Winter Housing for Guineas

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by appychick, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. appychick

    appychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2009
    Hi Y'All, I'm a newbie to guineas.....As far as winter housing, I live in extreme climate. I plan on housing my guineas in large shed indoors for the winter.The shed isn't heated,just protection from the wind,snow. Are the guineas smart enough to go to a heated area within the shed or do they have to be penned with heat to learn what it is ?
    Thanks !
  2. StoneyRidgeFarm

    StoneyRidgeFarm Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2010
    We don't have that much cold weather in central Texas. Last winter was the once every few years of cold and snow. My guineas have a coop that they sleep in and they learned the very first night of the cold snap to use the roosts that were by the heater. They might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but they know how to stay warm [​IMG]
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:I think more people will post. But I know of people up around New York that have guineas. I think as long as you give them a place to get out of the elements and off the ground they are good. Similar to chickens they generate their own heat from their bodies. I have heard though that they may be sensitive to foot freezing if the temps go below zero for too long. But I too am from a mild climate and can only give you what I have heard not experienced.

    I do get snow here in the desert but it can be counted in the days not weeks. Our cold comes from the wind. So My coop is designed for our needs.
  4. mick&cori

    mick&cori Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2011
    Central Indiana
    Hi! I'm from Indiana and it gets COLD - snowy, ice, nasty!!

    So, this will be my first winter with guineas, HOWEVER - lots of my neighbors have them which is why I decided to get mine.

    They are smart enough to get out of the weather - and will find the warmest spots to roost. They are prone to getting frost bite, but providing them with a place to stay warm - or at least protected from the elements - will keep that from happening.

    You may have to show them where to go when it's cold, but in all reality - natural instincts to stay warm when it is cold will kick in and they should be just fine. [​IMG]
  5. gambler

    gambler Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2010
    western Pa
    I have seen them freeze to death and fall out of the trees because they refused to go into the coop. I will give mine a place to stay, I just hope they use it.
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    One technique for getting them to come in at night is to remove access to food in the coop till you are ready to call them in and then condition them to come in by using a call or bell or whistle.... somthing... and then feed them White millet as an incentive. They go nutzo for white millet. Though When it gets close to winter it might be just as easy to lock them in to their coop with a large run.....

    I am doing the millet conditioning without letting them free range till spring. The majority of the flock I have are under two months old. Then in spring I will know how I want to divide the flock so that I have two groups. Dont know how many males and females I have right now. I am hearing females but I am certain they are not all BuckWheating yet. There are a few I wont be letting out at all because they are too light in color and or rare.
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    I agree, training them to come in is best for their winter survival. As far as what they need to stay warm... it's debatable. Sure a fancy insulated, even heated coop would be ideal, but it's not always necessary. Despite being from Africa, healthy Guineas that aren't underweight are surprisingly hearty. Birds that aren't as healthy as they should be are the ones that will have a hard time surviving the cold, so before winter hits you might want to make sure everyone is up to par.

    As long as you have healthy birds and a weather proof/draft free coop with 2"x4" or 2"x6" roosts (laid flat like a shelf) to lock them up in thru even the harshest, coldest winters Guineas will tuck their heads under a wing and sit flat on their roosts covering their feet and do fine even without a heat source. It's when the birds are wet/water logged and exposed to drafts that they have a harder time surviving because they cannot fluff their feathers up, insulate themselves to maintain their body temperature (and they can also end up with frostbite if they can't keep their head, neck and feet warm).

    So IMO, keeping them dry and sheltered from harsh winds is key. Feeding them some extra corn and/or sweet feed to help add fat/calories to their diet and even bumping up their protein can also help keep them warm (I provide both during the worst winter months here even tho my winters are mild).
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  8. appychick

    appychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2009
    Thanks for all the helpful input ! My plan is to put my spoiled rotten guineas under lockdown in old large barn when night temps reach freezing. I plan to close off an area & put in heat for them. I was just hoping when they got cold,they would be smart enough to go to the heated area so I would not have to keep them confined with the heat in a small area for several months. I am talking about extreme winter here. Forty & fifty degree below zero F. with wind chill sometimes to 60 below zero. Anybody supplement with field peas to increase protein? Corn is a rare item here & often moldy if available.I have some 3rd cut alfalfa hay on order & that should exceed 25% protein which I assume they would eat as the waterfowl eats it during the winter.I was going to try to exceed 20% protein diet I am hoping they will share housing with a couple ducks & 3 geese. So far my African geese will keep their distance from the guineas. I was thinking about feeding them soaked feed daily to help maintain their water intake. Will guineas burrow into deep soft straw ? I am trying to get a plan & built before fall.Any more ideas would be greatly appreciated. Possibly I might house some sheep in that building also to help with the heating.....
  9. amberflea

    amberflea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2010
    Central WI
    I would NOT do the heat, all they need is shelter, good food and fresh water... I live in WI where it gets well below zero for many weeks, never needed heat and they did just fine... alot of times heat is worse, as it causes condensation, which ends up being worse for them... IMO...
  10. southern oaks

    southern oaks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2011
    Southern Illinois
    I am in Illinois and this past winter was a very cold, snowy and icy year. My guineas did not get a heated area. They only had shelter and a nice place to roost. I even caught mine coming out and running in the snow. If you feel you need a heated area, that is up to you. but mine made it in below zero temp and teen temps all winter. Good luck!

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