When do Guinea fowl start to lay eggs?

Mary's Farm

Chirping
Jul 14, 2018
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66
Pretty much normal behavior for a small number of guineas forced to live in close quarters with chickens. Guineas are a flock bird and do best when kept with at least a minimum of 10 guineas. They do not have the same mannerisms as chickens and only other guineas understand their behavior. When kept with lots of room and enough other guineas they will tend to keep to their own kind. They can even ostracize other guineas if they are a different color than the rest of them.

That you have not seen the guinea cock mate with the guinea hen is normal. The guinea breeding act occurs very quickly (hit and run) and is seldom seen except by very vigilant owners.

I raised guineas housed with chickens and turkeys. Because of the stress that the guineas put on all the rest of the poultry, I now house my guineas separately. I can free range the guineas, turkeys and chickens all at the same time in the same area without any problems. The guineas keep to themselves.

R2elk: Question for you, given your comment that guineas "can even ostracize other guineas if they are a different color than the rest of them." I have 5 guineas, 2 males and 3 females. One of the males is all white (White African guinea), and I have 2 female pearl grays and 1 male/1 female Royal Purple guinea. A few weeks ago, the female royal purple guinea was sort of ostracized by the others: they wouldn't let her eat or drink near them and she took to wandering away to herself. TODAY, when I went out to the guinea yard I was shocked that the other four guineas were all pecking at the White African male guinea, who up till now was sort of a leader of the whole group. I even saw blood on his neck, and between running away from them and crouching in a submissive hunch, I finally caught him up and separated him from them to let him heal in a separate area of his own.

My question is, do you think this guinea can be re-introduced to the rest of the flock? Is this some kind of mating behavior, or what? Any advice appreciated.
 

R2elk

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R2elk: Question for you, given your comment that guineas "can even ostracize other guineas if they are a different color than the rest of them." I have 5 guineas, 2 males and 3 females. One of the males is all white (White African guinea), and I have 2 female pearl grays and 1 male/1 female Royal Purple guinea. A few weeks ago, the female royal purple guinea was sort of ostracized by the others: they wouldn't let her eat or drink near them and she took to wandering away to herself. TODAY, when I went out to the guinea yard I was shocked that the other four guineas were all pecking at the White African male guinea, who up till now was sort of a leader of the whole group. I even saw blood on his neck, and between running away from them and crouching in a submissive hunch, I finally caught him up and separated him from them to let him heal in a separate area of his own.

My question is, do you think this guinea can be re-introduced to the rest of the flock? Is this some kind of mating behavior, or what? Any advice appreciated.
It sounds like he was defeated by a rival. Once the leader is deposed, he is fair game for all of the others to attack. This sounds more like a deposed leader than an ostracism because of color.

You can try to reintroduce him. They may or may not accept him back. It is even possible but unlikely that he might once again become the leader.

I had a similar situation. My two Coral Blue guinea cocks would buddy up and maintain control over the flock because they always ganged up on any of the other males. Eventually the other males formed a temporary alliance and beat both of the Coral Blue males severely. Their heads were horribly pecked up and bloody. Even my crippled White male would take his turn at pecking them. They were both severely depressed and were not allowed any where near the rest of the flock. They hung around on the outskirts while they healed and spent a lot of time hiding.

Guineas being guineas the alliance did not last long. The Coral Blue boys once again started ganging up on the other males one at a time and eventually got back their position of leadership. They are getting older and there are younger, stronger males now so their leadership is no longer anything more than a you leave us alone and we will leave you alone type of thing now.

Flock dynamics are a fluid thing among guineas and can change from day to day.

Just be ready to stand by and observe closely to see if intervention is needed when you try reintroduction. Good luck.
 

Mary's Farm

Chirping
Jul 14, 2018
22
53
66
Thank you for your reply! After a few days, I did re-introduce the white male guinea back, and I was pleasantly surprised that they seem to be getting along again. Meanwhile, the one female royal purple guinea who had been ostracized before is once again being chased away from food and water (I offer food separately to her around the corner of the guinea house, which she seems to anticipate and avails herself of).

That was my first experience at guinea politics, and now I sort of see that some shuffling is inevitable and I will be prepared to isolate guineas when bullying seems too physical.

Thank you!
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
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That's what I'm hearing. Do I even try letting her keep the eggs or should I remove them. There is no way for them to survive in the winter correct?
Last summer, I really wanted my guinea hens to brood their own chicks. It was so very difficult! I eventually gave up (after they killed multiple keets and abandoned another) and hatched the eggs in an incubator. This is how I wound up with two flocks that I’m trying to integrate! For myself, I wouldn’t dream of trying to have the hens brood in winter when it’s already so difficult under the best of circumstances! BTW, other people have had better luck with guinea brooding than me but I did also come across other people with similar failures...
 

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