The location is on a private road across from 200 acres of nature preserve. It's full of deer, foxes, owls, raccoons, hawks, turkeys and TICKS! Not just ticks, but deer ticks and lots of them. Certain times of year you can't go for a walk in the hiking trails or you'll more than likely have some deer ticks and chiggers on you. So, I was thinking, since guinea fowl are so darn good at eating ticks, could I raise them till they've feathered out and then let them wonder the 200 acres to help keep the tick population down? Would I get in trouble for allowing them to roam the woods like that?
Where on Long Island?? Hi. We have them in our town, Ridge. They are really noisy, and some people find them quite obnoxious, but since they are already loose, I would have to think they just have become part of the landscaping. Don't know how long you've been here, but YEARS AGO, Manetto Hill rd exit off the LIE was called Guinea Rd. Many people, including myself, have gotten lyme disease. Would rather have the noisy birds than go thru that again. Welcome!! Roberta
Hi Roberta! We're in Hampton Bays! That's funny. My friend lives in Rocky Point and told me some people called it Guinea Point, but we assumed that was a racist slur toward the Italian residents. I guess not!
Yes, I know they are loud, but I figured if I released them it may not be so awful. And I agree, I'd rather have the noise than the ticks! I'm actually wondering why the DEC wouldn't want to do something about the deer ticks on Long Island. Maybe they are and it's just not working. Who knows. We're very excited to move to this house and the only downside is the ticks so I figured I'd try to do something about it.
I'd start off with a small flock and gradually increase it if it seems to be working out... being a nature preserve you may get a visit from your county agency in charge of that nature preserve (even fish and game maybe?) about keeping your non-indigenous Guineas home on your own land and out of that area (which most of us have experienced can be quite the chore once they've developed a normal ranging routine!). Good luck tho, hope your war on ticks works out in your favor!
Good luck with the move, I am fostering a chicken from the Bronx, so if I can help you out, let me know. And I have a huge problem with hatching too many eggs... If you want to buy some either here or anywhere, I will hatch out for you if needed. Love to do it!!! Nice to meet you. And watch out for the hawks, they have eaten a LOT of chicken at my house.
The acreage is owned by the town. It has marked trails going through it that are preserved because they are part of the Paumonack trails from Native Americans. The town bought up this land in order to protect it from over building. There is no hunting aloud.

If I were to do this what would be the procedure? I need to keep the guineas in a protected coop till when? When I'm ready to release them, do I just boot them out or do I need to do this gradually? Will the guineas be able to fend for themselves in the winter months as well? How far will they travel from my house? How are they at keeping themselves from getting eaten by predators? There are hawks, raccoons and fox in this area.
Thanks! I'm actually itching to hatch more eggs. I've built an incubator out of a Styrofoam cooler and last year hatched out some chicks. Can't wait to do it again! Yes, I know about the hawks. I keep my run covered with bird netting and the hen house is completely raccoon proof. Moving the coop and chickens to the new house is going to be fun fun fun!
I should take video of it........
Hmm... sounds like a pretty heavy predator load out there, which is not good. IMO, you might be better off starting with some adult Guineas that have a little "street smarts" about them already. You'd need to keep them locked up for about 6 weeks to reprogram their brains into knowing where "home" is before letting them range (in hopes of getting them to come back to roost at "home" in a predator safe and weather proof coop every night, in order to sustain a flock and not just feed the predators).

Guineas need shelter from the harsh elements and safe places to roost at night. Usually a wet Guinea is a dead Guinea, it's only a matter of time. They either get too cold, or get water logged and can't get up to a safe place to roost... then you have one less Guinea and just a pile of feathers or a feather trail leading off into the woods. They are neither as weather proof or predator savvy as we'd like them to be.

In the meantime of the 6 weeks you'll want to start spoiling them with millet, wild birdseed mixes, meal worms (you know, treats galore) so that they learn to think of you and your family as the treat goddesses and gods, and your property as "Guinea Heaven". (Mine come when I call them, no matter how far out on my acreage they are, cuz they know it means FOOOOOOOOOD, lol). You want them to range and forage for ticks, (which Guineas all do naturally on their own), but you also want them to come back and roost every night (something they need to be trained/coaxed into doing).

And no, don't boot them out, you'll likely never see any of them again. I'd let them come out on their own when they are ready, and just before dark herd them all back in and lock them up safe... and make a normal routine of cooping them up at night. You could do the same thing, starting with younger keets, but they may take more time and effort in order to become efective tick control, hard to say.

I definitely do not recommend buying a bunch of Guineas and just turning em loose and hoping for the best... sure it's possible that SOME may stick around, but they'd most likely ALL be gone within a really short timespan

There's lots of ways to go about this (not just the way I've described what I'd do), but either way it's going to be quite a project for you that's for sure, but hopefully a worthwhile one.
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