Anybody have any thoughts about raising guinea fowl (guineafowl)?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by Rob, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. aart

    aart HOW do they DO that?

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    I could not stand the noise..no way!

    This is what one person did to satisfy their 'roosting high' needs.
    [​IMG]
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  2. Lannie

    Lannie Well-Known Member

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    I love my guineas, but I had to come to the understanding that they're wild birds who answer to no one but themselves. Every now and then, I'll have a hen (or hens) hatch out some babies, and their survival rate is proportional to how tall the grass is that year. I have NO idea how they manage to live in Africa, with all that tall grass... but I guess that's why they hatch out so many keets each time. If it's a dry year and the grass is relatively short and dry, we have much higher survival rates than wetter years where the grass is longer.

    Our flock numbers 15 now, and it's been 15 for the last several years. We had three keets survive a hatching two summers ago, and coincidentally, we lost three adults during the previous year. So the numbers stayed the same. Ours used to go in our chicken coop at night, when they were younger, but for the last several years, they just roost up in the rafters of our horse barn. That's fine with me, they're safe up there, and they don't cause a ruckus with the chickens early in the morning. Our coop is too small for our chickens AND 15 guineas anyway.

    We do have a fox problem here, but we also have an LGD, and so far so good. I have actually witnessed a group of the guineas going off on a full-alarm during evening chores, ran outside to see what they were yelling about, and they had surrounded a fox, who was standing there, obviously stunned from the noise (LOL!), but making no move toward the guineas. I think he was askeered of 'em! ROFL! About the same time, the dog came running to see what was wrong, and that's when the fox finally moved, fast, to the perimeter fence, with the dog hot on his heels. I know when there's a fox or other predator in the area because the guineas alarm and usually go somewhere high. If a bunch of them are all up on the roof of the barn or coop, alarming, I know there's a bad guy on the property. The dog seems to know the difference between their "bickering" or "I'm going to bed now!" racket and a true alarm call. 99% of the time, though, all they do is wander the property, peeping softly while they hunt for tasty tidbits. There's rarely noise, except when they go to roost at night, and if there's a fox or coyote in the immediate vicinity.

    We do live in an extremely rural area, and our closest neighbor is two miles away, so we haven't had any problems with ours wandering off. When we lose one or two, it's because they went outside the perimeter fence and out of the dog's protection. Then they're fair game for the local fox family, who lives just across the ridge.

    I wouldn't be without mine, all things considered. They DO do a fabulous job of bug control. One year, we were down to only three adults, and the ticks and grasshoppers were just awful. The grasshoppers completely ate my entire garden that year, and I was picking multiple ticks off the dogs, the cats, AND me, every single day. The following year, the little keets (we had 12 survivors out of a batch of 20) had grown up and I've never had a problem with ticks or grasshoppers since. I might see one or two ticks all summer, and MAYBE a grasshopper or three, but never more than that.

    Guineas are a love 'em or hate 'em kind of critter. I happen to be in the "love 'em" camp, but I can totally understand the "hate 'em" camp. If we lived in a more populated area, I think they'd be more trouble than they're worth, considering annoyances to neighbors and such.
     
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  3. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your replies .. It has been a wonderful education, and I have learned a lot. Hopefully I can successfully apply the knowledge in the spring when I start my adventure with Guineas. I am looking forward to it.
     
  4. supercat

    supercat New Member

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    They will eat wood ticks but not likely to eat dear ticks that transmit Lyme etc as they are tiny. But we keep these birds for tick and insect control on the farm. Less so for eggs but those are tasty.
     
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  5. Lannie

    Lannie Well-Known Member

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    Oh, yes, the eggs ARE tasty, but a PITA to get cracked open. I don't know how those tiny little keets get through that hard shell. (Well, I do, but you know, those shells are THICK!) I don't know what it is about the eggs, and it might all be my imagination, but they seem to have much more flavor than chicken eggs. I love it when some of my guineas lay eggs in the nest boxes in the coop. I always claim those eggs for MY breakfast! ;)
     
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  6. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

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    I like the eggs, and the meat! That will be my primary reason for raising them, but bug control is up there, too!
     
  7. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Keep in mind that eggs break so much easier from the inside than the outside. (Easier to break out than break in)
     
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  8. wills

    wills Member

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    Google for "Gardening with Guineas".

    I have been raising them for several years. I hatch them in a Georgia Quail Farm 1200 E Incubator and raise them in an 0703 poultry brooder.

    http://www.gqfmfg.com/

    Get started by buying at least 20 keets, keep them in a brooder then a pen until they are about half grown - until they can fly well. Some of mine will go in at night, some will not. The mail predator problem I have had is owls getting them from the trees at night. If you have a large flock they will unusually scare away daytime predators.
     
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  9. secuono

    secuono Well-Known Member

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    I raised my guineas with my chickens. They went in w/chickens to roost nicely until one day, they refused. Eventually, I got them to roost back inside.
    Mine roamed, far n wide.
    Gave them all away the following week after some scum purposefully ran one over, turned around and tried to run over more! And I was out there, at 7pm, waiting for them to hurry up and come up the roadside faster.
     
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  10. bobp

    bobp Well-Known Member

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    When we bought our farm we were absentee owners... I had loosely said ya I'd like some guineas months before when a co-worker brought me the meets I ordered.
    LOL
    I built a small co-op...I had read that hand rearing helped with spookishness. My daughter hand reared them... Fed them three times daily..She had them eating millet from her hand.
    We built a 10x20 pen from dog panels and to the farm they went when they could fly well. After a few months I'd turn em out while we were there working....This led to 2-3 day turn outs... It worked out fine for a couple of years...THEN came the coins... And there went the Guinneas...

    I do another flock one day I liked em
     
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  11. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    If i had to choose between guineas and chickens, it would be goodbye chickens.
    guineas get a bad rap for being noisy.
    they do sound off once in awhile.
    but if you don't want any noise on your farm, stock it with stuffed animals..
    I like the sounds of all of my birds.
    and I have had them all, geese, guineas, peacocks, chickens, turkeys to mention most.
     
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  12. Yellowsnow

    Yellowsnow Well-Known Member

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    If you can deal with Guineas, you should become a Hog farmer.

    Aside from the predation, there won't be much difference in the stress and frustration involved. Multiply that by 10 hogs to 1 guinea. Not my cup of tea.
     
  13. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    guineas have excellent eyesight.
    if they put their eye within one inch of the tiniest insect, it is goodbye bug. (tick)..