Will free ranging guineas ...


10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
Piedmont NC
that are mostly full grown "look for home" if I were to purchase them & put them free-ranging on our farm? They were hatched at the beginning of August.

Is there anything special I need to know about keeping them vs. my chickens/duck/quail? I am really wanting them as watch dogs (hawks, predators, etc)

The guy I am getting them from said he's not really sure of any way to sex them other than the call... seems like what I've read here too. What is a good amount to start with if I want them to be able to hatch keets themselves next spring? One male, 2 females?

Thanks for the help!


In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
very southern illinois
from my experience you need to keep them penned where they can't fly out for like a week-just so they understand to come back home...they should take up with the chickens in coming in to roost...you could read some different posts here also google guineas and there are several websites for basic info. you need one male to one female or you will may see aggressive behavior from the left out male to the other chickens/male guinea..etc. i think the 'cheeks' on the males seem to hang down further than the females


the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Adair Co., KY
You should keep them penned for a few weeks, probably 4-6, so they know where 'home' is. I've heard that they will go off to look for home, but so far I haven't had any do that.


10 Years
Aug 19, 2009
Cut Off, LA
I have heard the myth of them looking for home. I don't know if its that or if they just free-range aimlessly around, happily eating bugs where they happen to be and go up to roost in any tree when night comes and start over in the morning, until they finally run into a trap they can't get out of. Who is to say why birds do what they do?
"Gardening with Guineas" has an interesting method of raising guineas to avoid a lot of problems I encountered long ago when I had a couple of them.
According to that book, they should be obtained as young as possible, brooded in their coop that they are intended to keep, brought in every night to roost, and not allowed free-range for their first laying season, but be kept cooped, so they know where to lay......then they should have the system down pack.
I can assure you if given their own way, they will hide their eggs and you have to be way better with egg hunts to find them than I am.


10 Years
May 4, 2009
Carroll County, Va
For what it's worth, my experience is as follows:

I got 12 guineas, 3 and 5 weeks old. I brooded them in a big box in a the house for a few weeks, like chickens (noisy, smelly chickens!). Then, when their coop was ready, I stuck them out there, locked in for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks I opened the door. They would not come out on their own. I started flushing them out about 2 hrs before it would be time to come in, at which time I'd herd them back in. That went on for about a week. After that I started flushing them out in the morning and herding them back in at night. After another week or so they started going in by themselves. About one more week (bringing it up to the present) they finally started coming out by themselves in the morning and going back in by themselves at night. We'll see what happens in the spring when they are mature and start to lay.

You will read a lot of different experiences by a lot of different people, which should tell you that there is no right answer. Different things work for different situations. Do the best you can and be patient! Good luck!


10 Years
Apr 1, 2009
My experience only. I bought two adult guineas (a pair), kept them caged for 2 days, let them out and they were fine, have never tried to leave. Now a little background, they were raised with chickens (I have chickens) so it may be that they just never felt like leaving. I also just bought 7 more guineas, they were kept cooped overnight and are now out free-ranging (I will coop them at night just to make sure they stay safe and warm (they are only 2 months) but they are very content to not venture too far (I have 5 fenced acres). Not sure this helps, but its my experience. Also all my guineas roost w. my chickens, not in trees.


A Crazy and Fun Chicken
10 Years
Oct 15, 2009
If you get keets it's like 5 weeks in a brooder, and then 5-6 weeks in a pen before they will know that your farm is their home.

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