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Poultry and Livestock: Anyone have any guinea fowl?

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dstarr
Sealy, TX

March 12, 2009
10:43 PM

Post #6258011

A few months ago 2 guineas decided they liked it here and after much ado, we finally gave in, built them a coop of sorts and find them incredibly entertaining! (Much the same way our Cat found us, now that I think about it). Just wondering if anyone else out there has any guineas?
Deb
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 12, 2009
11:00 PM

Post #6258102

I have friends with guineas. The look like dinosaurs. They are entertaining indeed!!! Loud too. They love them. When one lost its mate it mourned for a long time. I just dont have any room for them here. I have enough chickens. hehehe I am glad the two found a home where they will be cared for. Pretty cool of you. :D Jeanmarie
dstarr
Sealy, TX

March 12, 2009
11:13 PM

Post #6258174

They are loud - that's for sure! Generally only when something seem "out of place". If the wind blows the gate to their coop area closed they will set up the loudest bit of complaining you've ever heard! And they're not anywhere near their coop. I'm trying to decide if I want to get a couple more. Hmmm, the only issue is keeping them away from the pool area. Guess we'd have to make their pen bigger and keep them in more. What kind of critters do you have? Deb
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 13, 2009
1:11 AM

Post #6258764

Well, I have a bunch of barnyard specail chickens, some showgirls and some silkies. I also have a dog, two ferrets, a guinea pig, a tree frog, a hamster...oh ya and hermit crabs. :D I would love to have some livestock but we need more land for that. We do not have a lot of acres. So I enjoy everyones here. It keeps me happy looking at all the cool little critters. (and it keeps my feed bill low) hehehe I do like the guineas. They are cool looking. My friend has theirs with the chickens. They seem to do fine with them. What else do you have?
gallesfarm
Tamworth, NH
(Zone 4b)

March 13, 2009
1:15 AM

Post #6258791

We have guineas but they are not our favorites, mostly due to the noise. We started with 8 and are now down to 3 females. The males we had were bullies and would gang up on the chickens, especially the roosters, but also the hens. Once we got rid of the male guineas, things settled down.

Our guineas seem to be ultra-sensitive to anything out of the ordinary - like, say, a leaf falling in the forest. But they aren't a year old yet, so maybe they will mellow out. One can hope.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 13, 2009
1:25 AM

Post #6258860

My dear friends could not tell the difference between boys and girls. They all hung out together and all seemed mild. Perhaps they were all girls.
RainbowRider
Brunswick, GA
(Zone 9a)

March 17, 2009
11:55 PM

Post #6282343

I've been around guineas many years and all of them were wild as a buck! I plan to get a few of them soon, and put chicken wire over the top of the pen. Are you supposed to crop there wing feathers to keep them home? All that i have seen were free range.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 18, 2009
2:17 AM

Post #6282911

I have never seen them cropped. My friends roost everywhere. LOL Barn rafters and all. I have chicken wire on my run also. My chickens think they are pigeons.
RainbowRider
Brunswick, GA
(Zone 9a)

March 18, 2009
2:45 AM

Post #6283084

Thank you for your reply, i have just a little bit over 1 acre of land. Knowing my nieghbors they probably would not like the pot rack sounds of the guineas. I would also like some noisey pea fowl also. I live in the country but still i would probably get some repercussions from the folks around me.
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 18, 2009
10:47 AM

Post #6283890

Yes, the guieas do raom as well. So they could wander quite far in a day without boundaries. LOL My friends were often seen wandering through cornfields and up the road. Always in pairs too. Quite funny. Never had peacocks myself. They are beautiful though. Will you put them in with the guineas in the enclosure? I dont think they fly do they??
dstarr
Sealy, TX

March 18, 2009
2:13 PM

Post #6284606

Do ya'll think if I have more than 2 (which is current) guineas my cat would quit trying to "get" them? Cat's not playing! Just thinking if there were more than 2 guineas, then it would more fair? I'm supposed to be getting 4 keets soon.
Deb
gallesfarm
Tamworth, NH
(Zone 4b)

March 18, 2009
2:27 PM

Post #6284668

Guineas seem to be mostly made of feathers. You'd have to clip a lot of feathers, or maybe just clip one wing (all the primaries) way back to keep them from flying. We haven't done that with ours, and they mostly stay around now. When they were younger, they flew all over the place when they freaked out. Once some ended up on the neighbor's roof, while others were scattered in the treetops across the road. I had to get the grain bucket out and shake it to get them to come back.

If you have a small property, I don't recommend guineas unless all your neighbors are deaf!

sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 18, 2009
3:18 PM

Post #6284905

I am not sure if there would be strength in numbers. If a cat is inclinded to hunt them I am not sure if having more would deter him or not. Good question. Anyone else have any ideas???
gallesfarm
Tamworth, NH
(Zone 4b)

March 18, 2009
6:31 PM

Post #6285785

If a cat ate my guineas, I would not be too disappointed. ;-) However, if you don't want a cat to eat your guineas, try a water pistol, garden hose, or super soaker. Maybe the cat will get the idea that coming near the guineas gets him really really wet!



sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 18, 2009
8:39 PM

Post #6286306

Did not think of that. Thats how I taught my sister in laws cat not to jump on the table and counters. (spray bottle) Super soaker actually sounds fun! Oh, sorry. Here kitty kitty...
dstarr
Sealy, TX

March 18, 2009
11:41 PM

Post #6287129

LOL!! Actually, the super soaker does sound like fun!!! She doesn't like water.

Gallesfarm - too bad NH is so far from TX! I'd take a couple of those "pesky females" off your hands! I think maybe I should stick with the "grown up" variety and not try to raise babies.

Thanks for the advice. I think that may work - if I'm close enough to them when it's going on. I'll have to get that super soaker and keep it loaded!
Deb
sewincircle
Elbridge, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 19, 2009
12:18 AM

Post #6287299

LMBO sounds like a plan. Fun too. Let us know if you get some more. ;)
RainbowRider
Brunswick, GA
(Zone 9a)

April 29, 2012
12:24 PM

Post #9102694

I finally got some keets! I had to do quite a bit of searching in other towns nearby, 90 miles round trip. Not bad at $5 bucks each straight run and being flown from Oregon to the east coast at a feed & hardware store.

Eufaula

Eufaula
Eatonton, GA
(Zone 8b)

May 1, 2012
6:03 AM

Post #9105207

I learned the hard way about Guineas! I just had to have them for pest control and a warning system! Well after raising 4 keets to adult hood I found out that only one was a hen...that Hen turned around and produced 21 little keets and 14 survived!!!! Long story short, I soon found out that guineas will form gangs and attack young chickens and steal every ones food! I lost 4 baby silkies and 3 cochins to these Marauders! Sooooo I now only have one male guinea and he is still a pest! All I have to do to deter him is pick up a stick,( Ive never thrown it and hit him) and he runs for the high country! LOL! I keep him because he lets me know if anything flys over head that might even resemble a hawk and he actually runs neighbor dogs off the property!
gallesfarm
Tamworth, NH
(Zone 4b)

May 1, 2012
11:14 AM

Post #9105723

We ended up getting rid of ours. The three we had left turned into duckling killers when the ducks hatched out their first brood. I came home to find one dead duckling in the yard, and the guineas tag-teaming the mother duck and trying to drag more babies out of the nest to kill them too. That was the last straw.

I wish there was something like a guinea that would just focus on eating ticks and not be noisy or gang up on other poultry or try to murder babies in the nest. The ticks are just awful this year. At least when we had the guineas, the tick population around the house and yard was really curtailed.
RainbowRider
Brunswick, GA
(Zone 9a)

May 3, 2012
8:21 PM

Post #9109523

I can see your point about guineas, i've never heard about them being so mean to other poultry so i had better keep a keen eye on my flock of RIR's and Barred Rocks. Or if mine mature to be that evil, i will put them in a guinea tractor! I'm working on a poultry tractor anyway so they can work for a living if need be.

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

May 5, 2012
5:58 AM

Post #9111239

i have 14 guinneas, and they stay together. the ferrel cats haven't got them yet, though they have tried.
i must say my guinneas like to stand in the road and stop traffick.
i have 2 peafowl which the nieghbors are always coming and wanting to see them.
i have 3 nubian dwarf goats that always seem to find a way to escape.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

May 5, 2012
6:44 PM

Post #9111993

I have chickens, I used to have goats. My neighbors all asked me to NOT have guinneas, so to be fair I have honored their request. I have 12 Barred Rocks, that should start to lay in another month or two and I also have 25 Red Sexlinks. I think it will be late fall before they start to lay. I have the B Rs in a chicken tractor with nest boxes ready for them. Really have fun hand feeding them old bread. The R Ss, are also learning that they can trust me enough that they can sneak up and grab a bite and run off. I raised some broilers this year too, I won't do that again, as I really think they eat more than they are worth and the losses only make it more costly.
I'm working on a 50' inclosure for the S Ls. and have converted a green house into a hen house. Will have to build nest boxes for them yet. This is fun, " so far " And since these aren't pigs like those broilers, the feed is more affordable. Now if I could just find a rooster that was compatible , I would be able to hatch out all the replacements. lol
I might opt for a few ducks but that will have to wait a while.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 6, 2012
11:59 AM

Post #9112732

We had guineas with our hens for awhile. A friend had recommended them for insect control, particularly for ticks which are a problem around here. However, they got into our garden and seemed to prefer the bean and zucchini buds to bugs; I got no fruit as long as they were around. They are also noisy - "GeGANK geGANK geGANK!" Our poultry yard is on the other side of our garage across the driveway, so it wasn't as bad as the Fowler's toads in the pond right under our windows, but still they did make a racket. Luckily our neighbors aren't close.

They finally learned to go into the henhouse at night, but not before we spent weeks corralling them and stuffing them through the little door in the evening. Eventually they started to get the idea, and we would stand outside waiting for the last one to sally in so we could shut them up. All of them would be safely ensconced inside when a random thought would flicker through one pea-sized brain and it would decide that it had something urgent to do out in the yard. All of the others would follow suit and we'd have to wait all over again until it occurred to them, "Hmmmm - dark. Should be inside. Hmmmmm." I used to stand there doubled over with laughter. They finally did figure out the routine, but still, I have never seen anything so witless yet mobile in my life. We ended up giving them to our friend who recommended them to us, where they got picked off by foxes and eagles since she doesn't lock hers up at night.

You can probably tell that I don't recommend them. They taste good, though.

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

May 8, 2012
6:38 AM

Post #9115357

yes, guinneas are the brightest bulbs in the box. i call them fence runners because they can never remember how to get back over the fence
porkpal
Richmond, TX

May 8, 2012
7:10 AM

Post #9115416

- or out of the middle of the road when traffic is bearing down on them.

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

May 8, 2012
7:23 AM

Post #9115445

yep, they love to stop traffic
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 17, 2012
9:11 PM

Post #9127924

We have six guineas (got them as keets in spring 2009) (it seems to be two females and four males) and we like them. They roam around on 1 and a half acres, eating whatever bugs and insects they find. During the army worm infestation a few weeks ago they were my primary weapon - eating hundreds if not thousands of the miller's moth larva. Needless to say, we were glad to have them around. There were quite a few days when we let the chickens out in the main yard with the guineas because there were so many worms (caterpillars.)
They are noisy on occasion (when something frightens them) but are generally quiet. We enjoy watching them and having them come around to see what we are doing when we are out in the yard (they are sometimes curious).

But like someone said, they not too smart and they do not take to changes very well (such as moving where they roost.) They will eat flowers (and mess up/ scratch up flower beds) - we had to put fences so they can't get to the flower beds.
ghopper
Brewster, MN
(Zone 4b)

May 18, 2012
7:03 AM

Post #9128236

How they are raised must make a real difference in guinea "attitude." The 4 I have were raised with chickens and have completely different personalities from another flock I know. Mine are quite tame and quiet unless they spy some danger. They show great interest in their surroundings and several times I've seen one or another running around with a trophy mouse.

Got them from someone that was moving. I kept them in the barn for 3 days, then let them out to roam. They went 1/2 mile to a neighbor's but were home again in time for supper. Mine aren't nearly as bad at scratching in the gardens as the chickens are. They did enjoy the blooms of the Virginia Bluebells, but I had enough to share.

They don't seem to be the greatest Mothers, either. Not as attentive as chickens are. But I've seen the whole flock fly up at a hawk in defense of the babies. The hawk flew off for easier pickings.

Maybe not the bird for everyone, but I sure enjoy mine.
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 22, 2012
11:01 AM

Post #9133609

I'm always on the fence about guineas. I would love some, I don't think the noise would bother me. But we have a heat-seeking missile dog who would be after them if I let them free range. I keep Buff Brahmas and four peacocks in a large run and coop. They all seem to be happy in there although I would love to let the peacocks roam as I think they would enjoy getting out a bit. But we don't have any trees in the yard that are big enough yet for them to fly up into if the dogs bothered them. Or the coyotes, hawks, various owls, bobcat recently sighted, or any of the other preditors we try to live and let live with on our property. And if guineas tear up roses then I wouldn't be happy...So I guess I'll enjoy guineas through you all's postings for now. Maybe later. I do want ducks, though...
ytnpham
Cut and Shoot, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 9, 2013
4:33 AM

Post #9443532

Having guineas as pest controll seemed like a great idea at the time. They help keep the bugs population in check. They're quite amusing to watch, although they are a true definition of a bird brain. My vegetable area is fenced and a few manage to fly in but couldn't figure out how to get out so they pace back and forth. I would open the gate & shoo them in the direction but they kept on running the other way. So dumb! It's true they are bullies but only to the chickens. My mallard drakes would chase them off the feeder and around the yard. Such a funny scene since the guineas are twice as big. And the noise! They are the reason we got double pane windows. It especially annoying when I have friends over touring my garden. They continued their screaming well after everyone left. Lately they're pecking on my roof. Oh that's so aggravating. You're probably wonder why I put up with this. It's their eggs that are so delicious, if I'm lucky enough to find their nest. I also think they're beautiful,silly, & stupid creatures!

breeindy

breeindy
north coast nsw
Australia

March 10, 2013
6:41 PM

Post #9445207

We had guinea fowl chicks and raised them with our chickens and they'd sleep in the chicken house on the perch with the chickens until the drove me mad and i kicked them out into the back paddock. They then slept up a huge fig tree each night and hunted around the paddocks. Funnist things ive ever seen. The farmer would have his cattle dogs and the guinea fowl would hunt them away, the dogs were actually scared of the birds making all that noise. Our neighbour had a few little dogs and they would chase the birds but they would just fly straight up and land again making that noise. I eventually gave them to a man up the road and theres only one left now, i think cars got most. They defenatly dont move for cars do they. Foxes maybe when they sit on eggs out in the grass.

This message was edited Mar 10, 2013 9:42 PM
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2013
10:59 AM

Post #9445895

Cut and Shoot TX! LOL, I'm at work, but I had to run and look that one up on the map. I'm fairly new to TX and I love looking up the fun names. My signature line says Emory TX, by mail says I live near Alba TX, but my tax roll says I live in Grit TX. But not the one in Mason Co.

I would like to have Guineas, but everyone tells me they get run over by cars on the road. It would be nice to have them in with the goats but if they won't stay put I don't think they are for me.
ytnpham
Cut and Shoot, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 11, 2013
7:28 PM

Post #9446425

My zip code said Cut And Shoot but I actually live & work in Conroe. I really don't know how or why it was name that but I heard Willy Nelson's from there. I love living out here. It's my heaven on earth.

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