Young Guinea Fowl Showing Aggression

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
268
635
166
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Hello! I currently have eleven 10-11 week old chicks (mixed flock with at least one roo) in a 144 sq ft run and a 36 sq ft attached coop (with about 32 sq ft sectioned off inside the run for my older hen who is getting used to the new chickens). With the younger chickens I also have a Guinea fowl their age who has been with them since she/he was about 2 wks old.

Just this afternoon I was in there and Victoria (the Guinea fowl) started displaying aggression towards one of my Easter Egger pullets (and no one else). It wasn’t anything too serious, but the Guinea fowl pecked the EE on the back and then lowered her wings a little and fluffed up her back feathers just a bit then headed toward the same EE again for another peck. She did this twice while I was in and out of the coop in about a 30 min. period.

I intervened by picking the Guinea fowl up and petting her (but she’s not too fond of that), hoping to calm her and get her away from my pullet. She’s never showed any aggression before this (that I’ve seen) and it’s possible she’s really a he (been making loud calls lately and I’ve only heard the single syllable kind - but have read that females will make the single syllable call, too).

So, should I be concerned? Victoria/Victor is my only Guinea and this flock is her/his family. I was carrying a rake the first time I went in when the ‘attack’ happened, then a large clump of dried grass/hay for the hen and chicks in the next compartment (could those have set her/him off)? Also, a little earlier in the day, I had my old hen out to socialize a little (she is in their same area, but there is chicken wire separating them). While the old hen was out she pecked at a few of the pullets, but nothing to be concerned about. Could this have had an influence? Finally, if Victoria is really Victor, was he just trying to show his dominance (since all he’s known as family since he was little are the chickens)?

Anyway, I’ve never had Guinea fowl so I have no idea what their body language means or what their temperaments are like. Up until this afternoon, Victoria has always been happy to hang out with her chicken family and will even come sit on my legs when I’m sitting in the coop with everyone. She’s only been skittish when I hold her and has only ever pecked at the chickens at night after they’re roosting and I go in to check on things (so just survival instincts kicking in: Movement after dark=threat, therefore I must PECK!).

And of course, this all happens the night before I go back to the day job (I work at a school) and won’t be able to check on them as often during the day.

If anyone has any pointers, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks!!!
 

Kabootar

Songster
Aug 15, 2017
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Bihar India
He is probably a male and he is a jerk and he is going to stay a jerk. He thinks that the chicken is a guinea hen and he is behaving equivalently.
If you ask me it's better to get rid of him. I doubt the situation will improve. If you really want to keep some guinea fowl (which is not a bad thing) get a new batch of ideally 15-20 keets, but no less than 10 keets. Brood them separately and keep them separately. They will keep to themselves and they will not give your other birds nightmares.
 
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CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
268
635
166
San Luis Obispo County, CA
He is probably a male and he is a jerk and he is going to stay a jerk. He is thinks that the chicken is a guinea hen and he is behaving equivalently.
If you ask me it's better to get rid of him. I doubt the situation will improve. If you really want to keep some guinea fowl (which is not a bad thing) get a new batch of ideally 15-20 keets, but no less than 10 keets. Brood them separately and keep them separately. They will keep to themselves and they will not give your other birds nightmares.
Thanks for the advice. I was afraid that might be the case. I’ll keep a close eye on him and see if he gets worse. I’d hate to get rid of him since we’ve all grown attached, and I don’t know of any other local Guinea fowl people who might take him. Guess I could start asking around. And maybe if I got him a female he’d be happier. Never really intended to have Guinea fowl, but he just shows up in He backyard when he was a wee one and I couldn’t just leave him out there ...
 

R2elk

Free Ranger
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
Thanks for the advice. I was afraid that might be the case. I’ll keep a close eye on him and see if he gets worse. I’d hate to get rid of him since we’ve all grown attached, and I don’t know of any other local Guinea fowl people who might take him. Guess I could start asking around. And maybe if I got him a female he’d be happier. Never really intended to have Guinea fowl, but he just shows up in He backyard when he was a wee one and I couldn’t just leave him out there ...
Bringing in one more guinea is not going to solve the problem. If anything it will make the problem worse as both guineas join in the game of terrify the chickens. Guineas are flock birds and do best in large groups of other guineas.
 

aderenzo

Chirping
Apr 26, 2016
15
13
59
Hi, I’ve raised my guineas with chickens. I think it makes the guineas, who can be very flighty, a more docile bird. But I do agree they are a flock bird and you need to have more than one. 10 is a good number. I started with 11 and now have 6. (Prey just love them and they aren’t that smart).

So in my experience I have seen guinea aggression, usually from a male and usually around mating. The chicken hens have thought he was a nuisance and he and the rooster were mortal enemies. I’ve also have one guinea hen who has lived in peace with chickens for over three years now. (Her siblings died). I got the young clutch for her but she doesn’t particularly care for younger guineas maybe when they mature.

My bottom line if no one is drawing blood, they will usually work it out. I love my guineas and I find they keep the snakes out of the chicken coop.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
268
635
166
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Hi, I’ve raised my guineas with chickens. I think it makes the guineas, who can be very flighty, a more docile bird. But I do agree they are a flock bird and you need to have more than one. 10 is a good number. I started with 11 and now have 6. (Prey just love them and they aren’t that smart).

So in my experience I have seen guinea aggression, usually from a male and usually around mating. The chicken hens have thought he was a nuisance and he and the rooster were mortal enemies. I’ve also have one guinea hen who has lived in peace with chickens for over three years now. (Her siblings died). I got the young clutch for her but she doesn’t particularly care for younger guineas maybe when they mature.

My bottom line if no one is drawing blood, they will usually work it out. I love my guineas and I find they keep the snakes out of the chicken coop.
Thanks so much for the feedback! I still have everyone in together, and the Guinea has shown the same level of aggression (chasing and pecking, but stopping this behavior after a minute or so - basically only getting in two pecks that don’t seem that serious). The hen the Guinea has zeroed in on is also the baby of the bunch (she will ‘whine’ at my feet sometimes until I pick her up and cuddle her, so that may be part of it - she’s the most docile of the group).

The Guinea isn’t aggressive towards anyone else (including the two Silver Laced Polish who are even smaller than the Easter Egger hen he has singled out), and he hasn’t tried attacking me.

I let my older Barred Rock hen mingle with them this afternoon (she’s in the process of getting used to them) and she was giving everyone a warning peck or two so now they’re all afraid of her (including the Guinea fowl, who just skirts away from her if she points her beak in his direction).

I’ll keep watching them and keeping my fingers crossed. So far I’ve only seen the Guinea go after the young hen once in the morning and once or twice in the afternoon and I don’t see any missing feathers or wounds on her. Maybe the Guinea only gets riled up when I’m out there. I don’t know. I’m way more in tune with chicken behavior than Guinea fowl behavior ;). Thanks again!!!
 
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