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 Post subject: Guineafowl......
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:55 am 
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Location: Perth, WA
I have 2 guineafowl in with my chooks, all living together nicely. I have had them since they were young and as yet have not built up the courage to let them out of the pen and wander around.

I am wanting to build a new chook pen and wanting to know whether I will still need to accommodate them in a fully enclosed pen all the time.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:06 am 
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Golden Swan
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Hi diane,

The short answer is yes you can let the guineas out and they will come back at night.

The longer answer is they can really ROAM, so how close are your neighbours? I had 10 and in mating season they just flew off and roamed the entire neighbourhood all day. And sat on people's verandahs and 'sang' to them and pooed everywhere! So I had to clip their wings. So after I clipped their wings I had to make sure I penned tham at night as they couldn't perch in the trees. We are on 4 acres here. 2 might tend to stay around more as they seem to psych each other up and then fly off in a group, and it probably depends if they are same sex or not.

So think about it and your relations with your neighbours first! but the guines love to be out. To my mind they are not really pen birds, but they do seem to survive fine in a pen.

Any way, let us know what you decide and how you get on. (I love guineas - such funny little things!)

NellyG

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:39 am 
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Thanks NellyG

I live on half and acre, so thanks for the heads up, I might have to have a little chat with the neighbours first.

I notice you have 2 cats, as do I.

I am a little nervous about the cats being a little to interested in the guinea's.

Have you had much problem with that.

Thanks

Di

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:53 am 
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Hi diane,

Absolutely no problem with adult guineas and cats! Guineas can be VERY scary! My lot used to terrorise any dog walking past. Very funny to watch. Some of the dog owners looked a bit scared too. I had 10 though so 2 might not have quite the effect! They rush at the threat as a group squarking loudly (VERY loudly - 10 guineas in unison can deafen you). If harrassed when on their own they leap about 10 feet in the air and SQUARK. I haven't seen a cat try it more than once or twice. They fly very well to so can fly out of danger unles they are cornered but are still hard to catch. If grabbed by the tail the feathers just come out. They seem to be very self sufficient except when they are laying and they'll nest on the ground and want to stay out there all night. Young ones are a lot more vulnerable. What sex are yours?

Nelly

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:26 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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I have a male. He lives with 7 hens and 2 roosters. He thinks he is a chicken...

He is free to roam wherever he wants...and never goes more than 5 meteres from the nearest chook.

I have had 3 at one stage and mine never went far.

Just be careful iif they roost on a low branch... I lost 2 males to a predator at night out of an orange tree.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:51 pm 
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I have no idea to be honest, they both look the same, any major differences in their apperance?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:20 pm 
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Hi diane,

The only difference in appearance is the wattles and that isn't a definite, just an indicator. The males have large cup shaped wattles that stick out to the sides more, the females are smaller and flatter. One of my females had 'boy' type wattles though. The best way to tell (apart from waiting for some eggs) is to listen to their cries. Males and females both make the single syllable sounds, but ONLY the girls give the two syllable call that sounds like 'Come back'. The go 'Come back, come back, come back for quite a while. It is generally a much louder call than the single syllable ones and they go on and on! Drove my OH crazy!

How old are yours? The girls will lay eggs starting in October or there abouts until February or so. They will lay in their first laying season, so that will definitely let you know.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:20 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Hello I too love the antics of the Guineas. My lot of 6 used to live very happily with the chooks .All free ranged through the day never far from each other but in their little "clicks" and roosted at night in the hen house. On a few occasions I had to chase them off the roof of the coop and inside but that was fine.
They used to play chasey with the dog as did some of the pekin roosters and all got along splendidly and it was a joy to watch. I was on acreage so the noise was not a problem but I can see that some neighbours may be a bit put off by the sounds.

They had a love affair with my wheelbarrow and I had to fight to use it when I got it out of the shed ! They sat on the handles and in the barrow itself and just loved it , even to have a ride . Boy I miss my chooks

I used to enjoy watching the chooks too and how they would form little groups of three or four and eat and gossip away together like little old ladies ( dare I say it )

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:12 pm 
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Hi muddilyn,

Don't you have any chooks now? I'd really miss mine (and the nice eggs too) if I gave them up.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:39 pm 
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Hello Nelly I moved to another town and from the acreage to a normal size house block and could not bring my chooks.I gave some away to other BYPers off here and left the rest in good hands and I still hear of the antics occasionally.
Have thought about getting some bantams but my working habits have changed and we want to do some travelling so as much as I miss the feathered friends it makes sense not to get involved.As we all know you can't stop at just one ! After much deliberation I relented and got a pup though but at least she can come travelling .She has already had her first few nights in a kennel and seemed to forgive us fairly quickly !

I still enjoy reading and sharing about everyone else's chickens and who knows one day I may have more. Sometimes I feel a bit of a fraud being here but if it wasn't for you guys I would be lonely so I thank you all for having me

:D

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:47 pm 
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As far as I'm concerned you are very welcome here muddilyn, chooks or not! You have experience over the years and must know heaps of things others don't so you still have things to contribute even if you currently don't have any chooks. Travelling and chooks is a bit hard I agree - maybe you could tow a chook tractor behind the caravan?? :lol: :lol:

Nelly

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:30 pm 
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Well it sounds like I have at least 1 girl then, she drives me insain with her, as you say "come here come here come here". She sits us there like a bloody dog.

Well I will have to wait and see with the laying.

Do they nest like a chook? Will they need me to make a nest for them or will they look after themselves?

Cant wait to let them out on the week end. I have my inlaws dog sleeping over at the moment so I dont want to stress them out, on there first outing.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:15 am 
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If you make them a nest they probably wont use it (being contrary little birds). They just find somewhere and lay there every day and hopfully you find the eggs! If you remove all the eggs they will go and find a new site and you have to start searching again. but don't let them nest in an unprotected area as it makes them too vulnerable.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:57 pm 
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If I dont have a pair, are the eggs eatable?

Thanks so much for your info, it's been great.

Have adopted & been given loads of animals however nice to hear from people that actually own them to instead of reading it out of a book.

Di

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:40 am 
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You can eat the eggs whether fertile or not. They taste very similar to chooks eggs but have an enormously hard shell - take a lot of cracking! They are smaller than chook eggs but the yolk is about the same size - so less white.

It is nice to talk to people who own (or have owned) animals. Unfortunately I haven't got the guineas any more. Andrew (my husband) just couldn't stand the noise! We had them for about 18 months and I loved the funny little things. I found them a home on a farm so I think they'd have been happy, but I cried when they went! (Silly me) but I can have more chooks now - so there's a silver lining!

NellyG :lol:

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