Why Guineas and Roosters don't mix

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by robin416, May 15, 2011.

  1. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    I'm sure several have read where I describe Guineas as having a switch, one that is turned on as they reach maturity and Spring begins. When things can become quite exciting and in some cases entertaining or stressful.

    When Guinea males reach sexual maturity they vie for placement within the flock with the chase. Females become vocal and the incessant buck wheat calling is enough to drive sane people up the wall.

    I'm fortunate, I'm home with my birds. I get to see all of the phases they pass through. I love the chase. Watching these goofy birds hauling the mail, one chasing the other for long periods of time. But last week I realized something besides that this is genetic and its something they are driven to do. And it relates to roosters and Guineas. I've seen this before, one male taunting another trying to get that male to chase. He would dodge at the other and swing away quickly to race. Whenever the other male totally ignored him he'd give him a good poke. That would be enough to get the other male to chase him for about 40 feet. Not good enough so the one wanting to be chased went back to prodding and poking trying to get a rise out of the other male. Now imagine this is a rooster that the Guinea is trying to get to chase him. Since the rooster will not chase the Guinea will then begin poking and prodding at him. And one of two things happens, the rooster responds with a fight or he hunkers down and cowers which means the Guinea wins either way.

    Now think about roosters and what they do to gain dominance. If they are the only rooster they do nothing. If there is another a fight is likely to ensue. But there is no chase. Its a fight in to submission. With Guineas it appears that even if there is no other Guinea male to gain dominance on they are still driven to complete the cycle of who's on top. Its a right of passage, a mating dance of some type. If a rooster is the only one available or hens even, the Guineas turn their attention to them to complete the cycle. Have enough Guinea males as sparring partners and all of the threat is removed for the chickens.
    justin shrew likes this.
  2. racuda

    racuda Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    So a male actually wants to be chased?

    There are always a couple of males running (or sometimes flying) in hot pursuit of another but I thought the chaser was the instigator, and you say it is the other way around?
  3. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Quote:I can't say that it always instigated by the one wanting to be chased. I did notice the taunting behavior last year. This one male kept at one for nearly a half hour, kept dodging in and when the other would turn would run off, when the one didn't accommodate him he came back to repeat the behavior. I didn't think much of it at the time, the male he was taunting was there with a female. I thought he was trying to steal her.

    But what I've been watching tells a whole different story. I've seen it twice so far this season, one taunting another. Only once have I seen the one being taunted take the bait. I didn't notice if there was a female earlier this Spring so I don't know if he was trying to steal her or just needed to be chased.
  4. kyle142

    kyle142 In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2011
    Very interesting, thanks.

    In the last couple weeks my 9 keets have been changing tones, it sounds like on estimation there are roughly the same amount of boys to girls (Yes i know I have 9 and can't be 1:1) or maybe a few more boys to girls.

    In your opinion, roughly how many boys should I hope to have so they keep to them selves? My Australorp rooster is totally accepting of these keets and have watched them eat all together(They came to his food call).
  5. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    You can't know anything for sure with these guys. Chances are they will leave the Rooster alone. Watch them in the Fall, that is another time that the males can be a bit wild.
  6. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Songster

    May 22, 2010
    I rescued two guinea boys we were hoping for one female, didn't happen. They were raised with a rooster and 3 hens. Everything went along fine until a month ago. The guinea boys like to chase and spar. Which is fine. They run bang into one another, jump in the air, grab at each other sometimes connecting but then off they'd go. Just to repeat every so often. Mr. rooster on the other hand doesn't like a desruptive family. He likes everything quiet and his way. The rooster decided they were not allowed to bump and run and kept trying to get in between them when one day one of the guinea jumped on the rooster. The fight was on and for those who don't know the Rooster will fight til the death. The rooster came out bloodied and beaten, however would NOT give up. They've been separated ever since. I've found wonder homes for the guineas with their very own guinea family. Yeah I have to agree Roosters and Guinea Fowl don't mix well when the testosterone kicks in. Solutions lots of females.
  7. Bantam 1975

    Bantam 1975 In the Brooder

    Oct 3, 2016
    Ive had guinea fowl with my chicken flocks for years. Male and female guineas with hens and roosters. Never ever ever was there any problems between male guineas and my rooster. All have grown up together. No problems.
  8. Krazyquilts

    Krazyquilts Songster Premium Member

    I have a teenage mixed flock of straight-run chickens, guineas, and turkeys. They share a coop and will be free-ranging soon. They all seem to get along at the moment but I'm concerned that that could change as they mature, so I'm interested to hear more about your successful set-up: flock size and approximate ratio of the different breeds and sexes, are they in a run, pastured, or free-range etc.
  9. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 Be the change you wish to see. Premium Member Project Manager

    Nov 7, 2015
    Southwestern MB, Canada
    I had a flock of 14 guineas (male and females) with my flock last summer and fall. That would've been been with approximately 30-35 roosters. I haven't had issues either. The guineas carry on their shenanigans. I see both males and a few of the females guineas taunting each other and the chickens. But there's been no fighting.

    The only issue I did have was with introducing a rooster the guineas weren't familiar with. The males guineas started to fight him and the female guineas joined in. They would've killed him because they wouldn't stop when he did. I had to step in. In retrospect I understand because he was strange. I thought the roosters would have been the issue...but it was the guineas. Once the rooster had a softer entry and the guineas had time to acclimatise to him...everything was fine.:)
  10. justin shrew

    justin shrew Chirping

    soo lovely to here. what a great share.

    and too, i believe that guinea chasing thing is based on the dominance and power to females. The less the guinea males in the flock, the danger chickens face. The more the guinea males in a flock the less the chickens got picked.

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