Farming

Creating Guineas To Protect The Rest Of Your Poultry

Every homesteading household should have a flock of guineas a even though they will never eat them or a single one of their eggs. Guineas are the junkyard puppy of the poultry world. They will not only protect the flock of meat chickens, ducks, and turkeys, but pull doubled obligation feed glitches and tickings that want to dine on garden planted to feed the family or take to market.

Raising Guineas To Protect The Rest Of Your Poultry

Guineas are the most low-cost and low-maintenance breed of poultry in existence. Except during the harsh months of wintertime, you will likely never have to spend a cent on feed for the free-ranging flock. From sun up until suns down guineas stray around the homestead plucking all the spiders, ticks, locusts, beetles, wasps, flies, tadpoles, frogs, worms, snakes, potato beetles, snails, and even cockroaches they can find.

Endeared By Farmers

Come night time, the real hunting begins for the flock of guineas. They simply love to attack mink a the number one killer of poultry flocks. When guineas detect a mink, or any predator, near their living region, they carry on something loud and fierce. A guinea flock will even take on rattlesnake or a copperhead, which has endeared them to ranchers across the country.

Sacrificial Lambs?

Guineas do not grow as quickly as other members of the poultry world. They also require a mashes feed with a higher protein ratio to develop properly .

Many farmers refer to guineas as sacrificial lambs. The old timers did not place such a label on the unusual representatives from the poultry family to be cruel or cold-hearted, they were merely being viciously honest. When you invest in starting a flock of guineas, losing some a perhaps even many, is a downright dedicated. But, what you wonat lose, are your meat chickens and ducks, breeding pairs of the same, and laying hens.

My Little Assassins

I prefer to refer to my flock of guineas as amy little assassins.a That is truly what they are after all. Nothing short of a fox, wild boar, or hawk willingly come back twice when faced with an angry flock of guineas. Even if your chicken coop is several acres away from the house, you WILL hear them when they get excited over finding a snake- think free big juicy steak to properly gauge a comparable human level of excitement. When you hear loud whistling, chirping, and click, the guinea flock has found something significant approaching them and/ or the chicken coop.

Shelter

Guineas most often roost in trees but should be provided with a 3-sided hutch to retreat to during exceedingly cold weather and storms .

Guineas do not live in the chicken coop with the rest of the flock, but should be trained from the time the hatchlings are old enough to leave a brooder that the coop and run are their home base. Guineas roost in trees much like turkeys but should be provided a shelter of some type to get into during extremely poor weather. A three-sided hutch or shed will suit them just fine a especially if it faces south to help them stay as warm as possible.

Brooding Hatchlings

The outdoor pen for guineas during their territory and free-range train stage should comprised of sturdy wood and either hardware cloth( the fencing commonly used for rabbit hutches) or a double layer of chicken wire. To offer added protection of the guinea keets, elevate the pen on barrels or blocks- this helps to keep them safe before they are old enough to defend themselves and places them up high- which they love .

My brooder doubles as transitional housing for guinea hatchlings. Once they are old enough to go outside I put them in their former wood, chicken wire, and hardware cloth enclosing and sit it next to the coop. Guineas are smaller than typical farm poultry and can be squished by them or relentlessly pecked if intermingled.

The various flocks get to know one another this style and the guineas learn where their home base and protectees are situated and will most often never stray too far away from the coop unless hunting for food and roost in nearby trees at night.

Raising Keets

Guineas prosper and have the best chance at survival, when they are in a flock of at the least 10 to 15 others members of their breed .

The keets( young guineas or hatchlings) remain in their new enclosure until “they il be” keets at least one month old, but typically two months old. Letting them free-range too soon will rapidly zap the numbers of your flock, unless older guineas are also present to teach and help protect them. While the keets are in their outdoor enclosure I let them out in the late afternoon every day for at the least a few hours even though their temporary habitat is spacious.

Guineas require a substantial amount of exercise for both their physical and mental well-being. Being acooped upa tend to attain them very testy. Seduce them back before the sunlight sets with the shake of a feed bucket or a treat. This helps to train them to come back to the same area near the duck and chicken coop at nightfall to protect your meat and egg flock. They can snack on anything that is also safe for chicks and ducklings, but millet seems to be their favorite treat. Packages of millet run only got a couple of dollars and are readily available in the bird section of the pet store. Simply plant the remains of a millet stick onto the compost pile and soon you will be growing your own guinea treats.

Protein Ratio

Guineas need a diet filled with more protein than chickens, ducks, and turkeys. They can survive and flourish on the same feed but flourish when fed a high protein diet to supplement their foraged dinners when necessary. Keets should be offered a feed with about a 25% protein ratio. Once they are older the protein level can be reduced to about 18 to 20% and then a 16% layer mash once they are more mature birds.

Not Your Typical Farm Animal

Do not try to catch a guinea by one leg as many folks do with chickens. It will go into attack mode immediately and maybe break its beak trying to get free. Guineas love their freedom and can be tamed to some degree, especially if you raise them from hatchlings( many homesteaders buy eggs from local or online hatcheries) and to be dealt with often, but do not expect them to warm up to you as is common with many breeds of chickens and ducks.

Guineas will come operating to you for a treat or a meal, which are the best ways to seduce them to gather where you need them to be and to do a flock counting. When raised among chickens and ducks, guineas tend to become a lot more tamed than flocks created isolated from more domesticated fowl.

Laying Eggs

There are a plethora of guinea assortments, many are quite beautiful in their own odd-looking kind of route. They typically lay eggs between March and May like other breeds of poultry after the hens reach about 25 to 30 weeks old. A healthy and average hen will usually lay about 100 eggs each year until she is at least five years old.

No Nest?

Guinea hens commonly lay their eggs in either the late morning or early afternoon hours. The hens typically lay their eggs on the floor of their hutch or the ground near their roosting spot and not in a nest. In all honesty, “youre supposed to” wonat understanding your guineas has laid eggs until you ensure a string of hatchlings trailing along behind them.

Eggs

Guinea eggs are rather cute. They shells are a light shade of brown and speckled. The egg shells are a significant bit tougher than regular chicken eggs and have a sharper point on the rounded narrow objective. Guinea eggs are smaller than chicken eggs. It usually takes three guinea eggs to equal the size of a standard chicken egg.

Identifying Male From Female

One guinea cock per every 5 hens is recommended a as long as the cock is no more than three years old fertile eggs should be readily produced. A cock and his harem of laying hens develop quite a tight bond and often run to each other like long-lost fans in a cheesy romantic comedy when divided only a short while or by a small distance a it is quite a humorous sight to behold.

Guinea hens are typically quite fertile. Rarely do they cross-breed with free-ranging chickens. If the unusual does result, the end result is most often a vulture-looking form creature that is infertile.

Sexing guineas based upon how they seem is nearly impossible. Cocks are slightly larger than hens once they pass the keets stage, but itas scarcely enough of a difference to notification. The red waddles on the neck of a cock are a little more vibrant and larger than the waddles on a hen a but again, it is quite a subtle difference.

Guinea hens make a two-syllable voice which some folks hear as acome back, come backa and others think sounds more like, agood luck, good luck.a Cocks prefer to make a one-syllable noise that sounds an nasty lot like the buzz of a chainsaw or a recurred, achi-chi-chi.a A guinea hen who is in an angry state can sound a lot like a cock, but cocks have never been known to make a two-syllable sound like a hen.

Survivalistboards shows us his guineas for when SHTF and the time he had to wait to get them :

What do you think about creating guineas? Let us know in specific comments below .

Want another project to attain your chicken-keeping easier? Check out hereA 10 Easy To Construct Chicken Watering Stations to keep your flock well hydrated! A

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