Too young to breed?

Dobiegirl22

In the Brooder
Apr 15, 2020
25
20
26
First time bird owner. When I began my guinea adventure I learned a lot from this forum! I read page after page and was more than prepared for spring to get hectic next year. I got lucky, I ended up with 3 female and 3 male Guineas. All was well up until today. The birds will be nine weeks old on Monday. For the last two weeks I’ve been letting them free range for about 3-4 hours a day supervised. Today I was washing their crap off the patio when I heard a ruckus by the coop so I ran over. All the Guineas were inside besides 2. And these two were going at it!!! I’ve NEVER seen them fight before. I was even more confused when I realized it was a hen being attacked by a cock.

My dynamic is weird. I should have three couples but I have a three some, a couple, and a solo male. The two fighting were the trio cock and his fringe wife. I’ve never seen a bird mate so I wasn’t sure if this is normal behavior when a male is trying to breed (but they’re so young) or if the hen is probably sick and I need to check her. I screamed and kicked the garbage can and ran over trying to break it up but he wouldn’t stop until the hen screamed. Really trying to understand their behaviors, don’t know if that’s even feasible 😭
 

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R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
32,870
159,693
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
First time bird owner. When I began my guinea adventure I learned a lot from this forum! I read page after page and was more than prepared for spring to get hectic next year. I got lucky, I ended up with 3 female and 3 male Guineas. All was well up until today. The birds will be nine weeks old on Monday. For the last two weeks I’ve been letting them free range for about 3-4 hours a day supervised. Today I was washing their crap off the patio when I heard a ruckus by the coop so I ran over. All the Guineas were inside besides 2. And these two were going at it!!! I’ve NEVER seen them fight before. I was even more confused when I realized it was a hen being attacked by a cock.

My dynamic is weird. I should have three couples but I have a three some, a couple, and a solo male. The two fighting were the trio cock and his fringe wife. I’ve never seen a bird mate so I wasn’t sure if this is normal behavior when a male is trying to breed (but they’re so young) or if the hen is probably sick and I need to check her. I screamed and kicked the garbage can and ran over trying to break it up but he wouldn’t stop until the hen screamed. Really trying to understand their behaviors, don’t know if that’s even feasible 😭
Pecking order dispute. Guinea flock dynamics work best in a large flock. I never recommend having fewer than ten guineas.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,268
8,296
646
Stillwater, OK
First time bird owner. When I began my guinea adventure I learned a lot from this forum! I read page after page and was more than prepared for spring to get hectic next year. I got lucky, I ended up with 3 female and 3 male Guineas. All was well up until today. The birds will be nine weeks old on Monday. For the last two weeks I’ve been letting them free range for about 3-4 hours a day supervised. Today I was washing their crap off the patio when I heard a ruckus by the coop so I ran over. All the Guineas were inside besides 2. And these two were going at it!!! I’ve NEVER seen them fight before. I was even more confused when I realized it was a hen being attacked by a cock.

My dynamic is weird. I should have three couples but I have a three some, a couple, and a solo male. The two fighting were the trio cock and his fringe wife. I’ve never seen a bird mate so I wasn’t sure if this is normal behavior when a male is trying to breed (but they’re so young) or if the hen is probably sick and I need to check her. I screamed and kicked the garbage can and ran over trying to break it up but he wouldn’t stop until the hen screamed. Really trying to understand their behaviors, don’t know if that’s even feasible 😭
Guineas are quarrelsome birds. In my particular flock, it’s the males who do most of the actual fighting, but the females and males both will pick at each other constantly. My flock, which has more females than males, tends to make one or more females “fringe” members, which have to keep their distance from the rest. I think that those fringe girls serve a function as being peripheral sentries for the flock, but they don’t seem very happy with their roles.

IME, guinea mating is a much more consensual act than in chickens. It’s fascinating behavior. The male squats low on the ground and looks “depressed” to my eye. The first time I saw this, I ran over to see what was wrong with the cock, who jumped up and gave me an annoyed look, perfectly healthy! Anyway he squats and sometimes makes a low buzzing noise. The female will act like she’s grazing near him, then suddenly run past him. He gives a short chase that ends when the female crouches in front of him with wings spread and they do the bird thing. The actual mating is super quick, a second or two.

So, what you’re describing doesn’t sound like mating behavior, and I think they are too young. Sounds more like dominance issues, or the start of picking a fringe sentry. If the loser doesn’t have blood dripping and is allowed to roost with the rest, then I’d consider it normal guinea interaction. 2 months is when mine started battling and working stuff out. I try not to intervene, because then they still have issues that they’ll need to work out all over again.
 

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