Trust Guinea with chicks?

woodmort

Crowing
9 Years
I have an interesting situation. This spring 3 of my 4 remaining guineas were lost to predators so I have one lone guinea. A week ago I moved my 3-week old chicks to the coop brooder--a partitioned of section of the coop with one long side hardware cloth. The lone guinea has been spending his/her time in front of the brooder, just eyeing the chicks. Usually it is the first bird out the pop door but now rarely spends much time outside. Now I'm not sure if it is male or female but it is taking especial interest in the young birds.

Having seen what guineas can do to things like mice and snakes I'm not sure whether this is a case of it trying to mother them, looking for companionship or sizing them for a meal. While I'll keep them separate I just find it interesting. I do have older chicks--two and three months--that the guinea doesn't both except to peck at them if they're in its way.

What do you think?
 

Potrack

Chirping
Feb 16, 2017
41
26
64
Southern Georgia, USA
I must agree with the previous response, having owned 50-60 for 25 years, I would be afraid to trust one with any responsibility. I love the darn things, but they are as dumb as a sack of rocks and I haven’t a clue how they managed to keep from going extinct, what with being too dumb to hide from predators, or seemingly even knowing a predator’s a predator. Add being very poor parents and you have a recipe for extinction, but here they are. Lol.
I WILL say, however, that when I have a new batch of guinea chicks in my brooder pen the adult guinea hens take an interest in them, often roosting on top of the brooder pen as close to them as possible. I think it is a protective instinct, because the whole flock will protect a hens keets, I have been attacked when trying to catch keets that a hen brought up from the woods. But it seems like their mothering instinct waxes and wanes, maybe it’s their mind going in and out, but one minute they’re attacking and pecking you for catching their keets, and the next they’re stepping all over them and ignoring them. Lord only knows what’s going on in that tiny brain they got.
 
Last edited:

woodmort

Crowing
9 Years
they are as dumb as a sack of rocks and I haven’t a clue how they managed to keep from going extinct, what with being too dumb to hide from predators, or seemingly even knowing a predator’s a predator. Add being very poor parents and you have a recipe for extinction
My observation exactly. I have had in excess of 25 in the last 4 years and am down to one. In that time I've actually seen one dead body--they just disappear. At one point I responded to a loud racket only to see them surrounding a red fox who was not the least bit intimidated--probably just figuring out which was going to be dinner--and only ran off when I confronted it. Likewise, one or two will often refuse to go into the coop at night , fly up into the trees to roost,only to vanish by morning. I figure we have a very happy horned owl in the neighborhood.
 

woodmort

Crowing
9 Years
Up date: Today, in the process of tearing down the brooder pen, one of the chicks got out. I managed, with help from the wife, to capture it but it wasn't too happy when I grabbed it against the chicken fence. As I straightened up with this screaming chick in my hand the guinea flew at me. Luckily there was fencing between us but it definitely was trying to protect the chick. So maybe it was "mothering" them. At any rate the chicks and the guineas are in adjoining rooms of the coop now.
 
Top Bottom