Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

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Icemaiden
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Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by Icemaiden » Thu May 02, 2013 11:43 pm

Does anyone out there have any experience of keeping guineafowl & hens together? I understand that Guinea Fowl are noisy & make good burglar deterrants. We only have one pair of neighbours, who used to breed hens; I'd check with them first as to whether the noise might be a problem.

However, I am a pretty light sleeper. Would the Guinea Fowl sound an alarm call every time a fair weather motorcyclist sped past our house at twice the speed limit (terrorising the hens) & wake me up at 6am on a summer Saturday? (OK, the bikers wake me up anyway...)
Conversely, would they sleep through the visit of a "2-legged fox" after dark, or would they wake up the hens at the slightest sound, e.g. when I sneak into their run in the night to take the flowerpot out of the nestbox?

What's the chance of the Guinea Fowl laying their eggs somewhere that I'd find them, & how would they take to sharing a 4m x 7m roofed run with 4 hens?

Lots of questions... Any advice gratefully received. Don't worry if it's ages after I've posted this message; I'm not going to rush into things, & I don't suppose the forum is awash with guineafowl keepers :-)11
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chrismahon
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by chrismahon » Fri May 03, 2013 2:09 am

My experience of Guinea Fowl with Chickens is almost nil Icemaiden. Have seen them mixed twice though. First was in Staffordshire at Princes Animal Feeds where they ran with the chickens and were being looked after by a large cockerel -noisy things and constantly talking to each other. Second was yesterday when we drove past a small garden which had chickens and Guinea Fowl ranging together in it. Don't think Guinea Fowl will take to being in a run that small though Icemaiden. Both times they were free ranging and they do move around a lot quite quickly.
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by Icemaiden » Fri May 03, 2013 8:06 pm

If I were to let them free range while I'm at work, would they just get eaten by foxes, or does their flying ability keep them safe, if I don't clip their wings?
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chrismahon
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by chrismahon » Sat May 04, 2013 3:03 am

In theory, if they have somewhere in the open to fly onto, they should be safe. But what can happen is the fox lies still under cover and just waits for them to land on the ground again. Where we got our first Leghorn Bantam Cockerel from used to let them free range. They roosted in the trees. The fox knew this and used to grab the first one down in the morning. The cockerel was the only survivor after a week.
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chrismahon
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by chrismahon » Fri May 10, 2013 6:04 am

So tempted on Tuesday Icemaiden. Local Agricultural Merchant was selling Pintarde (Guinea Fowl) chicks at 8 weeks old for €4.65 each.
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by tygrysek75 » Fri May 10, 2013 8:30 pm

Best to raise guinea fowl with your broody hen.She will tech them to lay eggs in the cop,coming back to the house at night.If you do not want them to run away,they have to know where they home is by 4 week of life.After that age there is a risk that will go and not come back.As adult they will rule over the chickens.They fly well and they able to escape foxes.One is always on guard and will call if see anything suspicious.They get used to regular people and will not make an alarm,they alarm if stranger show them self up.
Last edited by tygrysek75 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by animartco » Sat May 11, 2013 4:16 pm

On Keeping guinea fowl and chickens. There isn't usually a problem only cock birds can sometimes fight, and chicken diseases are more serious when caught by guineas. Yes they are noisy at dawn and dusk, but don't disturb at night for anything trivial. They will only cry alarm at marauders though this can include cats and usually includes two legged foxes, although when it's you; announce yourself, and you should be OK. Of egg laying I'm afraid its machette time! Though you will find they have all laid together under the nettles in a thicket. Plenty of crepe suzzette for a week! They do have a lovely dry flavour and perfect for posh pancakes. What else? Oh, never clip their wings you can kill them. and never try to catch them by grabbing at feathers. ALL their feathers shed at a touch. They do best left to do their own thing. They roost high in a favourite tree, and have a range of about 70 yards, which will probably take them into the neighbours garden but that's OK cause they're fairly street wise and they prefer grass to any other vegetation. In fat they are dedicated grazers like geese and get much of their calorie intake from grass, though of course you do feed them with the chicken. Real characters they are. Enjoy!
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by chrismahon » Sat May 11, 2013 7:55 pm

I've learned more from the last two posts than I have in months. Thanks Tygrysek and Animartco.
Icemaiden
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by Icemaiden » Mon May 13, 2013 9:28 pm

Ditto. Many thanks to you all. I'll have to have a good think.
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Re: Keeping Guinea Fowl with chickens

Post by Anniew » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:51 pm

Hi Icemaiden, we keep guinea fowl, chicken, cockerels and a goose together and they all get on fine. The Guinea fowl chatter for most of the day and we too are concerned that they may annoy neighbours. They do warn you of any intruder which leads me to a question of my own..two nights ago I was woken at 2 in the morning to their chattering and the goose calling - I did not go out to check, it was very windy and assumed this was the problem - in the morning 1 guinea fowl had gone, all we had left were feathers on the stable floor - they go into the stable at night, this is very well constructed with brick base, brick plinth, double skinned wood cladding, the only way an intruder could have got in was over the stable door - if a fox we think it would have finished off all of the stock - we cannot see how any animal could have got in except over the door. Apart from one daytime raid by a fox this is the first stock loss we have had for 2/3 years - any ideas - there was absolutely nothing left apart from feathers?
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