I have been looking into getting about 5 or 6 guinea hens for some time. Once into adulthood they seems to be pretty easy to care for. I checked with my neighbors to see if anyone minded the noise. They said its alright with them. I found week old keets for sale (great price too!)
After reading alot of articles about them I have a couple question to anyone who has owned them. I understand they are great for pest control. That rocks cause we have so many Japenese bettles and ticks around here. My plants and family need a small break from them. I also read that they clear out bees real good too. THATS the thing I dont want. I do not want them to clear out my pollinating friends.
So, to anyone who has had them before. WHat are the ups and downs? Do they do any damage (that you could see) to the bee population? I think I am going to go for it and get some. But I wanted some thoughts from people with experience. Thanks!
Well, here I go again..but I LOVE guineas. I have had them around for the most part around 20 years. I live out in the "sticks" and we have tons of bees and I haven't noticed the guineas putting a dent in them myself. I have never heard that guineas eat bees...I personally wouldn't think that they would. But they definitely put a HUGE dent in the tick population...all I can speak from is personal experience. We live with lots of woods around us and ticks are a big problem. I had guineas consistently for about 10 years and although we still had to watch for ticks they wasn't a big problem. Then I went a few years without guineas in the yard and I couldn't believe the difference in the amount of ticks we had...the dogs were infested with them and we couldn't hardly be outside without picking them off of us constantly...now I am back with the guineas..I even have some in the incubator right now. Guineas are strictly MEAT eaters! If left out to roam on their own they will set up their own boundaries around your place and eat bugs constantly in the summer time....you don't even have to feed them. In the winter, I put them up and feed them. If you don't they will hang around the back door and want you to feed them all the time. They do make noise! Especially when strangers pull up in the yard. (That is what made them so popular with moon-shiners)..The guineas I have running loose now will make noise during the day but not too bad...but you let something strange enter the yard..such as a stranger ,strange dog, wild critter, etc. then they really let out a racket. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a few over next to the woods beside my driveway and they was having a fit..when I went to investigate..they were in the process of killing a snake..(a small one but still a snake). They are great at taking care of themselves...hardy..and roost high in the trees so predators are not a big problem. I plan on keeping 12-15 always running in my yard. One year I hatched some out for a man who wanted me to hatch them "on the halves" for him..well, my half was over 300!! I have had lots of guineas on this place and they are one of my favorite birds!!
Awesome review of guineas! Everything you claim about them is echoed by other guinea owners. I read that I will need to have them on turkey grower for the first 6 weeks or so. Till their feathers are full...then I can let them roam. WHen you put them up for the winter I hear you can feed them the same as the chickens. I think they seems like a great choice to help out with ticks and beetles. I hear they have personality too.
Well, the hubby and I will chat, but I think we will get some. Found some week old keets for 5 bucks a pop. Not bad considering some people around here are charging 20 bucks for one adult. Rather raise them from chicks anyways. Thanks again for you advice and information!
I have always raised mine on just chicken starter (which is cheaper) and never had a problem...Once they feather out, but are still babies, I go ahead and give them little bits and pieces of scraps from the kitchen also..especially meat scraps. And yes, I treat and feed them just like chickens in the winter..either feeding them laying pellets, scratch, or cracked corn. I wouldn't turn mine loose until they was at least 8-12 weeks old though. You do want them to be able to get away from predators..6 weeks may be a little young for that. Guineas eggs taste fine also but a little hard to crack..They will go off somewhere in high weeds and all lay a nest together. I have found guinea nest with 60-80 eggs in them and then 1 guinea will decide to sit. They make pretty good setters and mothers too!