Worried neighbors want me to clip wings

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by WKYChick, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. WKYChick

    WKYChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    0
    99
    May 10, 2011
    When my DH found out that guineas eat ticks he found and bought me 2 guineas, he thought 2 would be enough to live with the chickens on our 1/4 acre lot. And when the neighbors found out we are raising baby guinea fowl they basically came together as a collective and voiced their concern. They want us to clip their wings and trim their nails or get rid of the guinea fowl, they told us that when everyone moved into the newly developed neighborhood, many years ago, a couple bought guinea fowl for their garden and let them roam free throughout the neighborhood while the guinea roamed free they attacked the vehicles and scratched the paint off, tore up their sheds/garages and destroyed other things in their yards, so this couple got rid of their guineas. And now they are scared of a repeat of what happened and want to prevent it. I am open to suggestions, where we live there are really no laws, you just use common sense and try to keep peace with your neighbors.

    Are guinea fowl really that destructive?

    I really don't want to clip their wings but if it keeps the peace then I guess we will, I am too attached to my fluff balls, trimming their toe nails I wont do, if they have enough room to scratch around their nails will be filed down right?

    Does anyone have a website on clipping wings, if I need to I will only clip one wing not both, I told DH I really don't want too but it is best not to start anything and create unnecessary trouble.


    Here is my naughty little duet of peepers, that pile of feed they have managed to dump it out of their feeder and they shredded the top layer of their bedding, I keep newspaper on the very bottom, I guess they wanted to read the sports section [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,732
    180
    243
    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    I'm not an advocate of wing clipping so I can't offer any advice on that...

    Your neighbors sound like control freaks, point blank. Just 2 Guineas aren't going to do the amount of damage (that your neighbors are most likely embellishing actually happened) in the neighborhood as the previous flock supposedly caused. It's possible the owners of the previous flock just let their birds roam where ever, but you can avoid that if you work with your Guineas from a young age so they learn to stay home.

    If you are going to keep your Guineas with your chickens, they will probably choose to stay close to the chickens rather than roam, since Guineas are flock oriented. First and foremost, I'd keep the Guineas penned in their permanent home for at least 6 wks so they learn where home is, and I would not let them out to free range until they are at least 12 wks old, or a little older. While they are penned try to use the same call to them every time they are fed or get treats, so they associate THAT call with FOOD. You can use this to your advantage for getting them to come in at night and also getting them to come back home if they should happen to wander too far.

    I'd also calmly herd them around inside their pen to get them used to you getting them to go the direction you want them to go. Some people use herding sticks or poles as extensions of their arms to help calmly control the birds. After they are 12 wks old I'd start with just letting them out for short periods of time in the evenings at first, stay with them, stay calm and give them room for them to be comfortable with you being near them, then when it's time to put them away (before the sun goes down) herd them back in so they do not take to the trees for roosting. (I use this method with my young birds, and take their food away about noon before letting them out in the late afternoons or evenings, so they go out a little hungry and come running back for food when called). Be sure to let them come out on their own, don't force them out.

    I strongly suggest doing this daily outing routine (or something similar) consistently and try to create a permanent routine of it. Once they are let out I'd work diligently on discouraging the Guineas from going out of your yard/off your property by constantly correcting them every time they leave, which may require a considerable amount of "babysitting" at first. You will have to be VERY consistent tho, and if you can't be there to "babysit" them while they are out until they learn to stay home, it's better to leave them penned up on those days rather than allow bad habits of wandering to form that will later have to be corrected (IMO, it's much easier to prevent bad habits than correct them).

    You can create areas on your property that are very appealing to them... dust bathing areas, yummy little gardens of greens grown just for them, raised bird feeders that they can forage for the seeds that drop to the ground under them, and especially some good sized mirrors for them to admire themselves and preen themselves in front of. It also helps to call them for treats a few times throughout the day, just to keep them close and also to ingrain it into their little pea brains that it's good to come when called, because they will get something yummy. If they do wander and seem to be taking a common path out of your yard... you can always put up one of those motion activated sprinklers that will spray them every time they approach that area.

    If after all your efforts fail to keep them home, then clipping wings may be your only choice at that point, aside from keeping them penned... which defeats the purpose of having them for pest/tick control. I would not let your neighbors intimidate you tho, and do your best to prove them wrong in assuming that your birds will be neighborhood tyrants.

    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  3. WKYChick

    WKYChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    0
    99
    May 10, 2011
    thank you so much for your advice, I am strongly against clipping their wings but really didn't know if they would be trainable, I sit with them so they get used to my voice and me handling them, our yard is completely fenced so they would have to fly over the fence to get to the neighbors yards. So the the sprinkler system sounds good too. It was suggested to me to get signs letting people know poultry were on the property so I am looking for that, thank goodness I wanted metal signs to attach to all points of entry to the backyard!

    We live in a neighborhood but there is no neighborhood association, a majority of people who moved in together are still here and they have 'packed' together to keep their little neighborhood in order, we did have the sheriff living next to us but sadly they moved, he told me he enjoyed my chickens antics [​IMG]

    I will do what you suggest! thank you again so much!
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    As good neighbors, we need to keep our pets and/or livestock on our own property. It is that simple. Whatever it takes. Our right to enjoy our cats, dogs, or birds end at our property lines. That is the most important thing to take away from this exchange with the neighbors. The old saying, "good fences makes good neighbors" still holds true. If they stay in your yard, it isn't important whether they are clipped or what they do. If they leave your yard, then they become some one else's issue.
     
  5. WKYChick

    WKYChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    0
    99
    May 10, 2011
    we try our best to be good neighbors and respect everyone, we don't like to step on toes or cause problems. My entire flock will stay in our backyard, if they get out we resume full responsibility.

    I just never heard guineas being destructive, according to our neighbor, it was a flock of 5 guineas the couple let loose for pest/tick control, and the flock would attack the vehicles; they would peck and scratch the paint off, then the flock would get up on the roofs and everyone ended up with shingle damage, then they would get into the garden plots, flower beds, flower pots and would dig massive holes and uproot plants. I think that is what my biggest question is, are they really that destructive?? or were they not true guineas??

    But yes we will be good neighbors and take care of our flock to ensure they stay inside our boundaries, we do have good neighbors everyone is friendly and they enjoy our eggs and watching the chicken antics, they just got alarmed and feared another round of destructive birds are going to be on the loose.
     
  6. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Yes, Guineas can be that destructive. They especially like shingle type roofs, they'll stay up there for hours picking the granules off. The shiny parts of vehicles are a favorite, they can spar with the interloping Guinea and when one gets tired there's another to take its place. They have favorite dust spots and will use it over and over again until the hole is quite deep. When they tire of it they move to a new spot.

    They were probably exaggerating some but a young flock of Guineas with all of their curiosity can be a pain in the neck.
     
  7. WKYChick

    WKYChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    0
    99
    May 10, 2011
    wow, ok, all I ever heard about guineas is how loud they can be, thank you all for replying, I got some great advice and will use it!

    [​IMG] you guys are the best!
     
  8. Strange_Screams

    Strange_Screams Chillin' With My Peeps

    113
    1
    101
    Sep 5, 2010
    Salado Texas
    I have a hen that I had to clip to keep her separated from part of the flock at one point, she has joined with the rest of the flock but hasn't molted yet, so to get in the coop 3 feet off the ground she has to flap a little harder, but still gets there quite easily. I have no doubt if a predator were after her she could get over a six foot fence with a little sweat. Clipping doesn't harm them in any way as long as they are not in molt (research blood feathers, and how to clip bird wings). If you only clip one wing, they have no control, clip both wings evenly so they just have less lift, but can still jump down from heights and guide there decent.

    One wing ends up with a bird who cant get away from something that is chasing it, flies in circles, and very confused.

    Guineas are strange little birds, but good watch dogs and just as good at eating bugs or better then the chickens. Keep them in the fence and everything should be fine.
     
  9. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I'm not really able to keep guineas at this time (I want some!) but clipping chicken wings is no big deal. YES they will fly over the fence if you don't do it. It's essentially committing suicide when mine do it, coz that's where the neighbor's Boxer mix lives. Clipping their wings actually keeps them safer inside the fence. Chickens aren't really smart enough to fly up and away from ground predators anyway. Dunno about guineas' smarts, but I'm still pretty sure they'll be safer in your fenced yard. I clipped both wings, as mentioned, and they can still get up about 3ft if they work hard at it. (The fence with the Boxer on the other side is 6ft) Just lower your roosts if necessary.
     
  10. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,732
    180
    243
    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Clipping doesn't harm them in any way

    No, clipping wings doesn't harm them, but it DEFINITELY limits their ability to escape a predator and loose dogs, (especially before they have time to re-master/re-learn the skill of getting somewhat airborn and off the ground with newly clipped wings).

    I never clip my birds' wings and never will, the guilt of losing a bird (or a whole flock of birds) that can't easily fly to their own safety isn't something I'd like to live with.

    Hopefully anyone that does clip wings takes this factor into consideration and takes proper measures to make sure the birds are in a predator proof environment.​
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by