What's wrong with my guineas??

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by KCNC06, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Central NC
    Seriously, I read everyone else's postings about their guineas and wonder what on earth is wrong with mine! We definitely have a love hate relationship with these birds, and I think they've pushed me too far this time.

    Here's the short version of the situation - they're hateful to our chickens (hens). For a while the chickens wouldn't roost in their house because the guineas would beat them up when they tried to get into the house. Solution: Let the guineas roost outside like they want to. Things were good after that. Until one of the hens (chicken hens, not guinea hens) started laying eggs. Everything was fine until the guineas would find her nest, then they would break and eat the eggs and our hen would move her nest. This happened in 3 different nests, until she started laying in the nestbox loft inside the hen house. The guineas didn't go in the hen house anymore, so the nest/eggs have been safe for a couple months now.

    Sunday afternoon we put a light in the hen house to keep them warm (one of those "you need heat because I'm cold" situations - like when you make a child wear a sweater because you're cold) and to give them a few more hours of light hoping it would encourage more of the chickens to start laying. Apparently the light in the hen house attracted the attention of the guineas. Yesterday afternoon when I went out to collect the eggs we just had one broken one in the nestbox. It looks like the guineas must have found the nest and broke the one egg that I left Sunday afternoon (we have to leave one egg or else our hens lay somewhere else) was broken and either yesterdays eggs were already eaten or the hens laid their eggs somewhere else.

    So my question is - what's wrong with my guineas?! Why do they break and eat the chicken eggs whenever they find them? Is there any way to stop this kind of behavior? This really is the last straw as far as I'm concerned. They're loud, the poop all over our deck and roof (and our puppy eats it, guinea poop seems to be his favorite treat), they roam to our neighbors houses all the time, they beat up our chickens... We finally got our neighbor to admit that he doesn't really like the guineas and told him we were going to try some different things to make the guineas less annoying. Now they break my food?!? I'm not sure they're worth all the effort and expense, and frustration. It might just be time to rehome them...unless anyone has any ideas on how to make the guineas stop being evil.

    Any suggestions??
  2. quietheart

    quietheart Songster

    Jul 16, 2009
    Ramer, TN
    Don't know, my guinea are still in our tractor, but I'm interested to see if others have lots of issues with em.
  3. lovinlife

    lovinlife Songster

    My guineas are not nice at all. They bully my chickens, especially the rooster. As soon as I open the chicken run, they dart in there to gobble up their food.

    Mine free range 24/7. They sleep in a tree above the chicken run. I'm in central Texas, so my chickens don't have an enclosed coop to sleep in. Their roost and nesting boxes are under a tarp that I draped over the northwest corner of my run, which is a 10'x20' dog pen with chicken wire over the top.

    My guineas don't chase my cats, for some reason. So, in that one instance they're not bad.

    But, they're loud and obnoxious. I'm hoping they'll eat their weight in grasshoppers and bugs this spring and summer to make up for the trouble they are.

    As for what you're going through with them eating your chicken eggs, I don't have a clue. They're pretty dense, so I'm not sure there's a way to train them. Do your hens free range all day long? I'm wondering if keeping the hens up or closing off the hen house after they leave for a week or so would be an option. Maybe the guineas will forget about the eggs during that time. Worth a shot...
  4. Egg eating is sometimes hard to break. You might try leaving a golfball in the nest instead of a real egg, or you might blow out an egg and fill it with mustard. Both of these remedies are recommended by chicken folks. I tried the golfball thing once and discovered that my eggs were being eaten by a large rat snake. Wish I could have been there to watch him try to pass that thing.

    Guineas are like street gangs. If a chicken (rooster) stands up to one of them, he has to fight them all. Some peace has been observed by a few folks that have raised chicks and keets together.

    As far as the puppy eating guinea poop, all dogs love it. Same with chicken or goose poop. A wise person once told me the reason they do that. They are trying to get the taste of their butt out of their mouth, LOL.

    The poop on the porch is sometimes semi controled by placing a mirror in the coop area. Needs to be large enough so they can admire/fight themselves in it. Mine are particularly fond of standing on my vehicles, which is not good for the paint. Sometimes they even take short rides with me, but nothing over about 200 yards around my property. The poop blows of on the highway, but those scratches are hard to deal with.

    Sounds like both of ya`ll are first time guinea owners. Took me a while to get over guineas being guineas, but they do have their endearing qualities. Even the noise tends to become "music" when you accept them for the comics they are. I moved my flock to the GA woods last year from south FL. My FL house had a 6' black chain link fence around the back yard and pool area. The chicken/guinea yard was outside this fence. My guineas would fly up on the fence and "talk" to us while we were eating or watching tv inside in the family room. Endearing to say the least.

    Guess I`ve rambled on enough. Hope some of these ideas work for you........Pop
  5. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    Did you start with keets? If you get keets and chicks at the same time, they are more used to each other. Usually [​IMG] If you got them as adults, sometimes you end up with someone else's problem! I don't mean intentionally. For instance, somebody who doesn't want eggs/chicks may not care of they have egg eaters and may let that behavior go on. Maybe the person had an old car they let the birds sit on....then they come to your house and want to sit on your new car! Mine came from a guy who didn't handle them much and now they freak out when touched. I like to be able to just pick up a chicken when I want to check them for whatever reason. Not these guineas...OH NO! They freak when I get too near.

    If you can, keep them out of the coop completely. They like to admire themselves, so if you have windows or glass doors on your deck they are probably hanging out there staring at the guineas in the reflection. Give them a mirror somewhere, and that should stop. If you do decide to rehome them, coop them for a week or so first so you can collect the eggs. Hatch them yourselves, you might find that works better for you. If not....I hear they are quite yummy [​IMG]

    My pup loves the poop! Guinea or chicken, she doesn't care. She thinks they're fluffy pez dispensers [​IMG]

    Lovinlife: you said yours free range 24/7. Do you provide food for them also? If not they may just not be finding enough to eat this time of year and that's why they're chowing down on chicken feed. Try giving them some gamebird feed.
  6. MTtroutwithwings

    MTtroutwithwings Songster

    Jul 10, 2007
    Montana Country
    There is nothing wrong with your Guineas, that is just their personally. Unless you can separate them entirely from the rest of your flock there is going to be a constant harassment factor going on. I've raised them from keets, bred them & hatched them, they're personalities never change.
    I'm currently looking for a new home for the 4 I have as my ducks have become their latest target. They're outnumbered, time to go!
  7. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Central NC
    We got our guineas as keets and added the hens (chickens) in when all were about 2 months old. Maybe that's why the guineas don't like the chickens. Hard telling. There's also one guinea that the rest of the gang picks on. I like the analogy of them being like a street gang, they definitely have their "thug" like qualities.

    We generally don't mind their noise, the sound they make when they're content is really sweet actually. It sounds like it must be the guinea version of purring. I think it's adorable when they get up on the deck and peek in the windows at us yelling "buckwheat, buckwheat". I even think it's cute that they get up on the roof and stomp all around. How such a small creature can make that much noise on the roof I'll never understand. They did annoy me for a while, until I started paying attention to the little things and trying to figure them out. Then they became adorable. The fact that they go across the street every morning (to one of the neighbor's who loves them) and we have to call them back home for breakfast is even cute. We go out to the end of the driveway and call "GUINEAS!!!" and they'll start yelling up a storm running towards us. Writing about them now is making me sad that they have to go.

    This egg eating bit is just too much. They've been doing it since the first chicken started laying (we're only up to 2 now, but days are short so it's probably just a light issue). We tried golf balls and other fake eggs, the chicken doesn't like that business and moves her nest. As soon as the guineas find it, they'll smash whatever eggs they can find and eat them.

    Oh well. The chickens do a great job at eating bugs/snakes/slugs too and they free range, so hopefully they'll do about as well as we hoped the guineas would. I don't really mind the poo, it's just poo and it's not nearly as big as dog poo. It doesn't really even bother me much that the puppy eats it, he licks his own butt (as well as the other dog's butt) so what's a little bird poo? I think the main reason DH got upset about the puppy eating the guinea poo is because the puppy ended up with tapeworms. The vet said the worms came from eating a flea (or fleas). Since we've never seen a flea on the dogs, he assumed that the puppy at the flea off of guinea poo. Which really is an unfair assumption since the puppy also eats/chews dirt clumps, sticks, rocks, hoses....pretty much anything that's within his reach. The guilty flea could have come from just about anywhere.

    Thanks for all the input. I think this ends my saga of the guineas. I'll just stick with chickens from now on. Well, as far as birds anyway. I'm still considering some sort of miniature goat or sheep. [​IMG] I'm sure the neighbors will LOVE that!!
  8. jsimplytx125

    jsimplytx125 Chirping

    Feb 28, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    I aquired my chickens first, then added the guinea keets when chickens were about 6 months, so basically had the opposite problem. Now that the keets are grown they do behave since the chickens are higher on the totem pole. I even have a couple that follow the rooster around with his harem, like one of the girls.
    Oh my chickens are RIRs. My guinea never mess with the chicken nest boxes and they do all roost in the coop. Two or three always decline the invite into the coop at sunset, but I haven't lost any yet and it's been almost a year now.

    Hope this helps.
  9. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Central NC
    Our guineas moved to a new home this past Saturday. Things are very peaceful now that they're gone. It's a little creepy how quiet everything is, but the chickens definitely seem happier. I think our neighbors are happier too, they made a comment yesterday about how quiet it is now. It's also nice to be able to turn the outside lights on when we put the dogs out after dark. This used to wake the guineas up and would lead to lots of loud buckwheating.

    Oh well. Live and learn I suppose.

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