getting guinea hens to roost in barngreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I purchased 6 guineas in may, now have 2. They are so friendly, and I enjoy them immensely. They free-range, come when called, and hang up with my two goats. My questions is, even though they will go into the goat's small barn to get out of the rain, they insist on roosting on a pine branch up at least 40 ft right next to the barn. Now that it is getting cold...and i'm sure predators will start hanging around more...how can i get them into the barn to sleep? I tried luring them in with food, and shutting the door, but they only yelled.
alos, any advice about keeping them warm?
-- kristine stone (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 12, 2001
First: Good luck. Trying to convince guineas to do anything they don't want to do is... well...good luck. Next: I'm no expert. Quite the opposite. My wife is the animal procurer. I am merely the pen-building co-feeder. But, my wife never does anything without the proper research and she found the best web site on the subject of guinea-fowl before we hatched our guineas this summer.(five eggs, three keats. now grown into one male and two females..pretty good luck, no?) The website is for Frits Farm and it is one of the best websites on any subject that I have ever visited. The address is:
Third: What better place to keep away from varmints than 40 feet in a tree?
ONce again, good luck with your guineas!!
-- gilly (email@example.com), September 12, 2001.
Hang a small mirror where you want them to hang out or roost. We couldn't figure out why ours where hanging around on our deck.We had hung a wind chime with a mirror in it. Moved the wind chime and the birds hung out wherever it was, I think they like to look at themselves. Daryll
-- Daryll in NW FLA (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 12, 2001.
The biggest danger to the birds in the trees is owls at night, hawks during the day, and possibly any climbing predators that are around you.
I found it quite easy to train the birds to return to their pens at dusk ~ on their own ~ to roost. I do the same with the chooks. My covered pens are wire. All new birds are penned for 3 weeks. I always keep feed in the hoppers. The free feeding really works well for the training.
I don't feed any of my birds anything except their fowl feed and I don't hand feed treats. This is a personal choice, but I feel it's healthier (I've never had a sick bird) and also the reason I've never had a bird attack me. And I have a heck of a lot of roosters! -G- All year around, they get plenty of Coastal grass, which is what's growing on the acreage, and lots of insects ~ this is Texas! -LOL-
The rest of the flock, while free ranging, can see the 'prisoners' and vice versa. When I open the gate at the end of the 3 weeks, the birds intermingle. I've never had a problem doing this, and I've never had to chase down a bird to get it in the pen.
If you move the pen, or move to another house, the 3 week jail time has to be repeated.
Works for me! :^) Hope it helps you.
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), September 12, 2001.
I don't know where you live, but here in middle TN guineas do just fine outside in the winter. They do hate snow though. Ours will go into the barn on their own if it snows or gets real cold and windy. Regarding teaching them to roost in any certain place, it can be done but they will always make a horrific racket at roosting time, and it has been our experience that in the spring when the hens are ready to lay eggs and set they will start refusing to be locked up. Then if you have some locked up and a couple still outside, the ones outside hang around and scream incessantly. Trying to round up guineas for an hour every evening gets to be a huge pain real quick. We have figured out that the best way to raise guineas and keep them alive is to set some eggs under a bantam hen. You can buy guinea eggs on Eggbay.com if you have no other access to them. Anyway, the bantam mom will teach the guineas (as much as it is possible to teach a guinea) how to survive and avoid predators. Then let them roost where they want, but expect to replace a couple now and then. The only guinea we have lost from ones raised this way was one hen who was roosting on the ground with her new keets. We have even had some of our bantam-raised guineas raise their own keets. Never had this happen with bought guineas - they always killed all their keets within a couple of days. Good luck!
-- Paula (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 13, 2001.
thanks for all your answers. i just hope my guineas don't freeze in this new england weather. the other guineas after being released died, but not from predators. Not sure what caused it, it was extremely hot outside, and when released, one at a time returned to their coop and just died there. :( I don't want to lose these 2 to the cold. I do have a dog pen set up in 1/2 of the garage with an opening to a penned in area on the outside. I just hate separating them from the angora goats, since they seem to enjoy each other. If i put them there, do i have to contain them for some time again? they walk by it all the time...used to the area already.
-- kristine stone (email@example.com), September 13, 2001.