Today my guineas decided that all of my roosters must die.

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Cadillac Jill, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Cadillac Jill

    Cadillac Jill Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2010
    After co-existing peacefully since they were keets and chicks (hatched in October), today my guineas decided that my roosters must be exterminated. We've had a few bullying moments, but nothing that didn't work itself out within a few seconds. We have four guinease and three roosters.

    About six weeks ago, our guinease decided they did not want to be cooped up with the chickens at night, thank you very much. No problem, they roosted on the privacy fence just outside our door. But they still ate and ranged with the chickens for much of the day, except when they went off to explore on their own.

    Today when I let the chickens out of the coop, the guineas descended upon my Welsummer rooster and would not let up until I was finally able to snatch him. (His comb was bloody.) While I was attending to him, they went after a Polish Crested rooster. DH rescued him, and they went after the other Polish Crested rooster. It wqas like watching an urban street gang attack a tourist. I kept imagining them with tiny Glocks and bandanas.

    After an hour and a half of running around our property with long sticks and a landing net, we finally got all of the roosters back into the coop, where they stayed most of the day. Everything was peaceful until about 5pm, when we decided to let the roosters out and see if it was a fluke event. No such luck, it started all over again, the same as this morning.

    We have intended from day one to relocate the guineas to the garden to help with pest control after our frost free date, so we're prepared to provide a separate coop. The problem is, these guineas are footloose and fancy free, and they're obsessed with our chickens. They know their way all around our 3.5 acres, so even if we move them to the garden, they'll march right back up and find the chickens.

    I'm guessing we'll need to contain the guineas in the garden area with a small run until they are acclimated, but I'm concerned about whether it's even possible to break them of this. When they can't get to the chickens, they just pace back and forth obsessively. I mean, it's like a "10 minutes 'til Wapner" thing. I've even considered buying one of those enormous nets to completely enclose the garden, but that's not really in keeping with our scheme, and I need the guineas to help control ticks in the yard as well.

    So after all that, I really don't even know what I'm asking, except, can you help me? I don't know what to do. I keep thinking and thinking, and every plan seems to have major drawbacks. I'm exhausted and extremely sore from running around unblazed paths flailing my arms to try to round up poultry, and I'm not sure I'm even thinking straight.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. TinkleTurkey

    TinkleTurkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Palmdale
    I have 6 girls and one boy, and the boy has recently been very agressive to his peafowl cage-mates. I think he's being posessive of his females, because I put him seperate from the females in with the cochins and he hasnt made any trouble since.

    Don't know if that helps, but since its that time of year maybe they're a little hormonal. Do you know if its just the boys who are being agressive?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  3. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Greene County, PA
    You should have 10 or more guineas to keep peace in the yard. Best if you have separate coops, but not a must. Get more guineas![​IMG]
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:I am lurking on most of the guinea lists and hearing that the guineas go commando at around breeding time.... spring...

    Oh and Guineas are not like chickens in that one male for every five females. Guineas pair off.

    I have had them together with chickens before but half of them I purchased fully grown from another person that had a mixed chicken/guinea flock of her own. They were at least two years old. Its been quite a few years since I lost that flock to preditors. I am looking forward to having chickens and guineas again this summer. I will be keeping them separate this time because I want purebred.
     
  5. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Thank you for confirming what I've said time and time again just to have others come right behind me and say "oh, they'll be fine. Mine all live together." This is also why I say if you are not going to have the numbers needed to keep peace to have an alternative when things go bad.

    Guineas are still very much the wild creature of the jungle. Their genetics demand that they behave the way they do and there is nothing you can do about it except to either get rid of them or increase the flock.

    Having enough Guinea males in a flock is important. In Spring and Fall they have genetic driven behavior that you are now witnessing. It is not particularly aimed at your roosters but a lack of sparring partners make them the unwilling targets.

    I have a flock of about 25. I let one of my roosters out yesterday. He hasn't been out wandering for a while now, my Guineas could care less because there are about 15 male Guineas so that they can torment each other and completely ignore my roosters.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yup, that's why I had to rehome mine. Robin knows the issues I had with my fearsome foursome. They were merciless on all the red chickens and the rooster when they approached mating age. But, I sure loved them and will try it again some day, just will not house them with chickens and will have more of them so they can form their own separate society.
     
  7. Cattitude

    Cattitude Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's probably why ours co-exist peacefully. Loads of guineas; they pick on each other instead of the roosters.
     
  8. Outhouser

    Outhouser Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Minford
    Really good to hear all of this. I just made my first leap into guineas, with 6 keets. I have them with 5 turkey chicks too and wanted to have them all and my chickens together eventually. Really wishing now that I would have picked up more than just the 6 keets.
     
  9. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

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    UP North WI
    So why is it important that you have more males??
    I have 11 guineas and just love them. Looks like I have 7 or 8 males and 3 or 4 hens. Can't remember !! [​IMG]
    Anyway, I would like to get more females but after reading this it doesn't seem like a good idea????
     
  10. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Quote:The males are genetically wired to fight, chase and pound on each other during the Spring and Fall. Its what they had to do to survive and gain standing in the wilds that they hale from. Its not that they have anything against roosters, the proof is those of us that have enough males being able to let roosters out to free range with the Guineas completely ignoring them.

    The past two weeks I've had roosters out with their girls enjoying the few bugs that have appeared so far and the tender new grass while all around them there are male Guineas running circles, zooming past them, fighting, grabbing each other and spinning in circles. There are two completely different eco systems working here at the moment, the serenity of chickens crazing and the lunacy of the Guinea males fighting each other for standing in the flock.

    In a way its about the same as it is for roosters except with ten times the speed and ferocity and tenacity. Two Guineas will chase for hours where roosters are pretty well spent after a few minutes.
     

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