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Elusive Guineas


Well, first off, if you found your way here you must be having trouble with your guineas. Join the club. Guineas are a new experience for us and if I knew then what I know now... We got the gunieas for pest control. We had a major fire ant problem. Guineas cleared them all out, not to mention I have only seen one tick. Things were going great then one day they decide to jump over the fence. They would go over and panic and honk wanting to come back in. Not being too smart they did not remember the path they took to get there and we would let them back in. About this time in the woods we discovered a large nest of guinea eggs. 36 to be exact. We relocated the nest to their coop. Since momma showed up every night we knew the majority of the eggs were not good. During this time however they became more comfortable with the outside and decided to cross the street. When that happened, it was all over. They would leave their coop in the morning and make a bee line for the road. Now stop right here. This is what I learned...

1. Don't ever move a nest of guinea eggs. That is what was keeping them close to home. When I moved the nest they went to find a safer place away  from predators (me). 

2. Stop the guineas immediatley from leaving the boundries you want them in. If they are flying over, clip their wings. If they are finding another method of escape, find it, shut it down. Follow through on this and they will more than likly forget what enticed them and stay put. 

3. Break their feedings up to 5 servings a day, they are lead by their gut, when they realize there is more food here, than there, they will hang around. 

4. Keep them in their coop for a few days to reestablish that "this is your home".

Why the drastic measures? I never like seeing any animals pinned up, more than that however I do not like seeing them hurt. One of guineas was hit by a car. At this point drastic measures kicked in. We switched the coops with the Wyandottes, and the guineas went in thier pin, which we created as a brooding pin. It has a large area with 5 foot fencing, and a large coop. My kids created a makeshift habitat for them out of fallen trees and moss, and set up a nest area in the midst of it.  I released the guineas from the coop in the morning and allowed them to hang in the pin.  The females were laying in the nest and all was good until 2 escaped never to be seen again. Prison life was not for them. After one week in jail I ROR'd the guineas by leaving the gate opened as I left. They stayed in the pin! With 5 birds left, 4 females and 1 male, I guess he figures he isn't going to do anything to mess this up. They now venture out of the pin and enjoy the yard. They did go back on their own to their old coop to hang with the Wyandottes. 

Long story short, stay on top of elusive behavior. Confine, retrain, and release. You can teach old guineas new tricks!

Natural defense against ticks and ants. 

Guineas