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Guinea fowl noise crisis

 
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Well, I'm on 15 acres, and there are hosts of raptors and coyotes around down there on the river, so I might do well to have a surplus.
 
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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I'm on 10 acres, and 6 did fine for me, as far as the grasshoppers are concerned. Start them off roosting where you want them to always roost, preferably in a barn or somewhere protected up high, and they will do well with the predators.
 
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Abe, I wonder if you still have guineas and are happy with them? We are desperate for tick control right now so any of the downsides mentioned in this thread are OK with us. I didn't see anything about penning them at night or if there is a problem with predators...we have hawks, owls, coyotes and bear and I am not sure our cat wouldn't try to kill one...she is able to kill a small rabbit. There is some good guinea information in some of the tick threads but all come back to the noise. Here locally some one has 'guinea keets,4-7 weeks old, $4-5 each'. If I got ten that age what sort of pen would they need to live in while they 'bond' with the place?...and a coop at night?
...and will they scratch up the garden and peck holes in my tomatoes, etc?
 
pollinator
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My cat has killed a small rabbit but never a chicken. Guineas would be much harder for a cat to kill.
 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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Judith Browning wrote:Abe, I wonder if you still have guineas and are happy with them? We are desperate for tick control right now so any of the downsides mentioned in this thread are OK with us. I didn't see anything about penning them at night or if there is a problem with predators...we have hawks, owls, coyotes and bear and I am not sure our cat wouldn't try to kill one...she is able to kill a small rabbit. There is some good guinea information in some of the tick threads but all come back to the noise. Here locally some one has 'guinea keets,4-7 weeks old, $4-5 each'. If I got ten that age what sort of pen would they need to live in while they 'bond' with the place?...and a coop at night?



last year, a group of coyotes killed our 5 guineas. We were heartbroken by the event, as we had grown to love our girls. They had taken to roosting above our wicking bed on an old trellis, which ws only 4 ft off the ground. So, while they were asleep one night, the coyotes took the whole group.

we have been looking for guineas ever since, and it is funny that you ask this today, because yesterday, we found guineas! http://velacreations.com/blog/360-guineas.html

We paid about $3 for 1-2 week old keets, $6 for "teenager" guineas with all of their feathers.

For predators, train them to roost in a barn or shed at least 5 ft off the ground. We have just finished our barn, and I am setting up a roost around 6 ft up, plus the whole barn is enclosed, so they should be safe in there. The trick with teaching them to roost is habit. If you can cage them for a while, especially at night, and put the cage in the roosting spot, they will get used to it. It takes a few weeks for them to bond to a roosting spot, but once they do, it is very hard to get them to change.

They do make some noise, but if you have both sexes, it seems better.

As for space, let them loose in the day, when they have feathers, but at night, get them trained on a roost. Fr a coup/cage size, you want to make it as big as you can, maybe 1-2 sf per bird. If it is just for nighttime, it doesn't have to be so big, but guineas love open spaces, so free-range should be the eventual goal.

They do scratch a bit, but not a whole lot. Ours never ate anything from the garden, except for bugs and a few nibbles at weed leaves.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Thanks, I am starting to look forward to this...we have forty acres so they will have plenty of space... maybe bonding with us is a good idea to begin with so they don't wander too far...I love thesound thought of them hiking along with us on our trails...sometimes those are the tickiest places. The way I am feeling right now, if they will eat ticks, they can move in to the spare bedroom:)
 
gardener
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I looked at Guineas about 2010 when we had such a tick issue and it killed our dog; but. I do live in town and there are a few ordinances. I do have two acres now and can get the required 200' radius to have up to four chickens. (I know every badness that happened that caused the ordinance, all happened in the neighborhood including two on some of the property I now own. However, I have grasshoppers so bad this year that I am considering building a coop in the area that meets the code and do wing clip, and teach them to come with me (aka bring my pets for 'playtime' in other parts of the yard to eat grasshoppers). I assume I will lose all my praying mantis though if I do this, and if I get say 3 females and a male, they might stay halfways quiet?  I can get juveniles from someone about 100 miles away so. Can you sex them at that age?

I have kept layers and meat chickens before, but this would be totally new... or should I get ducks? I don't want my neighbors on my case but I'm at wit's end with the grasshoppers. Nolo didn't make them pause this year.
 
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Location: Just outside of big D, Dallas, TX
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Do any of you have experience with the females squawking at night?

I adopted 2 flocks of 3 - 1 flock of 1 male and 2 females, and another flock of three, with 2 males and 1 female.

the first flock I got came with a "couple" (I understand they may mate for life, so I do everything I can to keep those two together). But the matchmaking hasn't been going so well with the remaining of what could be happy couples.

So at night, in their coop, when I can manage to lure them all in there - I wake up at various times of the night and hear the females "calling". Are the males deaf or just being picky?

I've also had to take to splitting the coop into two sections b/c one of the males is dominate over the one who is coupled.

He's light colored (beautiful light grey), so I can always tell them apart. So they've gone into the coop more willingly the past 2 nights since he knows he's not going to get chased around the coop at daybreak till I get out to free them. but it hasn't seemed to stop the night time chatter. And it's just the ladies - the males are not joining in so I'm guessing it's not predator related.

Anyone? Thanks!

I love my birds but it sounds like they're not happy and I'd just like to find the solution so we all get a better night's sleep. :)
 
pollinator
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Location: near Athens, GA
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No doubt, they will drive you crazy....  I live in tick country... and have almost unbelievable amounts of mice if the guineas aren't around...and coyote country, so I appreciate their alarm.... and they are so tasty!  I doubt you can alter the loud, alarmist, active nature of guineas.... but, for me, it is worth it.
 
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I have just two - a bonded pair. They were raised with our chickens and live with them.  The only time they make noise is when they see a hawk or a predator and maybe when someone they don’t recognize. They do peep to each other to keep track of each other. I absolutely love them. I love that they are the guardians of my hens. They literally do a sweep of the yard at night to make sure everyone is in the coop before going in themselves. They are worth their weight in gold to me.

 
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My guineas (males and females) are coming up on 4 months old, and appear nearly full grown. I bought them a beautiful shed with two windows, and installed 2x4 perches. About the only time spent in the coop was night time. From dusk to dawn they are out roaming over several acres, decimating the tick popuation, and we haven't seen a scorpion in months.
Near sundown all I had to do was hang an LED lantern inside (guineas WILL NOT enter a dark coop) and the flock would rush in to get on their perches (albeit with an enormous amount of what sounds like angry screaming).
I had read in a few different forums that at around puberty(?), guineas go through a drastic personality change. The only change I've noticed so far is that the guineas now absolutely REFUSE to sleep in the coop, preferring instead a specific tree behind the house. And that they are now becoming more aggressive. A small dog lives a half mile down the road. The guineas one day decided to expand their horizons, and headed farther down the road. The little dog spotted them and went after them, barking furiously. The guineas took offense and went after the dog who, outnumbered 25 to 1, tucked tail and ran for home as if he had a pack of velociraptors after him.
We have a pitbull and four cats, and the guineas pretty much ignore them.
They seem to at least tolerate us, and if I make them scrambled eggs, it is a mad rush as they eat from my hand. However, they will NOT allow you to touch them, the way that chickens will.
When anyone unknown shows up, they will surround the person, and keep him surrounded as he moves from vehicle to house, doing that angry screaming sound (but as yet have not attacked anyone).
We moved here a year ago for the peace and quiet. The ticks were unbelievably bad, and we were finding a few scorpions in the house, so we kinda had no choice but to get the guineas, but the noise they constantly make is nearly unbearable. And if we want to enjoy some peace and quiet outside, we are soon surrounded by lots of yelling, squawking company.
Since they no longer will use the coop, I plan to order layer-chicks for the spring. It is my understanding that guineas can be extremely vicious to chickens UNLESS they were raised together from chicks. Even then, I've heard that the male guineas will sometimes try to kill your roosters. I will not be free-ranging my chickens.
One definite plus I have noticed is that the guinea poop is like little turds, rather than the liquid splatter of chickens.
The guineas are rather comical at times, and except for that ugly, naked white head, pretty birds. If you have close neighbors, my advice is do not get them. And do lots of research and watch YouTube videos. Good luck
 
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