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Have Guinea Hens?

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  • Have Guinea Hens?

    I am looking for some input on keeping Guinea hens on horse farms. I have heard that they eat ticks and all sorts of pesky bugs and that they are pretty self sufficient. Does anyone have some living on their farm? Are they noisy or disruptive (I have boarders)? How much care do they need? Thanks!!
    New Blessing Farm
    Standing the Oldenburg stallion Legaczy
    www.newblessingfarm.com
    "The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground".

  • #2
    I've had them for 30 years now and would never be without them!!!!! We have virtually no tick problem for about a 20 acre radius around the buildings. They require virtually no care mine just run free year round I never feed them or water them. They live on bugs and grass in the summer pick up grain off the ground in winter. Summers they drink from the stock pong winters they drink from the auto waterer., If attacked or startled they will make noise how much depends on how many you have I like to keep mine to 5 to 8 birds.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have Guineas...and you really can't tell the difference between male and female visually. Their calls are different, that's all.

      They are VERY effective as far as keeping ticks, small snakes and bugs down. I didn't have a single tick this year, not on dogs, people, horses, nothing. I LOVE my Guineas and plan to get a few more this spring.

      HOWEVER...they are LOUD and may not be appreciated in a more public setting. They are often called the "poor man's alarm," because they do alarm. Loudly. On everything. I never have to wonder if someone is coming down the drive or if hawks are hovering over my chickens hoping for a tasty snack...the guineas let me know!

      Comment


      • #4
        I had some and they were the STUPIDEST things ever. I got them because they were supposed to be easier than chickens, didn't need to be locked up because they could roost up high to get away from predators. Really, they were great on bugs, but they didn't have an ounce of self preservation. If I got near them (and I was the food lady), they'd fly up on the roof of the run-ins, but they roosted at night on my board fence. The coyotes picked them off like taking candy from a baby, all 12 of them. Mine were bought as chicks from the grain store, my friend has some that were farm raised and appear to be much more clever than mine, at least as far as their longevity goes.
        "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

        Comment


        • #5
          Like Chism, I agree that they are incredibly naive about their personal survival (I wouldn't argue with term "stupid"). Mine would sit in the trees during the day, yet roosted on the ground at night, where they, too, were picked off quickly. I even caught them sharing a food dish with a FOX one afternoon! But they were too wild to be rounded up into the chicken coop.

          After the adults became fox food, I bought day-old keets and kept them confined until they were old enough to fly, and when released these promptly disappeared into the woods and were never seen again (by me). The neighbors gave me occasional updates for a few weeks, but then the sightings ended.

          And about the noise—if you have neighbors close enough to hear a gunshot on your property, they'll probably not be thrilled with your guineas screaming on and off all day.
          "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." –Bradley Trevor Greive

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          • #6
            I agree any of them raised in captivity are dumb as rocks. But we have over 6000 acres of state wildlife land around us full of fox and coyotes and we've never lost one of wild type guenias we have. Lose a few keets now and then, once we got 3 white ones from a place that had them penned up they last about a week. But the ones we've had that survive from keets to adulthood die of old age. We have a rooster called " No Toes " ( they froze off one winter ) thats been here 12 years now.
            Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

            Comment


            • #7
              We have a NO Females policy. We loose them when they lay on eggs.
              But the males we have are great...I thought I would hate them at first b/c of the noise. They make great alarm systems. Ours know who is supposed to be here or where stuff is supposed to be, you change anything or UPS truck comes in driveway and they will let you know.
              We were down to 3 last summer and had ticks, prior years had 10+ and NO ticks!!!
              Back up to 8 now and will probably get more.

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              • #8
                We had guinea hens here on the island because we have a crazy tick population here. Everyone, except my boss, thought it would be great to have them and everyone would be happy with less ticks. Let me tell you, when I came back from school everyone was ready to have the entire island over run with ticks as opposed to having quinea hens. They are loud, obnoxious, loud, dumb, and LOUD. 4:30am they were under my boss's window screaming their little heads off every day. All day long they screamed and all night long.

                We also have a lot of foxes here that would always snatch them up when they refused to come in for the night. One time a fox caught one of the hens right in front of another hen. Didn't the free hen run away? Oh, no. It stayed right where it was screaming until the fox ate it as well.

                Sorry for the long vent. It's just everytime I think about them I shudder.

                Comment


                • #9
                  They are loud and poop all over everything!!!!
                  "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                  carolprudm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Big relief here when the last one was gone. They are LOUD and go on and on about nothing!
                    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm with you PJ!

                      hijack - I love your siggie.. Have you heard this one?
                      "Do you know why the indians rode Appaloosas into battle? So they were good and MAD by the time they got there!"
                      "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by chism View Post
                        I'm with you PJ!

                        hijack - I love your siggie.. Have you heard this one?
                        "Do you know why the indians rode Appaloosas into battle? So they were good and MAD by the time they got there!"
                        I swiped my signature from someone here on Coth. It wasn't their signature but they posted the joke and I loved it.
                        I love your joke, too. Here is one that was on the endurance board the other day.
                        "Why did indians ride appaloosas? Because they were the only horses they could catch!"
                        I get a lot of Appy jokes sent to me...good thing that I know that they are REALLY superior!!
                        You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As a neighbor of someone who owns these obnoxious creatures, I would not advise them. We still had ticks and bugs and those things are always in are yard. If you live in the sticks then I would go for it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pj View Post
                            I get a lot of Appy jokes sent to me...good thing that I know that they are REALLY superior!!
                            Well, Duh! I love 'em!
                            "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chism View Post
                              they were great on bugs, but they didn't have an ounce of self preservation.
                              We lost all 18 in the one year we had them. Some would roost on low branches and get picked off by fox. Those that roosted in the higher branches got picked off by owls. Great bug eaters and they do make great security alarms...anyone that pulled in the drive was ceremoniously anounced by a flock of screaming Mimi's. My neighbor hated the noise and wrote a not so anonymous letter to the newspaper. We replaced them with a donkey in his honor!
                              Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
                              http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by theoldgreymare View Post
                                My neighbor hated the noise and wrote a not so anonymous letter to the newspaper. We replaced them with a donkey in his honor!

                                My neighboring farm has both. They also have black angus cows that don't believe in fencing. Do you suppose they don't like us?
                                My non-farm neighbors never complained when I had the guineas, and they were LOUD and obnoxious as only guinea hens can be. I'm very lucky I suppose. They do complain when the farm next door spreads their fields or use the air cannon in the summer. The neighbor's jack (named Jackass, natch) IS pretty loud, but luckily he's some distance from our house. I really don't mind it. It's just part of the sounds & smells of living in the country. I couldn't imagine any other life.
                                "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  We have a couple at our stable. They are opinionated I'll say that.
                                  You will get a dressing down from them faster than a mother in law.
                                  A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
                                  Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Our neighbor has them and they are a good 5+ minute walk from our place (so not right next to our house) and I can easily hear them when I'm outside. I don't know how they sleep as I will hear them when I have been coming in late or leaving real early. We don't have a tic problem and maybe if I did I would be more inclined to have them. I don't see any big difference in their fly numbers. In addition we use fly predators and they will also eat good bugs such as the predators, so I stick with just those.
                                    Epona Farm
                                    Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

                                    Join us on Facebook

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by 5 View Post
                                      We have a couple at our stable. They are opinionated I'll say that.
                                      You will get a dressing down from them faster than a mother in law.
                                      Funniest thing I've heard today. Thanks for the laugh!
                                      ~Rest in Peace Woody...1975-2008~

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BramblewoodAcres View Post
                                        I have Guineas...and you really can't tell the difference between male and female visually. Their calls are different, that's all.

                                        They are VERY effective as far as keeping ticks, small snakes and bugs down. I didn't have a single tick this year, not on dogs, people, horses, nothing. I LOVE my Guineas and plan to get a few more this spring.

                                        HOWEVER...they are LOUD and may not be appreciated in a more public setting. They are often called the "poor man's alarm," because they do alarm. Loudly. On everything. I never have to wonder if someone is coming down the drive or if hawks are hovering over my chickens hoping for a tasty snack...the guineas let me know!
                                        Exactly right...
                                        Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

                                        Comment

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