Wing clipping, pinioning or all natural - why do you do what you do?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by cupman, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I have 2.5 acres and 24 chickens. They have the run of the place and always stay in my yard. I have a friend with a dozen pearl guineas and I was going to begin hatching his eggs in the coming weeks and just had a couple loose ends to tie up. The biggest problem with guineas seems to be they fly away or won't come home at night.

    I have read that people clip wings, a 3 month solution.. but I've also heard people will pinion the wings of the newborn keats. I still have no guineas, just from what I've read, but pinioning has to do with removing a bone in one of the wings.. done to keats because it is less harmful than a full grown bird. Then I've heard of people that just let their guineas run free, no modifications.

    I like the idea of letting them roam free but my fence to my neighbors is only 6 foot. Will the guineas easily clear this fence and make it into the neighbors? There's really only one neighbor I'm concerned about, cause they have dogs, the rest have no animals and love my chickens.

    Well I've gone on long enough.. which method did you guys choose with your guineas? why? how'd it work out?

  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I dont clip or pinion. Pinion involves removing the tip of the wing bones and all. Sort of like cutting your own fingers off. I would not do that unless someone shows you how. The thing is If they happen to come across a predator that gets into Your yard they have NO chance. So if you Pinion you might as well lock them in the coop and run and put a lid on it.

    guineas can fly much much higher than a six foot fence. My last flock used to wander up in the rocks behind the house and when they heard me with the feed dish I could hear Squawking from a distance and they as a flock would be about twenty feet in the air and they would circle around over the top of the house to come for a landing in the yard. Each of us here in the desert has twenty acres so they pretty much went where ever they wanted.

    You can condition them to come to either a noise or call by using that when feeding or dispensing treats. So If you need to get them to come in all you have to do is make the call. I use White millet. But some use Wild bird seed or Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS). The deal is you need to condition them to come in for the night and be locked up. If you allow them to roost in the trees you loose control over their safety.

    Hope this helps some.


  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    I don't clip or pinion, they can still scale fences with clipped wings (and they are not easily caught and handled for the wing clipping) and pinioning is cruel, permanent, and it drastically reduces their ability to escape predator attacks unless they are 100% safely penned from predators, which is rare. I train my flocks, as many of us do... with lots of supervision, lots of correction and lots of treat rewards to stay home and to coop up each night. There are lots of methods of training Guineas... but here's a quick rundown on how I go about it:
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  4. elevan

    elevan Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Haha! I thought that I would clip wings to keep my guineas in their 4 acre field. They laughed in my face!

    Before clipping they were able to fly onto the top of my 25 foot high barn. After wing clipping they have to fly to the top of the 10 high barn addition and then on to the top of the main barn. They easily clear my 6 foot fence (though once on the other side scream at me because they've forgotten how to get back over).

    I would never pinion...

    My guineas come in to the coop every night. They were trained to the coop over a 9 wk period from hatchling. They also come when I holler "peequaw!"
  5. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    I don't clip or pinion. If you have a broody chicken hatch your guineas, they will stay by her and if she's tame. they'll be a lot calmer as well. Aside from that I agree with everyone above.
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I pinion my exotic geese and ducks, also pinioned three guinea and also have raised up keeps with chickens so they stick around. Some think it is cruel, but there are many loose bird species in the wild that affect true wild species. Also for some birds to freerange by law they have to be keep loose birds from leaving and repopulating other areas. I don't want to contribute to that. Also am debating on pinioning all new pea chicks, as here in Fl there are many now wild bands of them and some people just turn there birds loose when they tire of them. I also have great pyrenees dogs for protecting all the birds, so predators are not an issue. My pinioned guienas still make it up on top of the barn, just keeps them closer. If predators are an issue, then I would raise them up with the chickens...
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I think as long as a person knows what is involved with pinioning and is capable of providing an extra measure of protection and confinement Pinioning is fine. I have seen how the zoo keeps flamingos and their exotics at the Wild Animal park in an open air situation.... and agree that keeping non indigenous species under control is a responsible thing to do. I just dont know many people within the general population Understand the whole picture with its regard. I certainly dont. I did not know that birds that were pinioned could fly at all much less guineas.

    Learn something new every day..... [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    They can't fly like a full flighted bird but light weight birds can get airborne for short distances. My African Crowned cranes can fly for short distances especially when windy. My swans can't get off the ground at all..... I didn't want to keep my cranes confined to a pen since they are very inquisitive birds that need stimulation...... They love free ranging ( I raised them from very young, would not try it with adult birds not raised as chicks that way). Sometimes they cause a lot of mischief however... Hehe. The guienas aren't always thrilled with them..... : )
  9. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    LOL Here in San Diego there was a fellow that had one he went to vegas and the house sitter wasnt paying attention. His Crane went ""visiting"" Hopping from back yard to back yard eventually making his way about a block away. He was found standing in a womans front yard waiting for someone to come out of the house. She calmly opened the garage door and herded him in the garage and called animal control. The crane and his dad were reunited in about 24 hours.

    On a side note .... there are many people here who raise exotics for the Zoo. My feed store carries Mazuri monkey chow and Flamingo Chow.

  10. BritinMO

    BritinMO Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    My guineas are not clipped, free range during the day and return into the coop every night. The coop is where they were raised, and so its home to them. I took good advice and wouldn't let them out of the coop or the run until they were quite a few weeks old, and that was the only place FOOD was until I was sure they knew to roost in there at night. My one pet peeve - (no let me correct that, I have many peeves about my guinea activity - don't even mention the HUGE dust bowls they are making recently!) is when they go on the horse barn roof and run up and down on it when I am in there, drives me and the horses crazy!

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