What BASICS do I need to now?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by jak2002003, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    I have just got 4 guinea fowl. They have feathers on their body.. but still have stripy heads.. I think less than half grown. Still making chick sounds.

    They are very scruffy and some have plucked areas of bald skin on their backs.. from feather plucking at the place I got them from (which had them crowded in a tiny cage).

    I have put them into a large dog crate.. with water and food.

    The food is chick crumbs.. and I gave them some greens which they loved. They are a bit skittish.. but they will take food from my hand through the cage bars.

    I put a branch in the cage for them to roost on.

    I have a large coop and run with Japanese Bantams and king pigeons.

    Will they be OK with the chickens.. or will they eat the young chicks? (the pigeon do not breed in the coop so I am not worried about them).

    What can I feed them? I can not get game bird pellets... the only feed I can buy is chick starter and layer pellets.. and also grains. Its a bit basic here (Thailand) for animal feeds.

    I read they need a lot of protein.. so can I feed them boiled eggs and the chick starter.. will that be enough?

    And finally, how log should I wait before I allow them to free range?

    My plan is to let them live 'wild'.. My house is in the middle of a mango orchard .... and I hope they will just roost in the trees at night.. and I can feed them around my house in the daytime. Or will I have to lock them in the chicken coop each night?

    The only serious predator problem I have had with my birds was a mongoose. It got into the old pigeon coop in the night and killed many of them.

    It has never killed a chicken (so far) And the coop now is a metal predator proof bunker!! Will guinea fowl be clever enough to escape a mongoose when free ranging?

    Sorry for so many questions.
     
  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chick starter or grower is fine for guineas as long as they have an additional supplement of eggs for protein. In the wild their natural diet would be insects and grass.

    Guineas of any age need to be confined for 6 weeks any time they are moved to a new home. And they should be mostly grown, around 3 to 4 months, old before being allowed to free range. Would it be possible to confine them in the chicken coop where they can get to know their new home and coop mates during the confinement period? If your young ones are trained to sleep in the coop they will always go back to it at night. This will be the only safe way to keep them. I don't know anything about the habits of a mongoose but if they can climb your guineas will not be safe at night in the wild. They are very good at flying so they can usually avoid ground predators thru the day. [​IMG]
     
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you for the info. They are in the coop now in the dog crate. Giving them time to settle, then I will let them out to mingle with the bantams.

    Its good to know I can train them to go back home to the coop. I did not think they would do that. Cant wait to feed them some eggs tomorrow... Think the shop only fed them seeds.

    Also bet they cant wait to have a good dust bath...hopefully sort out their messy feathers.
     
  4. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    They are doing great now... Today I let them out to mix with the other birds... no problems at all. The chickens seem to ignore them.. except a very young rooster chick which will peck them if they get to close to his siblings.

    They guineas love to run and jump about, practicing to fly a bit.. then they eat some food and want to get back into their dog crate.. so I open the door and they all go back in.

    They are getting very tame too.. coming up to me looking for bits of peanuts or boiled eggs. and no problems feeding from my hand.

    So far are a very pleased with them.. and in a few weeks time I will allow them to free range with the other birds.

    Few more questions...

    Do they dust bath like chickens?

    Do they go broody easily in a chicken nest box?

    Can I hatch their eggs under a bantam chicken and let them raise the keets?

    And a strange question.... will they eat small birds?, because my budgies sometimes break out of their cage and fly about in the chicken coop. (although I am in the process of building them their own aviary.. it will take some time).

    Thanks.
     
  5. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like your little guineas have gone from a poor environment to a wonderful one. No wonder they are so happy! [​IMG]
    Guineas are basically a wild bird that can be somewhat tamed and it sounds like you are doing a great job of taming them.

    Guineas LOVE a dust bath!

    I've had a couple of guinea hens go broody in a chicken nest box but most of them will hide their nests in the bushes or other hidden spots. Every summer I spend my evenings walking our 35 acre pasture looking for hidden nests.

    I've had quite a few different chickens hatch guinea eggs for me, including bantams. Chickens actually make better mothers than guineas and are much easier to handle. Guinea eggs are small like bantam eggs and are no problem for chickens to hatch.

    We have a lot of sparrows and other wild birds flying in and out of the henhouse thru the day and I have never seen a guinea bother any small bird. They may chase them just for the fun of it tho. [​IMG]
     
  6. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    That you for great information!

    I saw them having a dust bath today. I have only had then a few days and they are already looking much better.. their feathers are in order now too.

    Been very friendly and they are not fighting with any of my other birds.

    Now I just have to wait a few weeks and I can let them out with the chickens to free range. I can't wait to see them out and about.
     
  7. mommaguinea

    mommaguinea Chillin' With My Peeps

    I could give a list for basics, but have printed material you can download. My website. Fowlplayguineas.com
    Go there and look for the FREE material you can print on keets and adults. If you have any other questions- my contact info is there too so feel free to shoot me an email.
    Sounds like your babies are much happier with you! Best of luck with them.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. MelissaZeno

    MelissaZeno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for sharing this. I have been thinking about guineas and didn't know a lot about them.
     
  9. mommaguinea

    mommaguinea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Melissa..I am thinking about putting together a q & a page based on questions I see on line, experience, and response from others. Part of my mission is guinea education.
     

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