5 Reasons NOT to Own Guinea Fowl

5 reasons not to own guinea fowl

**NOTE: Since the original publication of this article, I have received a lot of comments and heard from many other people who have raised guinea fowl. I would like to add that the 5 reasons I wrote about below are in line with MY experience with guineas. They will not happen for everyone, but I shared my experiences in order to let those who are on the fence about adding guineas to their homestead about the possibilities. I encourage everyone to read through the comments. There are a lot of stories there shared by people either with similar experiences or contradictory experiences. And if you have raised guineas, I would love to hear your stories too!**

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When I shared my Guinea Feather Wreath, I mentioned that we no longer have our guineas. Shortly after I received an email asking me why. I answered the email, but I thought I would go into more detail here, to help those still in the research phase of deciding to add guinea fowl to their homes.

Guinea fowl can be sort of an exotic addition to a homestead. You will hear many glamorous things about them such as the fact that guinea fowl will eat ticks and snake and rats. You might hear that they are easier on the yard than chickens, that they don’t scratch as much or won’t go after your garden as much. And, yes, all of that is true. Guinea fowl do eat ticks and snakes. They are somewhat easier on your land. But in the interest of full disclosure you really should know the things that they do that aren’t so glamorous.

5 Reasons Not to Own Guinea Fowl

guinea fowl

1. They are loud. Let me say that again. Guineas are LOUD!!! No cute little clucking noises from these guys, it’s full out screaming and screeching. Sometimes this is spun as a positive. I don’t know how many times I read that guinea fowl make great alarm systems. And to an extent that is true. Guineas will alert you to strange dogs, people and cars coming on to your property. But they will also alert you to the fact that a door just slammed, the wind blew, or a car drove by a mile down the road. They also have a habit of moving as one solitary unit. Where one goes, the others go. It is actually sort of fascinating to watch, but when one guinea gets separated from the flock? You’d better cover your ears until they find each other again!

2. They can be bullies. All birds have a pecking order. When you have new additions there will always be a period adjustment while they figure out the new order. And if you thought this was a tough process to watch with chickens, you will be amazed with guineas- these guys are mean! The guinea fowl figured out their own pecking order eventually but be prepared for a longer adjustment if you have other birds as well. Our guineas were raised from keets with chicks. They were together from the beginning. When we added the young birds- both guinea and chicken- to our mature flock the usual fight for top bird began. 6 months later- half our chickens were missing their tail and back feathers. They were afraid to go into the coop at night once the guineas were in there. Half the time we let the guineas roost in the trees just to give the chickens a break. Which leads me into my next point…

3. They love to roam. I recently shared my thoughts on free range chickens, but I assume if you want to purchase guinea fowl it is mostly for their tick-eating tendencies. I’ll tell you now that they won’t eat many ticks in a covered run. They are free range birds and they take it to the extreme. If you’ve done your research about raising guinea fowl you will know that you should raise them in their final home, or keep them locked in their new home for quite a few weeks before allowing them outdoors so that they know where home is. I am here to warn you, even if you do that, they will still have trouble coming home at night. Guineas can fly pretty well and jump pretty high which means fencing isn’t really going to do much. Once they are comfortable with being outdoors they will start pushing the limits. They will cross roads, bother your neighbors, terrorize the horses down the street- all while screaming and squawking. They might come home and night, they might not. They might go into their coop or they might find the tallest tree imaginable and fly and jump their way to the tiny top branches.

guinea fowl4. They will brood and breed. So if you have survived the first few months with guinea fowl and you make it to laying season, you will begin to notice small speckled eggs in your nest boxes. Either that or you will notice some of your guinea hens are all of a sudden missing. You might wait a few days for them to come home and then assume that they were nabbed by a fox or neighborhood dog and move on with your life. Until the day your guinea fowl flock all of sudden grows exponentially. Guineas nest on the ground, and they usually do it under cover  somewhere. If you have a well-concealed nest of eggs you might wake up to find mama guinea with her newly hatched brood ready to join the rest of the flock. Guinea hens are a little different than broody chickens in that they will sit on eggs and raise young together. You could be potentially looking at a nest of 40 or more eggs!

5. They are stupid. Okay, I don’t like the word stupid. I try not to use it often, but unintelligent just doesn’t get the point across. I am pretty sure that guinea fowl are one of the stupidest animals I have ever met. They have no sense of self preservation and when they get scared or separated it’s like their brains fly out the window. This will get them in all sorts of trouble. It will cause them to get eaten by predators. It will cause you to give up on getting them in the house at night even though a hurricane is blowing through.  It will cause them to squawk and screech incessantly until somehow their brains return.

Now, I don’t want to turn anyone off of getting guineas if they really want them. Like any addition to your homestead, this is a personal decision. We had them here for about a year, and I could live with all but one of the things I just listed. I have 5 kids- I can tone out loud noises! We live pretty far out in the country with lots of other farms around and neighbors didn’t seem to mind the roaming. I am willing to let them multiply and allow their stupidity to reduce their numbers. But, I can’t live with the bullying. Chickens are important around here- both as a productive member of the farm and a beloved pet to my children. And, ultimately, we let the guineas go because of how mean they were to our chickens. If you want to learn more about raising guineas, you can check out Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry or Gardening with Guineas (aff. links)

I would love to hear your thoughts! Are you considering guineas? Do you already own them?

Want to learn more about the types of poultry you can add to your homestead? Check out my article on Poultry Alternatives!



© 2013 – 2016, Sarah R Toney. All rights reserved.

263 comments on “5 Reasons NOT to Own Guinea Fowl

  1. Nancy Wolff says:

    We tried guineas this year and had all the same experiences! When they peaked one of my favorite chickens until she was almost scalped I decided enough was enough and they went to live elsewhere! It was a failed experiment!

    • We had many favorite hens pecked nearly bald. They would just chase them and hang on to their tails! It was awful!

      • Jo says:

        We have four, one is so mean to our chickens. I am ready to find them a new home. They are sooo noisey!!

        • lorenzo says:

          Hey Jo where are j from if your close I wouldn’t mine to take them off your hands

          • paul says:

            Lorenzo where are you located ?

          • pj says:

            I just kinda of adopted one. No clue where it came from but you’re welcome to it (please). where are you located?

        • Jennifer Adams says:

          How did you catch them?

          • Joyce Lane says:

            Dark when they are in their tree or place for the night. Don’t use a flashlight. Be out near them until dark. Then walk over to them and pick them up fast. You only get one chance. We love are birds. We have 20. They winter with our chickens in the chicken coop.

        • Amy says:

          There is one that roams around my house. It never bothers nothen or no one. And never makes a sound. Just walks around looking. I had one years ago. It was spoiled. Had to sleep with me and all. It Got out one day and never seen it again.

      • jason brookes says:

        two guinea fowl from the awrkward nieghbour down our lane go bored with her birds and stopped feeding them and they have adopted us as they are hungry i keep welsummer chickens and have just started to let them and I noticed that they have started picking on the chickens I have asked said nieghbour to house them nothing has been done and now my chickens are afraid to leave their coup some one has suggested taking the guineas to auction to get rid of them is this feasable or not

        • Dot Fisher says:

          Try putting some Vicks suave on the chickens most birds don’t like the smell and will leave the chickens alone suave will also allow the chickens to heal.I have guinea fowl and don’t have a problem with them

    • Rags says:

      We’ve been raising and enjoying them going on 25 years. Once here, we never say another tick. even the neighbors love them.

      • Erica says:

        I love them as well. They are loud and yes stupid is a good term but I’ve never had a bullying issue with my chickens. The guineas just do their thing. But loud isn’t even a good word to describe these guys.

      • Kathy McKenzie-Woods says:

        Do you lock yours up at night? Ours roosted on top of a gazebo at night. But during the day one by one they disappeared. Ours didn’t bother the chickens at all, in fact the chickens bullied them.

      • Cindy says:

        I need to keep my decision positive.
        I’m getting ready to push to send button on 15 meets and 4 pea chicks, my other choice was 25 assorted bantams…
        I raise big dogs, ticks fleas worms etc, poop ….puppies, 6 litters a year average,
        I also garden 99% organic…I cheat a little on fertilizer.
        And. Living in the woods I do life having an extra layer of security.
        I love pure reds and exotics…with a purpose.
        Flea, tick, weeds, manure, eggs alarm, And, they will eat spilled dog food…
        I think for me it’s a win win…ill see what my neighbors think…

        • Andrea Campbell says:

          I have found that my 5 birds enjoy playing frisbee with my big dog…the chickens aren’t so interested.

      • Rebecca says:

        I’ve had three guineas over two years.

        The first one I had was male and an only guinea. He bonded to my broad-breasted turkey tom. He wasn’t an affectionate creature with humans but never attacked anyone. He went through an odd phase where he would chase some chickens away from the food dishes. We solved this by having multiple food dishes in locations where he couldn’t see them all simultaneously. This only lasted a day or two. He was noisy–particularly at night when their vision is poorest, and he could not discern between persons in the yard. I live in a city with close neighbors and made the decision to rehome him for multiple reasons (biggest reason: someone else really needed him, and I didn’t need him as much as this other home did).

        I have two young guineas raised from day-olds now. They look to be a pair and are very close to each other. They love the other birds here and are very affectionate with other birds here (caught one snuggled under my Brahma rooster last night, but most of the time, they sleep in a pile with a duck and some young chickens). Some of their behavior may change as they mature, but for now, they’re absolutely adorable in the so-ugly-it’s-cute way that only a guinea properly has.

        I’m aware of the noise risk, however, my garage has been repeatedly broken into lately, and a psychotic neighborhood child has been trespassing and murdering my chickens. I needed something noisy that could dial it up to 11 in the middle of the night, and I have warned my neighbors. We’ll see how hair-trigger these two are when they’re done growing. Another thing I took to doing was having a coop light on during the night so that *hopefully* to birds don’t sound alarms unnecessarily at night and are at least able to see their potential threats.

        I’ve never had a tick problem in the city, but obviously, I do have need of an alarm system of some sort. I’e found guineas to be hilarious, and some of this comedy can be attributable to their “stupidity”. I’m not going to claim these birds are regular Einsteins, but their instincts are honed to a razor’s edge. Their programming has very particular protocols for particular scenarios, and their instincts have not caught up to their modern surroundings. They don’t adapt to changes very well at all–despite millennia of domestication–and so, when faced with new circumstances, they fall back on their old programming… to hilarious, mind-boggling, infuriating, exasperating, and/or tragic results.

      • Shirley says:

        This is my first year, my first four guinea. Every night they look for me to herd them into their cage. I find them a great deal of fun. I can’t hug them, however they seem to honor the idea that they belong “at home”, at night. They will be forever pets.

    • Beautyawaken says:

      Was interested in getting a few as we have a lot of ground squirrels and rattlesnakes on 40 acres and thought they may be useful in controlling the populations. We also have horses and am not sure if these birds would bother them?

      • barb says:

        We have guineas that coexist peacefully with 5 horses. They don’t bother each other and the guineas usually give the horses a wide birth when crossing the pasture or paddock.

      • Sus1963 says:

        I saw a documentary on wild turkeys in north Florida, I know you were all talking about guineas, but just listen a minute. The man who lived with the turkeys for more than a year, noticed that where the turkeys lived, there were a lot of rattle snakes. When the turkeys moved on, leaving him behind, the snakes went with them. So, maybe you should look at other wild fowl in your area that may be attracting the snakes. That said, I also have guineas and they are loud, mean, and really stupid. Since I get about a dozen new chicks to refresh my laying flock every spring, the guineas days may be numbered. We’ll see.

        • Candice says:

          That is so odd because I lived in big time snake country, but we had wild turkeys galore and NEVER found a snake around the yard.

        • Rebecca says:

          The turkeys don’t invite snakes in. I read the book (and watched the movie). Illumination in the Flatwoods is the book; My Life as a Turkey is the movie, which involved a complete replication of Hutto’s original experiment.

          Snakes behave differently around turkeys than they do around humans. Human presence will cause wildlife presence to recede generally. In other words, the snakes hid from humans but not so much from turkeys. Turkeys tend to escort snakes around and find them an object of curiosity, which is why snakes don’t outright flee from turkeys (it’s a waste of effort). The turkeys would sound alarms and otherwise modify behavior in the presence of snakes, which is how Joe Hutto saw so many snakes in the area. Snakes never followed turkeys anywhere; Hutto simply saw fewer snakes after his birds relocated because the turkeys were no longer alerting him to the presence of the snakes nor were the birds blocking the retreat of said snakes. snakes don’t like turkeys they can’t eat (on the contrary, adult turkeys can kill and eat snakes).

          While the poults were young, they were a food source, which invited a few ratsnakes close to the pen. It could be said that the presence of processed turkey feed may have invited mice and rats, the presence of which may have invited ratsnakes and the like to the pen’s vicinity. However, this would only explain snakes in the pen–not the hundreds (possibly thousands) of snakes he saw while trekking through the wilderness with the turkeys. It would not explain deer, or hawks, or any of the other interactions with and sightings of local elusive wildlife either.

    • Terri says:

      Thank you so, so much for your article! I have a dozen free range chickens who are wonderful – friendly and great egg layers. I got them to eat the bugs and keep my aviary spaces clean for my parrots. They are working out great. I recently stepped into a fire ant nest and got eaten alive!! A friend suggested I get guinea hens to eat the ants. With my feet on fire, I was willing to try anything. I was roaming the internet for a place to purchase some hens. Then, just in time, I read your article. I love my chickens and have a peaceful kingdom here. I don’t want to upset the balance. I’ll figure out another way to get rid of the fire ants. You saved us all!!!!

    • Tina says:

      4 Guineas 3 male 1 female , raised from keets.BULLIES! OK..with the rooster and chicken that were present at time I got them, but the new Chicken ..they beat hell out of. They did push both hens out of nesting boxes ..

    • Sherri says:

      I love my guineas sooooo much! They are the most amazing parents I’ve ever seen in the bird world. And after much study I’ve decided they are NOT dumb, just overly aggressive for their size. In fact, all the ones I have lost were because one guinea took a (metaphorical) bullet to save another guinea or one of my chickens! And they do tend to think they can take on cars…

      Above and beyond this though, it took only 6 guineas to get rid of my tick problem. I haven’t had an animal with a tick on them since I got the guineas. And their eggs taste GREAT!

      • Mary says:

        I like their eggs too…and they lay a lot of eggs

  2. k. Watson says:

    Oh my that is so funny. I love your way of writing! I had 2 guineas and they were enough to instill in me that guineas are purely evil birds. They seemed to know which side of my head my eyes were on because they would attack me from behind while I was trying to use the push mower. A pain the back of my legs will never forget, lol!

  3. Linda Stanage says:

    what do you think about turkeys, and how do you clip chicken wings.

    • I have never raised turkeys, though they are on our list to add eventually. Chicken wings are clipped by spreading out the wings and cutting the 10 flight feathers. Here’s a nice article about it: clipping wings

      • Nancy R says:

        I have raised guineas and find them fun to watch. So far they leave my chickens alone, but do have a definite pecking order within their own grouping. They are completely free range and they seem very content. I love the noise and enjoy how they can’t find their way out or back into the yard. I realize they are basically a wild bird and thus they are subject to predators. They love our alpacas and tend to stay near them especially at night. They roost on the feeder so they can be close to the protection of the alpacas. They make me laugh and smile when I see them getting a little too far away I just go out and holler “Come to mama”, and they come running to me. They know that they will get rewarded with chicken scratch. So far neighbors are fine with it , after all they are no worse than barking dogs, crowing roosters, squawking peacocks, braying donkeys and cat fights. They are interesting and bring laughter into everyone’s life.

        • Terri says:

          I so agree. They annoy me far less than the barking dogs around here. They come to our glass door and peck on it so that I will give them a treat of wild bird seed. Our neighbors love that they are eating the ticks. So far they are leaving our chickens alone. When I call them, they come. I enjoy the different sounds they make. We have a duck in their aviary and they get along fine. When my husband goes out at dawn they come running into the aviary to get a treat of scratch. Then they get up on the perches in the aviary and settle in for the night. I just enjoy them.

        • heidi says:

          I so agree…have had guineas for 5 months and just love them…I am able to hand feed them and they do follow me around the yard. The ducks seem to harass them so not sure they are mean :)

        • Theresa says:

          Love that 😊

      • Lily says:

        We adopted a lovely rescue turkey in July. He was lovely and very friendly. We own dogs,cats, chickens, guinea fowl and ducks. He got on fine with our poultry though he was a bit wary of our dogs at first. He was extremely loud but we live on acreage with no close by neighbors so it wasn’t a problem. Duke the turkey went back into his pen each night no problem. We didn’t house him with our chickens and ducks because of the risk of black spot.
        We loved him to pieces but all of a sudden he began attacking our dogs. Not badly but enough to give them a scare and for them to let out a yelp. It only happened when I was around him as he had become protective of me. Because the dogs were also around me he became jealous and territorial. Because of this we had to find him a new home.
        It might be different if you had more than one turkey as Duke was a solo male.
        On clipping chickens wings I would not recommend it. We clipped a few of our chicken’s wings to stop them from flying into the veggie garden but they were all taken by predators in the following weeks while the ones that had unclipped wings survived. We ended up putting a larger fence around the places we do not want them to go. Sometimes a bit of chicken wire put on top of exsisting fences is enough to deter them away as it is not a firm surface for them to stand on.

  4. Susie says:

    I COMPLETELY agree! We raised some from babies once (and I did say once!) and when they grew into adults-we GAVE them back to the people we bought them from! The noise was ear splitting! I know some people-even my own dad- love the sounds they make-but I can’t handle it. I’ll take my hens and rooster any day!

    • My father, who also has a home on our land, couldn’t stand the noise. I got to where I didn’t even hear it anymore. But ear-splitting is a good way to describe it!

      • Jaap says:

        Like a wheelbarrow in need of oil!

        • Jaap says:

          That squeeky-wheel shriek will drive you up the wall after a while.

  5. Susan says:

    I agree, ours were very loud and if they got out would fly onto the garage roof. Even though I raised them from babies they were not friendly like the chickens.

  6. Ha ha, good thing we do not own any! Great list, made me smile!

    • I have been looking after a guinea(male) which arrived at my new build home. He arrived around the time it commenced and I continued to feed him through winter. He roosts in a tree each night, the same ivy covered tree. I was hoping he would stay so that as soon as my home is near completion that I could build him a coop and get another couple of females for company for him. While I was away for a week the guinea wandered up nearby fields to a neighbour who has various fowl. The neighbour captured him for safe keeping. He says he will return the guinea when I have a coop. I called today to see him and he is in a little enclosure approx 6 foot by 2 foot with a small kennel type house attached. It seems so small for a wild bird. I dont know what to do to sort this? Any ideas welcome??

  7. Meredith says:

    Hahahah this is too funny! They sound like characters out of a cartoon! I don’t think I could ever get them just because of the noise, and the fact that they look like demon spawn.

  8. My grandma had guinea fowl when I was growing up and I was absolutely terrified of them. They would always chase us. Now I would know how to deal with them and hear they are great to have on the homestead.

    • I think they are great additions to most homesteads, but I don’t think a lot of people are fully prepared to deal with their ranging, noise, etc. If they had gotten along with our chickens we would still have them.

  9. angi says:

    oh, good, I can now cross guineas off my wish list! Thanks!

  10. thanks so much – I’m crossing them off my list too! I have a friend who was going to give me babies in the spring – I am definitely going to pass!

  11. Thx for sharing on Thank Goodness it’s Monday! I had read they are loud, but I did not realize they are THAT loud. Good to know. I also did not realize they would bully chickens. One question for you: What are the males like? Are they similar to roosters? Can they be aggressive towards people? Is it better to have a single male with a harem of several hens, or can a mix for half hens and half males happily coexist? Would love your feedback. thx again! Will share this on FB.

    • We never had any show aggression toward us, I believe others did. We had bought unsexed keets and ended up with about half males and half females. We didn’t have any aggression between the males. I am not sure if that is because they were raised together or because guineas are like that though.

    • Guineas pair up and usually for life like geese but if something happens to one of the they will find another mate. And if there are excess females sometimes a male will take two mates. I raised them for several years with chickens and never really had a problem with bullying. I had to give them up when I moved to the city but now have a farm again and am looking to get more.

    • Conchita says:

      I have had guineas for years. At one time I had about 20. I have a chicken type house for them with very high roosts because they like to roost high. Otherwise they free ranged. Hens will disappear and about 28 or 29 days later they’ll bring me a bunch of little keets which may survive and then may not. Mothers walk them crazy and loose them when they walk them thru wet grass and they catch pneumonia and die.
      Sometime the hen will abandon them after they hatch and my husband and I have been known to go thru a dry ditch on our knees trying to catch the babies which run liked the dickens even when a day, or a few hours old. They are so tiny that is almost impossible to see them except their little pip-pip gives them away. I lost many to predators and I was down to 2 when someone gave me three. Now I have five and six keets hatched ten days ago. Hen was sitting on a chicken next high off the ground so we took the babies and put them under a brooding light in the old guinea house. Guineas are now living with the chickens and they get along, as the hens are as mean as the guineas. They do eat bugs, like grasshoppers really well. Clean any vegetable garden bugs too. I have not seen a single snake since I have had guineas and we use to see a few rattlers now and then, even on the front porch. So if you can put up with the noise, they are not bad to have.

    • Mary says:

      Have 7 males and 6 females. Raised from babies since last spring. Very noisy. Husband hates them because of noise. I find the females to be the noisy culprits as they seem to NEVER stop complaining. Males more quiet as they only let loose every so often but are lots louder in volume when they do. Females even squawk at night so we keep our windows closed to sleep. If they keep the ticks in control this summer we will keep them other wise they will go. I do like them though and find each has a very different personality. Interesting experience.

      • Rob says:

        Guineas are very light controled. I raised mine with our big rooster who overbreeds. We wrap their cage in black landscape fabric. Even the smallest solar light will agravate. I raised with chickens so they “crow” with rooster once in morning and after locked up at night until completely black outside.

  12. LOL!! So funny! I might want them now just to see how stupid they are! Great post!

  13. Kathi says:

    I’m told they will also roost on your car, though they didn’t try that here. Mine would usually go into the guinea coop at night; I’d lure them in with some scratch. I didn’t mind the roaming, I didn’t mind the noise, our chickens are cooped so they didn’t co-mingle. But they are definitely not bright! Ours were picked off one by one, by predators, and eventually I had only 4 left, so I took them to the sale barn. A friend has a great saying: all the guineas in the world share one brain, and today isn’t your birds’ day to have it.

    • I think I could agree with that saying :) Ours never roosted on cars, but they were obsessed with pecking at the shiny paint on the sides…

      • Donna Wall says:

        If you think they are obsessed with the shiny parts on your car, just put out a mirror and watch the fun. Our last male (yes they are stupid and the others fell prey to predators),was obsessed with the shiny chrome on my husband’s beloved motorcycle. Needless to say the motorcycle’s seat etc. didn’t fair well from the subsequent scratches from the guinea’s long nails and excrement. In an attempt to pacify both my husband and the poor bird, I put out a small mirror theorizing the bird was lonesome (he made sounds like they make when “wooing the opposite sex”. It worked, but the poor thing would hardly leave the mirror except to make a quick food run. He finally fell prey to a predator as well.

  14. Jessica S says:

    We have about 20 guineas and I agree they are loud. However, ours aren’t agressive to our chickens. They all share a coop and they are the first ones in at dusk. During the summer they would roam through the yard, pastures and field around our house but since there are fewer bugs to eat this time of year (in NC) they started going farther and we lost 2 to the road. We have been training them to come by ringing a bell and giving them scratch grain. I wouldn’t say they are stupid. But they do not move for traffic and will run in front of a car or tractor. It has helped to keep them out of the road by spreading small amounts of scratch grain around the yard. It gives them something to do during the day and they have been staying close to home. We are happy having guineas.

    • Thanks for sharing! I was hoping we would avoid bullying by housing them together from the get-go. Sometimes they would come in at night and sometimes they would have nothing to do with it…

  15. Pam says:

    In middle Tennessee we have ticks, fleas, and chiggers all over, in the yard, in the weeds, in the woods….guineas are the BEST chemical free tick, flea, and chigger control you can find! In addition to insect control, guineas are excellent watch animals, all that noise should serve to warn you that a hawk, fox, opossum, or visitor has arrived!
    Our guineas roost in the trees near the chicken coop at night and roam the yard, garden, and goat pasture during the day; they don’t stray too far from the house. We have had several chicks hatch, but unless we catch them and protect them from predators, the small ones rarely survive to adulthood.
    On the other hand, our roosters make more noise than guineas, peck the hens more than the guineas, and chase me when I’m trying to feed…..I’ll vote to keep the guineas and ditch the roosters!!

    • Thanks for sharing your story! I was worried we would have an explosion of ticks this year since the guineas were gone, but we still had next to none, so the chickens must be getting most of them. Ours must have just been a mean bunch :) They tormented the rooster as much as the chickens.

      • Morna says:

        Totally love Guineas, I miss them and my 500 plus chooks, I found them very tough once they hit about 2mths old. We had a nursery that covered about 2-3 acres and the Guineas came thru like a dose of salts – eating grasshoppers caterpillars and all manner of bugs and baby snakes.
        They are noisy and dum but did seem to recognize that customers did not get yelled at between 9-5 after hours strange cars were yelled at.
        My dogs & chickens got to recognize their alarm calls for snakes, goannas, eagles, feral cats and foxes all of which they would attack in daylight.
        These days I’m working out in the desert south of Alice Springs and am looking to get another mob 20-30 I hope as I attempt to resurrect a 6 hectare Orchard/market Garden

  16. I had a flock of 30 and loved them. I raised them from the times they hatched by hand..and they were great. But over the years they were taken by fox of some other creatures from the swamp and woods. We have 18 acres and they never wandered off the property. Yes, they were loud, but more like watch birds..we liked the sound.

    We never had ticks on the cats of dogs while we had them… we do not have them any more. And I mi9ss them. We have chickens now, and they are enough to care for. But if you have the space and time to hand raise guineas..I would ..

  17. Thelma Murphy says:

    I’ve had them for about 20 years I guess it’s been. At one point in the first could of years- I wanted them GONE but they are like wild things I didn’t own them they were just here. No-one wanted to come catch them even if I gave them away, so they stayed. Finally all the hens died off now I only have two OLD-OLD males. They all make noise but the males not as much so I don’t even notice them, they never mess with my chickens but maybe it’s because they never stay with them. At one time we had 20+ and still I had no problem with the chickens ,probably because they were so busy chasing each other they had not time for anything else-LOL Their pecking order is Fun to watch They would line out chasing one ,until the chased decided it wanted to be one of the chasers and would just drop to the end of the line. I will probably never get more but I didn’t mind them…….wait-wait I do hate the poop under trees mainly because the two old guys LOVE my back yard, I think because maybe they feel safer.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! I think the noise is one I could get used to and not even hear anymore. It was eerily quiet when they first left! They are more wild than chickens, I had a friend who had neighborhood guineas…their numbers would rise and fall but they just hung around the neighborhood even though no one actually owned them.

      • Paula says:

        I’ve heard that males are not as loud. Any validity to that?

  18. Cris says:

    I found your post at the HomeAcre Hop. I am planning on getting guinea fowl when we purchase land, if anything else, just for their usefulness at eating ticks. But thanks for the reminder of some of the negatives about them too! I love your blog!

  19. Issa Waters says:

    This post is hilarious! It kind of makes me wonder what guineas have in the pro column. I guess the bug eating is a big one! My place isn’t too run over with bugs – maybe the chickens are keeping it down. I have a neighbor who keeps guineas, and they do raise a ruckus but I like the sounds of animals around. I won’t complain about my neighbor’s guineas, and I hope he isn’t too bothered by my sheep. THEY are spoiled, obnoxious sheep who baaa up a storm anytime they see a person they think they can convince to provide some corn.

    • Bugs are a big pro for the guineas, but I have found the chickens do a pretty good job on their own. Our goats are the same way- if they see a human it must be time to eat :)

      • miraclemant says:

        Try coming near my pig pen! only 4 pigs right now, about 4 months of age. 3 Yorkshire/Duroc gilts, and 1 purebred Duroc Boar. So in not too many more months, little piglets all over the place, haha
        But back to the noise, you never heard such screaming coming from them when I go out twice a day to give corn soaked in water with a protein concentrate. I know it is the protein concentrate they love, because once I made the mistake of buying it in pellet form, and darned if those pigs did not dump all the corn out, and eat every single concentrate pellet. So….. since then I only buy the ground concentrate, mix it with corn to get the desired protein level, and feed twice daily. I also have a hopper with straight corn in it, and the pigs will nibble a little bit on it, but definitely prefer the corn mixed with the sweet (I am guessing) concentrate. So is life here at Country Grown Farms.

    • ryan says:

      Makes me laugh. I have guineas and roosters, but nothing bothers me more than my sheep. Their baaas are so pitiful when they see me. The want their grain fix and get louder and louder until they get it. Good thing we are on 30 acres and its roads on all 4 sides.

  20. Thanks for sharing on Tuesdays With a Twist. Yes, they are loud, like alarms, our neighbors had some and whenever we went for a walk they would let everyone know we were there. We didn’t have chickens, but I have read if they are raised with the chickens they won’t bother them. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas.

  21. It took me 31 years of marriage to convince my husband that we really needed them….yes, they are noisy and somewhat mentally challenged…but I love them…we started out with a dozen and raised them from tiny babies…we live on an eighty one acre ranch in south Arkansas and yes, we have ticks, fleas, snakes and all the things guineas love….and I love them for their work ethics…they are very entertaining chasing one another for miles it seems…I have one black hen that runs with them after she was rejected from the coop…we have only four left and are planning to get some more this spring.

    • I think if we had 80 acres for them to roam they wouldn’t be such a nuisance!

    • Lisa H says:

      Where in South Arkansas do you recommend buying guineas Anita? My husband and I own 5 acres and have been researching raising guineas as pest control for our large garden.

      • Brenda says:

        We live in southwest MO and ordered ours from Pennsylvania. We got the French Variety that get heavier because we wanted to try the meat. I had read that it taste similar to pheasant. It does and the ones I cooked at Thanksgiving were out of this world delicious. I had made 5 meats; reg roasted turkey, smoked turkey, smoked quail, pork tenderloin and roasted guinea. Everyones favorite hands down was the guinea. Our flock has dwindled down to 4, because they do roam; even with 40 acres they still go to the neighbors during breeding season. I have never been lucky enough yet to have them show back up with babies; if they do I will capture them and raise them because guineas are horrible mothers.

  22. Sandra says:

    I have heard that Guineas are very loud. Never been interested in raising them.
    Thanks for sharing with the HomeAcre Hop!

  23. Ha ha. We always had them around wild where I grew up in Africa. They were as common as chickens and we’d go hunt them. Never had them as pets, but their sound brings back wonderful memories. I love it!! Course, they never stayed by our house for long 😉

  24. peggy says:

    We have guinea fowl, about 20, primarily to rid us of ticks. My husband got STARI lyme disease from our local ticks and we need them controlled. The guineas are successful in bug control.

  25. I am glad I read this! I have always considered getting guinea hens as tick eaters but not any longer. Thanks for the info!

    • Jacquie says:

      My guineas are wonderful and we enjoy them as well as our neghbor does. Spring is a little more busy but our flock is fantastic. Get them. Young ones. You will not be disappointed.

  26. Babette Ward says:

    Its an honest list for sure.Around here we refer to them as a gang of thugs..lol.. I do still love my guineas.They eat from my hand.I appreciate the hawk warning sounds.Between the guineas and the roosters my hens usually know when danger is near. My guineas dont roam.We have a few acres and they have been content here. They have been over the fence where they wear a bald spot in the grass because the stupidity factor wont allow them the knowledge of how to return from whence they came.Ours dont bother the chickens but I am having a TERRIBLE time introducing new guineas to the flock :( .They keep chasing the new ones into the woods. A friend told me to enclose them all together and let them sort it out but they are so brutal and they gang up.I don’t feel comfortable doing that but I cant keep the new ones hogging up a chicken pen forever either…Feeling frustrated.

    • Tracie says:

      Try an adjacent pen to the guineas so they can get to know each other safely.

    • Shelley says:

      How did you keep them from running off? I have 5 guineas and live on 7 acres. When I first let them out to free range the stayed close to the barn but after the 3rd day I didn’t see them for hours and on the 4th day they didn’t come back at all. After 2 nights of them being gone we found them down the road. Is there any way to keep them on our property without fencing the entire property? Thank you very much for any help.

      • Guineas are hard to contain. Even with fencing they would just fly over. The key is to start with keets and keep them in their coop for the first 6-12 weeks before letting them out so that they know this is their home. They will roam during the day but should come home to roost.

      • Ralph says:

        Guinea’s are somewhat territorial and they hate to be separated. Put them in an outside enclosure for several weeks. Then take one bird and let it out of the enclosure. It won’t wander off as it doesn’t want to be away from the other birds. After a week, let out a second bird. If the two birds stay close to the rest, you can let them all out after a week. Worked well for us. Love our Guinea’s. And I will also attest that they are the stupidest animals on the planet. :-)

        • Conchita says:

          They are also the funniest. When I had about ten, they were all pearls, one day I went out to the front yard and I counted 20! Come to find out a neighbor about one mile down the road had acquired some guineas and for some reason they did not like the accommodations and left after a few days and somehow found my flock and joined them. As of the first night they were going to the coop with mine. They were all pearls so no way to know which belonged to whom. Told my neighbors I had them and they were surprised but said I could keep them.

        • Mbrin says:

          Well all birds are territorial when they have eggs. Also thinking that they are stupid is an opinion. And of course if you have a male and femal they are going to breed. I just hatched five Guinea fowls and they are adorable! Well they are also going to be bullies when they have eggs too.

      • Joyce says:

        We give them a little corn in a spot. Not a lot, just to keep them coming back.

      • Brenda says:

        For at least 2 full weeks; when you start letting them out only let them out for 2 hours before roosting time. Then call them back in with feed. This trains them both to come to your call for a treat and to come home to roost. We learned the hard way of course; and have had tthe heartbreaking experience of losing half of our flock (16!!!) disappear the very first day they were let out, because they are, and alwaYs will be semi wild and wonder far. It has taken 3 years for the other 16 to dwindle down to 8 and now 4; hoping the other 4 are on a nest somewhere….but have had a fox coming up in the yard in brood daylight to nab chickens…so dont know.

  27. Mya says:

    I remember growing up with guineas. Ugh, they were terrible. We had a problem with wild dogs, and we got the guineas to be an alarm- to keep our rabbits safe. We also set traps for the dog, and a guinea ended up getting out and into the trap- it ended up with only one leg, but if you can believe it, that damned bird hopped around for an entire summer. I remember I couldn’t ever sleep in, and they were a pain to get in at night. The only thing I remember liking about them were the feathers they dropped. LoL! As an adult there isn’t any reason I can think to have them. Your article is spot on, and I feel that you used the term “stupid” in the most appropriate way possible :)

  28. Sheryl says:

    Loved your article! I agree completely with your take on guinea fowl. They have been a proverbial pain in the butt. I do not agree with the author of Gardening With Guineas whose book convinced me that they would be a wonderful bird to add to our new life on the land. She touted how gentle they were in her garden. They have practically uprooted saplings, grapevines, rose bushes and more by digging their dusting pits in the easiest soil they could find on my property. And bullying was the latest eye opener for me. I had wondered for months why so many of my poor hens were losing feathers. I figured they were doing this to themselves overnight or fighting in the hen-house overnight. I finally saw the dark-side of Guineas in the hen-yard over this winter. I only have two left out of the original 15 and would not be sorry to see them go. Thanks for the entertaining and insightful read!

  29. Beth & Bruce says:

    We are house-sitters in Australia. We were looking after a property that had ducks, chickens and a dog.
    When the neighbours’ 20 odd guinea fowl first came onto the property, at first we had no idea what they were. They were never any trouble and as the dog was getting fairly deaf, it was great to have the guinea fowl alert us of visitors or predators. We found a dead poisonous snake near the residence, which we think the guinea fowl disposed of, as it had numerous little holes in it, which appeared to have been caused by their beaks. Not that we would normally be happy for a snake to be killed unnecessarily, but being so close to the house, which has folding doors and no screens, the doors were open all day and we wouldn’t have liked any nasty little surprises when we closed up at night. The water dragons did that from time to time. Those guinea fowl roosted in the trees at night. Later we were looking after another property that was infested with ticks. We couldn’t go outside without getting them on us and not just a few, dozens of them. How we dealt with them, is another story! There had been bad flooding the year before. As we regularly look after the property, we suggested to the owners that guinea fowl may help. They have guinea fowl now as well as chickens and the tick problem is almost non existent. We also saw a fox slinking off one day, which we attribute to the guinea fowl creating a ruckus. The guinea fowl are never locked up they roost on a perch, that runs along the top of the chicken yard and never show any aggression toward the chickens. It’s not unusual to find one or two of them in the chicken yard of a morning happily pecking away. The guinea fowl came with rings around their legs, which occasionally they got their claws caught in, causing them to limp badly. We eventually caught them all with the help of a fishing net and removed the rings. A couple of them dropped a lot of tail feathers, so are ‘bob tail’ now. Not sure, but suspect that is caused by stress.

  30. lisa M says:

    Love this! They are definitely a ‘love em or hate em’ type of bird. I happen to love them…but I’m a bit odd! lol


  31. Ashley says:

    We have 9 acres of land and the guineas have chosen my bedroom window sill as their fav place to roost, leaving me wide awake until I get fed up enough of the squealing to go outside And flush them off. Any suggestions on how to prevent them from roosting there and in one of the thousands of trees instead?????

  32. marian says:

    We have a bunch of guineas but i can deal with there screeching

  33. Kim says:

    How do you tell the male from female guineas apart?

    • The males have longer and larger wattles on the sides of their faces. They also have a little bit different call. The female has a 2-syllable call where as the males have a monosyllabic call, both calls are repeated over and over.

  34. jane says:

    We had 2 guineas
    My female got hit by a car last night and will be missed. I was hoping she would make it after being dropped by a hawk from 20 ft a couple of months ago. She died during the night. The male is so sad and clucking up a storm. I hear they mate for life. I will get another female and hope they co exist. They were beginning to get friendly after almost a year and did their job well in keeping grasshoppers and every bug away on 7 acres by our house and 10 acres across the road. I tried to keep them on our side but the male would follow her.

    • Shelly says:

      How sad! I think he will love again, but try to find one right away if you haven’t by now. Best of luck!

  35. Gene says:

    I could use some help. I have raised guineas on a farm for many yrs. You are correct about them. I have seen all of it 1 time or another. I moved 2 yrs ago. I now own only 2 acres. Last yr I purchased 15 guineas. Raised them together, in a small pen. There were 11 this spring. I let them out, to roam. The neighbors seem to be fascinated by their antics. Telling me about the things they do.
    Now my problem is, they are dying. They go across the road. I have had 1 hit on the road. They leave my property, and go to the neighbors lawn. In the last 10 days, I have had 6 die. They come back, and I find them dead, in the pen, or near the garden. They don’t look sickly. No feathers missing. I do see them chasing each other occasionally, Will they kill each other? But the dead 1s don’t appear to be pecked, n bloody. I hate to think some 1 may be putting something out to get rid of them.
    When I raised them in the past, I never found dead 1s. Some were taken at nite by owl or raccoons. But they roosted in trees. Is there anything u r aware of that they may die of? They r only 1 yr old. Thanks

    • Tirzah says:

      Hey, Gene,
      I am no guinea expert, but perhaps they have been exposed to a toxin when they are out and about. When I was a child, our dog ate part of a large dead grasshopper that was in the yard a day after my dad sprayed insecticide. She very nearly died and it was a big vet bill. Perhaps they are eating something exposed to pesticide or herbicide???

      • Virginia Mary says:

        Well, folks each of us are different and so are our experiences. I have owned Pearl, Pied and Lavender Guineas with chickens for over ten years now and with complete joy. Their gregarious nature is lovely in the daily hum-dum of farm life. The only thing “stupid” I have found about them is the people that call them that. As for bullying it is just like kids at school. Yah git outta them whatcha put in…bullying has NEVER happened on my farm and the chickens even small bantums co-exist and even roost with them at night. YEP! I have mine trained and have for years to never sleep out in the woods or nest there either. I watch the behavior of the males that help guard the nesting females and the gather the eggs putting them in an incubator so the hens can rest, roam and enjoy their much appreciated bug eating. A chicken will destroy a garden but a guinea takes the bugs and moves on to another area.

        I trained mine to come when I call them and stay out of the woods and off the asphalt out front in the road!! It is a matter of patience and respect for the breed of animal and the willingness to educate oneself on how to work with them. Then again you could call a donkey “stupid’ if you couldn’t milk it everyday like a cow!! Guineas will teach you patience, detachment, the gift of allowing and the circle of life and love. Just takes a little patience and some millet along with a willing can-do attitude….there is nothing more magical than to see one stand on it’s toes and flap their wings in a greeting to say “Hello” as you pass them outside foraging. Not a thing stupid about that, I say!

        • Kathy says:

          I absolutely LOVED your article about guineas. I hate all the negativity about them and I feel you are right about teaching them. I have recently added two to our chickens and yes, they are very mean to my bantams and my big girls but they have taken up with my Barred Rock and just love him to pieces. Go figure???? I noticed there was one in the flock that I got them from so maybe they think that is their “old buddy” but poor Emma Emmett can’t get away from them and they won’t let his hens around him either. I am just praying they will all get along very soon and they will stop attacking my little tiny bantams as they could kill them with one peck on the head. I have to chase the guineas to get them to stop and they are very sneaky and will try another route to get to them. I don’t call that Stupid! They really are smart as I have one that will let me put him up at night as he has been hurt on his foot by a dog and I have been doctoring him and nurturing him so he is kind of use to me so I went back to where I got him and got the other one as the renters left him when they moved. He is VERY wild but I hope to win him over. He wouldn’t let me catch him tonight in the coop to put him in his cage with his brother so we had to wait until dark to go back and put him in the cage. They are unbelievably strong! Anyway, again, thanks for taking up for them and I just pray to God that they don’t hurt my babies and I may take a spray bottle with a little vinegar or amonia and spray them a little everytime they attack my babies. I do love them and think they are hilarious and love to watch them, too!

        • Sharon Murphy says:

          I love my guinies too, and they are not mean. I have food and water in guinea house all the time. I close them up at night and let them out in the morning. When I go outside! I wonder where the guinies are, then they great me. They have a large nest of eggs in the guinea house, I’m looking forward to then hatching. I can only keep two because of room. I now have seven. My son is in Afginastan, They sure help take my mind off that worry. I hope to always have guinies.

        • Sharon Murphy says:

          I love my guinies too, and they are not mean. I have food and water in guinea house all the time. I close them up at night and let them out in the morning. When I go outside! I wonder where the guinies are, then they great me. They have a large nest of eggs in the guinea house, I’m looking forward to then hatching. I can only keep two because of room. I now have seven. My son is in Afginastan, They sure help take my mind off that worry. I hope to always have guinies.

        • Mary says:

          That is a lovely rebuttal to such a judgmental piece about guineas. We totally love our 16 guineas. They co-exist peacefully with our 20 chickens and 1 rooster. They were hand raised from one-day old, kept in a brooder in our living room, then when big enough, transferred to the other side of the chicken coop where they could grow up seeing our chickens on the other side. It was winter, so all the birds were pretty much confined to the coop and got used to being with one another. Once I allowed them to co-mingle, there were no incidents at all.

          My guineas do squawk sometimes, but they stop pretty quickly when the threat is over. Mostly they are quiet. They make the most exquisite trilling sounds when they are laying an egg or when they go into the coop at night. So incredibly sweet.

          They are not dumb birds at all. They are just wild birds doing what their wiring tells them. They have hard times with fences and don’t see a door next to it that’s open if it’s new to them, but I wouldn’t call that dumb. They’re not human and don’t see like we do and don’t think like we do. Is that a reason to call them dumb? Do you call a foreigner who doesn’t speak our language dumb? Hopefully not. Please respect every kind of animal for what it is and don’t compare it to humans, if possible.

          I hope you haven’t turned too many people off to the wonders of guineas. They are such great tick eaters that I don’t know what we’d do without them.

          Thank you.

        • T. Alex says:

          Just Right Virginia Mary…
          We have 10 acres in West Central Texas and I hate snakes. In Texas we have varmits and lots of them, but seldom (which I am very grateful for) do we have snakes around our home because of our cats and our birds.

          We have 5 dogs and 6 – 9 barn cats, acording to how many show up for dinner. A few eat at a neighbor’s house also so I never know how many I’m feeding at night. We have geese, ducks, chickens, turkeys, doves, mini donkeys, and guineas. The fox love our birds and guineas. We usually lose several birds each year to them. It used to be mostly guineas but that was before we started closing them in the chicken house at night. For several years now they roost in with the chickens and ducks.

          Not sure if I have them trained or other way around, never really thought about it.
          I start calling “Come On” from the time I step off my porch to start feeding until I finish lastly with the cats. Usually the last stragglers of my guineas show up as I finish feeding, but that is why I keep calling as I do other chores. I feed the chickens, ducks, and guineas in the chicken house in the evening to promote them going in at night. Started doing it with the smaller birds from the time they were big enough to be let out of their brooding pens. I never have problems with where they roost. If one comes in after I have closed up, I usually open the door again to let them in or if they are too late, they will roost up the tree in the turkey pen. The turkeys now go to their own pen to sleep and the geese are out all night, but usually stay close to the back yard fence where the dogs are.

          At night the geese are our alarms and during the day the guineas sound alarm with them. My guineas make noise and I worry when they DON’T. I live in the country to enjoy nature. Nature is not quiet and not neat. Nature is noisey, very messy, and most of the time I love it. My guineas have never pecked at our car or truck. They have never attacked any person. Far from stupid, my guineas surrounded a young skunk that came out before dusk and chased it from the yard. My guineas aren’t mean either but they are very active. The larger roosters bully more than any one else, but it is what they do.

          Last years guineas have a couple bantum roosters that they were in the brooder with, that occasionally still hang out with them. The older guineas didn’t take long to accept the new ones and have now seperated into groups with the new ones. I have a group that go to the donkey’s field first thing when they get out to see if the donkeys left any corn behind. I have a group that check out the wood piles for bugs first thing and another group that can’t really decide if they want to eat corn or the bugs.

          A neighbor just down the road has peacocks that occasionally pay us an unexpected visit. I guess if you get used to their calling, then the guineas aren’t much noise at all.

          I also find if I leave the chicken house closed up until noon or so, that I can gather the eggs from most of the birds including the guineas after I open them out. Then I can set them with a hen or in the incubator.

          Our birds are mostly not pets although I do love the more tame ones of all the birds I have.
          We enjoy our birds very much. I get attached and ache when I loose one. We feel the same for the guineas. They bring more joy and laughter than the few small problems that they “may” cause.

          Sometimes when you read an article, you think to yourself that the person writing it never enjoyed what ever the subject was. That is what I felt when I read this article, you never enjoyed your guineas. We enjoy ours very much and I’d say a good many other people enjoy theirs too. I don’t think giving people the reasons that you dislike guineas, should be a warning to people against guineas. It reminds me of all the bad articles against “certain” dogs, but the dogs aren’t really bad. Some people have just had bad experiences with them.

    • Shelly says:

      Oh how sad, it sounds like what Tirzah said. Also not sure the name, but those white mushrooms are poisonous and I hear they smell good to animals and they eat them and die. They were the worst I seen around here in S Oregon. I put baking soda on them and it kills them. I heard of this and it works. If you can best to dig them up, but they are poisonous to us as well so be aware and protect yourself. I hope you have no more loss and you find out what has caused it.

    • Kate says:

      Could it be bird flu/

  36. Suzan says:

    Loved your article – it’s all true! Except for this: Please STOP spreading the false rumor that guineas eat ticks. Science has come in on this. In fact, up to 300 ticks can hide in the feathers of ONE guinea. Here’s one article on the study: http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/birds-may-spread-not-halt-fever-bearing-ticks-2/

    We’ve had guineas for nearly 3 years now. It was very hard to combine two flocks – the older birds killed one of the younger ones. Only now after all this time, do they even pretend to go easily into their pen every night. They are finally laying, and of course laying all over the place. We fear if we don’t find the nest the keets will die trying to get back to the coop in the high grass, getting wet, then getting sick. If we had to do it over again, we’d go with chickens in a minute. Guinea Fowl international has a great listserve to ask questions and know what you’re getting into, solve problems etc.

    • Allison Taylor says:

      The article describes two observations. There have been no studies published in Turkey showing that guineas do eat ticks, and some guineas in Turkey carry a lot of ticks. It doesnt report any actual science.

  37. Jeremy says:

    I recently got 6 keets (6 – 8 months old) and penned them near the house for three weeks with the intention of keeping the snake population under control as we live on a rain forest acreage in the tropics. I recently let them range just before dusk thinking they wouldn’t go too far and would return to the pen. So the obvious happened and they took off and I didn’t see them for two days. Lo and behold.. they turned up in the chook pen (Chook, Aussie for chicken) which is about 200 meters from the house and not where i want them. I haven’t heard them make much noise so I’m a little nervous about how they’ll go as they mature. As far as i can tell the chooks are bothering them especially the game hens and rooster. They all seem pretty comfortable roosting together when I shut them up at night.

  38. Sandy Abalos says:

    I raised two hens & a guinea couple together for the first 6 months, but the male was getting too mean with the chickens. So we put a chicken wire fence between them & all has been ok, except during free range time when he chases them a little. But this morning I found the male guinea dead in their side of the coop. So now I’m left with this grieving female guinea who roamed our place all day today calling for her mate. We took the fence down in the coop so maybe the hens can help with her loneliness, but only time will tell. Should I look for another home for this widow guinea? I don’t really want to bring in any new birds at this time. Any advice anyone?

    • I am not sure. We’ve never had a lone guinea. We did have a lone duck that lost her mate, she was sad and called for awhile, but eventually settled into the chickens and I do believe she now thinks of herself as a chicken. We have other ducks now and she prefers to be with the chickens/roosters.

    • EDITH says:

      we only had two guineas when one passed ,after a month she found a chicken
      she loves and follows every were

  39. we had one come by the house and it stayed in the yard a lot and got in the trees at night. Then it started eating the catfood. I bought cracked corn for it, but liked the cat food better. needless to say when i fed my cats on the deck the Ninnie would get up there and eat it all…
    then it started pooping everywhere.. got sick of that real fast. so my neighbor down the street is going to try and catch it for his house. I like having it around the noise didn’t bother me, just the poop, everywhere.. ugh!!

  40. Donna Gleason says:

    I never did any research on or knew anything about guineas. I went to a poultry farm to pick up the chicks I ordered and they had guinea keets straight run. They told me that they were great at eating ticks and good foragers. They told me that they laid triangular shaped eggs. They never said anything negative, but I guess that’s to be expected. I have to say, other than having 2 of them get their heads stuck (and they survived) in the weirdest places, I’ve had ZERO problems with them. Now mind you, I’ve only had them for 2 months, but they’ve adapted just the same as my chicks and ducks. I’ve never seen the guineas attack any of the other birds and I have quite a few birds (chickens, ducks & guineas – some are 2 months, some are 2 1/2 months and the originals are a little over a year old) in the same coop and the same run (about 60). Out of that I have 6 guineas. I was told they were communal birds and would keep mostly to themselves. So far, that’s what I’ve seen. My older chickens hold their own and they will peck at all the littler ones, including the guineas. I do have to say that a few times I’ve seen the guineas roosting on the the same roosts as the older birds. But no fighting. I hope my group is exceptionally well behaved, because I got rid of my drake a few months ago because he was relentlessly mounting and picking on one of the ducks. He HAD to go finally.

    I agree that they aren’t that bright and that they are loud (that doesn’t really bother me). I have to say now I’m a little nervous that they tend to roost in the trees, I’m not comfortable with my birds NOT locked up in the coop! They know the coop and the run as home, so I’m hoping that won’t be an issue. Additionally, I’m also hoping they lay their eggs someplace I can find them, preferably IN the coop! Keeping my fingers crossed!

    • TES says:

      Leave the guineas in the pen until after 1:00 p.m. while they are laying.

      You will never have to go looking for the eggs.

      Guineas lay fairly regularly between 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

      Not saying you can set your watch by it, but it is fairly close.

  41. charlsey says:

    Great Read…. full of information…enjoyed the comments as well.

  42. GinaSue says:

    Thank you so much for this info! I’ve been researching but hadn’t found nearly the info you gave. I had just about decided to go ahead and call the dealer when I found your blog. The bullying is the deal-breaker for me as well. Thanks again!

    • Jonathan Hart says:

      The bullying is the males our one male does not like our dog or roosters near the hens and guinea ladys

  43. A friend gave me a guinea egg as we were looking at his pheasants, guineas and peacocks and I thought it would be a fluke to take it home, pop it in the incubator and she if fate thought I should own a guinea.
    Well, 3 weeks later it is in my box in the house with a variety of 1/2 dozen chicks that were last out of the incubator and after reading your post I’m thinking the best thing for it might be to train it as a house pet. I see that people have done it, I”m just wondering if it’s going to be a screaming freak in the house without other birds to flock with or if it will be quieter and more content. Any ideas? Would it be good to eat?

  44. Bill says:

    Wow… you have a lot of comments, so you may not get to this one. WISH we’d seen your list before getting our flock (now 2, lost 2 last summer to predators). Of course, my wife certainly read these warnings before but I don’t think she believed them. And they were so cute as chicks!

    From my own point of view here’s how I put their noise: It’s so loud, constant and irritating that I actually can’t think. When I’m building chicken coops, trying to figure out rafter lengths and angles with these guys within 200 yards is near to impossible. And we have only one male and one female. She’s qiuiet, he’s not (and she is the one who will “stupidly” get lost under the deck, behind a fence, etc., and cause him to go off.

    I’d also add another thing: while they ARE hardy birds, and were able withstand one of the coldest winters in New England in a long time, they do not fare as well as chickens. The male did fine, but it seems the female did not roost in a way as to protect her feet and either got bad frostbite on her toes or a fungus, but she has severely truncated toes now. They also never left the coop for at least 4 months, even though we opened it on sunny days. It doesn’t make me feel right about keeping them in an outdoor coop in winter, even with bare ground on which to peck, as the chickens will do.

    Thanks again for your post!

  45. Vee says:

    I have chicken, guineas, and turkeys. I raised the guineas from one day old. They are a challenge and often even difficult.

    I started out with around 30 guineas. I only have six now. And even 6 are extremely loud when they start crowing. I raised them with chickens (once I moved then outside). I’ve had them close to 3 years, so I’ve tired different housing arrangements (trying to find the best one) during that time. I’ve also housed them alone, in a movable pin, etc. Now that there’s only six, I’ve reintegrated them with the chickens. They roost together in the chicken coop at night, share a fairly large pen during the day, and there have not been any bully of the chickens as some here have reported. However, when I had a couple of guineas housed in a smaller movable pin with two turkeys, one day one of the guineas (for no apparent reason) went crazy and started attacking the turkey, so aggressively that the turkey almost hurt himself trying to escape and I had to move the guinea.

    A few things….

    1. Some of my birds have occasionally escaped. Sometimes they just bolt. Sometimes they come back, but they won’t come to me or willingly let me help them back to the coup. Sometimes, I have been able to coax them back to their enclosure, but it usually takes a tremendous amount of time and patience. A lot of times even if they are near enough to hear them in the woods, they scream and squaw and wander until they get too lost or (sadly) eaten by a predator.

    2. My chickens and turkeys interact with me. My guineas run; they seem distrustful despite being with me from one day old and me giving them food, water, snacks etc. daily. It’s almost seems like they don’t even recognize me while the chicken and turkeys do (and are sweet on the whole). I think that type of guinea behavior is part of the reason that some folks call them stupid. I hate to use that word, but they are the least intelligent bird that with which I have interacted.

    3. You have no idea about the decibel levels they can reach. I thought I understood it beforehand from books, postings, and talking to folks. Let me just say if you have neighbors (within a few miles of you), and you have maybe 4-6 guineas (or even one in some cases), they’ll be heard at some point (probably frequently). Mine are a ways from my house and have been so loud as to wake us (with all the windows down). There are quiet times — but they are very loud a surprising amount of time. Yards are big here and my few close neighbors are ok with the sound. And I let everyone know that if the guineas were a nuisance (in terms of sound) that I would get rid of them.

    Sometimes one birds squawks (for no apparent reason) and then it’s 45 minutes to an hour of non-stop noise. As others have said, random non-threating things can cause them to scream and for a good while. Sometimes, in response to one of my roosters crowing they will start (despite being use to the rooster’s crows and being housed with them).

    4. But it’s not all bad – – I personally think they are pretty birds. They are dependable layers and the eggs are tasty with durable shells. They do catch bugs well. Mine keep coups and enclosed pins bug free. They are tough and study birds. I love looking at them. I also love seeing them “move as one” as was described in other comments. And sometimes having them as alarms is good. If I hear them sounding for a long time, I look, because they will alert you of “new” things like foxes, cars in the driveway, folks walking in the yard, etc. And it’s nice to gets the heads up to take a peak even thought they do get set off by non-threats as well.

    5. I’ve read that they kill mice and such. But there were some mice (a few times) in their coup and the guineas saw them but didn’t do a thing (which surprised me). So, I used traps, despite having a lot of guineas then. I chalked it up to them being very well fed, but from what I had read, I had thought they’d immediately run and eliminate any type of rodent.

    6. Although they are skiddish and don’t engage you (at their own home), they will make themselves at home in a neighbors yard, trees, etc. Twice (escapees) of mine have come to my deck, which makes me think they’d do the same else where meaning go to a neighbors door (but it has not happened here when they wander to a neighbors). Still, I find odd for a “wild” bird to come to my deck and call for a while — until I came outside. Acquaintances of mine have a theory that while guineas have a rep for being stupid that maybe the ones who came to the house had enough acumen to know that help / people live here. I go back and forth on my opinion on that.

    7. I am glad that I experienced guineas. If I had a lot of land with good sound buffers, I’d probably always keep a small flock. However, given I have neighbors who can hear them when they amp it up, I would not get them again. Also, given they don’t consistently (or often not at all) come home to roost after escaping, I would not raise a flock again. That said — if you have the space, patience, and CAN TAKE THE LOUD AND SOMETIMES CONSTANT NOISE, I’d recommend raising a flock at least one for the experience and hilarious stories.

  46. Jenn says:

    I have to share my experiences with guineas just because this all sounds so negative. We have a 10 acre plot in the middle of 100 acres, + 1 neighbor building a house. We are in year 2 of our flock – 22 guineas + 18 chickens. We’ve not experienced much aggression from pecking order issues. 6 months ago, we adopted 5 grown guineas from a woman who couldn’t care for hers anymore..the integration process took a week. The first few months, they kept t themselves and we could tell them apart, but now, they are just members of the flock. They will even eat millet from our hands. 4 months ago, we got 9 new chickens and when they were feathered, we put them outside in a separate box for a week. Nothing ever happened with any kind of aggressive pecking order display. It’s been very peaceful and they do free range but always come home at night. They’ve set up a 56 egg nest inside of the coop.
    Our dogs don’t have fleas, there aren’t any mosquitoes or ticks in our yard, and they provide hours of entertainment because they engage in games of chase. We love our guineas and will always be a part of our home, loud noise and all.

    • Debbie McReynolds says:

      I love my guineas, I’ve had them for about 3 years and mine have even followed me on horseback rides!!! The only time they are aggresive is around feeding time and they will run off the chickens, I have figured out how to feed them (all are free range) so there is no arguing. I have guineas, chickens, duck and a goose and they all get along. It is funny to watch the guineas chase the dogs.. lol

  47. Ed says:

    I’ve had guineas for 20+ years, they are different for sure but stupid is not the word, curious, bug eating, alarms, yes, these things you describe remind me of people! lol

  48. Fern says:

    While I agree with most things said…………I’ve had guineas for many years. We put up with the squawking and such because they are amazing when it comes to eating grass hoppers. They will chase them to their death and then fight over the crumbs. We eliminated the bullying by coming up with a second bldg for them to call home. Now they and the chickens completely ignore each other – both of which are free range. I currently have 16 adults/11 youngsters/13 babies. Why so many? Because they are so incredibly dumb/ varmints get them and occasionally, yes, they get whacked by a car.

  49. Chris says:

    I wish I found your page before I got my guinea fowls! With out a doubt everything you said is true, I was reading and laughing and agreeing all the way, my poor girls . I was hoping to read it got better but I’m now to the opinion OFF with their HEADS, they are so nasty and noisy. To know that they will always been the same has just made my decision easier. thankyou for your honest and funny honest opinion
    from I have had enough, tomorrow they go!

  50. shelby says:

    Has anyone housed them with other animals? I have 3 two wk old keets. I had planned to build an outdoor pen that attaches and opens into to the goat shed for them to sleep in at night. Figuring the 3 dwarf goats only use the lower half, i could put nesting boxes and a perch in the dormer/loft and everyone could share body heat over the ohio winter. Any suggestions/thoughts ?

  51. Lauren says:

    I’m not going to lie noisy is the word, but loving also.. I hand reared 3 and they would cuddle up to my neck, go crazy when I left, and they have such a big imprint of me, even still.. They follow me about, when I cuddle them they stretch their necks out and go to sleep, mine have undeniable love for me, they are in with roosters and chickens and we’ve never had any problems

  52. Mary says:

    Same here. I actually googled “how old is a guinea rooster still good to eat” because I have decided my two guinea roosters have to go. I got them for free last spring. A friend emailed me a link to an ad for free guineas. I thought, what good are guineas? So I looked online and didn’t find your post, but rather some with the rather good reasons to have guineas- eating ticks, sounding alarms, keeping predators away by being annoying and aggressive. I was having trouble training a new dog not to eat my chickens and that problem stopped after these guys arrived. It could be coincidence. I don’t know. I’ve found them to be amusing, up ’til now. I don’t mind the noise and think I’ll miss it. But I tried introducing some new hens to the flock and these roosters were brutal to them. In fact, they may have killed a hen. I found a hen just dead on the ground. A day or two later I saw both roosters simultaneously jump her sister. Now I’m thinking ahead to a winter with all the birds cooped up together, with no place to hide. These guys have to go.

  53. Terri Bailey says:

    I enjoyed reading ur story. I am considering getting these because we r having a snake problem….do they really kill snakes?

  54. Jonathan Hart says:

    We have guineas to but ours are odd they breed with our chickens whitch we dont care and dont adventure they stay in the coop all day long

  55. Teresa says:

    I LOVE my Guineas… I got them as day olds in Mid June.. it is now the 28th of August.. I raised mine with 8 chicks one of my hens hatched.. I moved them all to a hutch/run next to the hen house…they all get along well. Hens in the hen house… keets/chicks in the keet house.

    Although the guineas prefer to stay just outside their run/shed at night.. they do stay close. (AND SOMETIMES even sleep inside!) Every morning I feed everyone a bit of fermented feed.. ( so they know that home in the morning, is the place to be… At about 2pm..I come home, hens are still locked in waiting for me to open the door.. young chickens doing the same… Guineas hanging around outside … KNOWING Mama has treats>> I feed them scraps from a local restaurant.. (anything but deep fried, or white flour). Scraps are tossed out.. everyone finds something they like .. and in about 10 minutes they head out.. Guineas in their little swarm.. chickens running their outskirts, getting the grasshoppers that THOUGHT they had escaped the Guineas.. everyone free ranges till dusk.. when they start gathering for bowl of feed topped with white millet.. With full bellies.. they all find their favorite place to roost.. chickens INSIDE.. and Guineas.. well…. maybe in.. maybe out.. but still ………………. THEY ARE HOME!

    I might add.. my house, pens, and corrals, sit in the middle of 200 acres of open prairie.. with NO TREES…

  56. Christopher de Vidal says:

    Is it true that they stop alarming at everything and start only alarming at true threats after about 5-6 months? If so, they’d make good watchfowl after a while…

  57. Ellen says:

    Thanks for such a wonderful description of guineas – I couldn’t agree more! Our neighbor down the road once had guineas, 4 bullying males who paid us many an unwelcome, noisy visit and terrified our free ranging chickens…I was constantly trying to chase them back up the road with a broom, probably providing free entertainment as a screaming banshee (a human guinea?). How I used to dread hearing their noisy convention coming down the road!! Eventually only one male guinea was left and he adopted us! (thrills!) “Waldo” would roost in a tree (named because we’d play nightly “where’s Waldo” games) until deep cold winter (Vermont isn’t a great place to roost outside alone) and then decided to join our chickens in the coop. He started out meek and on the bottom of the pecking order, then the next year he developed a new plan: be the big bad boss, working his way quickly up the corporate ladder. He was brutal & became such an aggressive pain that I had to let his original owner know and he came with a gun to end our reign of terror. As you might imagine, I’m not very tempted to try guineas again – the only thing that Waldo did was tick me off. Free ranging our chickens decimates our otherwise large tick population.
    I sure did enjoy everyone’s comments!

  58. Sheri says:

    I’ve had guineas for years and hope to always have some. Yes they are stupid, but they keep the snakes and bugs away. I’ll listen to them all day before I’ll risk coming face to face with snakes in the nest boxes! Some of the stupid things they do… run the fence line evidently forgetting they flew over the fence to get in and can fly over it to get back out. Horrible mothers, they will lead their babies into wet grass and boom, dead babies. MIne free range and roost in trees in the pasture. At sunrise coyotes will set under the tree hoping for a guinea breakfast. Down comes one and gets eaten, down comes another and gets eaten, down comes another… LGD is the only reason I still have guineas. Yep, they are dumb as a box of rocks, but they still keep the snakes and bugs away. :)

  59. Patricia L says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I have 7 that are now 3 months old I raised from hatchlings and they are driving all of us crazy! They have been free ranging for a little over a month on my 5 acres and I cant express how much I have grown to despise these little monsters. They are driving my chickens crazy and my Lab spends all day chasing them away from the house and porches. They will not range in my woods but continue to get into everything else including the cars, potting shed and pooping all over my brand new back deck! Their constant and I mean constant squawking has turned my peaceful WV farmette into a noisy barnyard. I have taken to squirting them with the hose to keep them off my porches and two days ago I left the living room door open and was puttering outside to look up and see all 7 of these dummies in my house!! What a nightmare. I just posted an ad on Criags List to rid my life of these demon birds.
    If you enjoy the peacefulness of your country setting don’t ruin it with these creatures. And yes there are so dumb……..

  60. Chicken lover says:

    Love this post, it is absolutely true. Honestly I could probably come up with 10 reasons…ours decided the trees were not good enough and used the neighbor’s porch railing. They also used their garage to lay eggs in. No more guineas and a much better relationship with the neighbors!

  61. shirley g says:

    I have been told that the birds are not good to their babies, also I want them to be my pets , they won,t come near me, what can I do thank you

  62. sarah says:

    I loved our guinea fowl until some one hit one in the road and it damaged their car……..

  63. Jenny says:

    Well, I accidentally stumbled across a solution to two of the problems. We just happened to have an orphaned drake duckling the same age as our baby guineas. They were all raised in a coop together and are inseparable. I’m not sure if the guineas thing they are ducks or vice versa, but that duck leads them back to that coop every night and he won’t leave them alone until they all come. I guess we lucked out on that one!

  64. Drew says:

    I will agree that Guineas are loud, but as for the rest of the statements about guineas I have to disagree. Most all guineas I have ever seen are more intelligent than chickens, ducks or geese. I have only ever encountered a very few aggressive Guineas, and they were ones that a person had bought that were already older and did not adjust well to a new home, as Guineas are not for the most part good at adjusting to new environments(different farms or homes). Yes Guineas are roamers, but not a lot more than chickens that are given any leeway to roam. Yes guineas reproduce better than chickens, mostly because they are more protective and less afraid of natural predators in the US. I have seen guineas chase cats, dogs, foxes, and even a coyote when they are threatened or the flock is threatened. By and large though guineas are wonderful birds, loudness aside. They are top notch bug eaters, right up their with ducks and geese, and they do not go after garden vegetables like chickens are prone to do. They make excellent guards, better then most dogs, as they will sound the alarm and loudly when strangers or critters that do not belong show up. Starting with keets, will help keep them from roaming to far, as they become familiar with their surroundings without having to forget about previous homes. I have found that hatching out keets, even for a starter flock make them less likely to roam any great distance. I realize that many people do not have an incubator or perhaps the time to tend incubating eggs, but sometimes taking a little extra time at the beginning makes life easier later on.

  65. Jane says:

    A couple of questions…..I’m researching guineas because they kill snakes. I live in the woods and have only a small clearing where the house is located. I read in this blog that they will leave the woods for grass and fields…..so that means I should look for other snake repellents, right? Also, I have a very small 6 pound dog. Will the guineas kill a dog or do they kill things that are only useful as food? Thanks

  66. Susanne Cheekyface says:

    My Grandpa had guinea fowl on his farm for years and loved them (mind you he was as deaf as a post anyway).They did all that you have mentioned except kill snakes…only because New Zealand doesn’t have snakes. They drove my grandmother nuts with their noise and we kids always ended up having to chase them out of her gardens…..and she had 6 foot netting fences around them too. They just flew over the top.

    One year my Grandpa gave some to my dad…much to my dad’s disgust…..and so Dad let them do their own thing around our farm too. However, when they came into the yard, Mum would send us kids out to chase them out….and yes, the dang things were bullies. However, they eventually found they ad 800 acres to call their own so off they all went and roosted in the trees up in the bush, and as far as we were concerned, they could stay there.

    However, they weren’t much fun at mustering time because as soon as they knew there was something new going on, away they’d go and wail their ‘GO BACK, GO BACK, GO BACK’ sirens as loudly as they possibly could. That wasn’t much fun for us doing the mustering because it would scare the bejesus out of the dogs and the sheep or cattle would run in all different directions, and thats no fun when mustering, believe me.

    They would fly at the dogs who would spook and run where they shouldn’t. The sheep didn’t like them because they’d bully the sheep, and the birds didn’t like the cattle because the cattle stood on their nests and either broke the eggs or squashed the chicks. Those eggs were small in size, speckled and had shells as hard as the hobs of hell.

    It all became such a nightmare for a working farm that Dad had to get a couple of neighbours up one night and go spotlighting, just to cull them off. Peace returned to the farm and the dogs, sheep and cattle were only too glad to be rid of them.

  67. Susanne Cheekyface says:

    Information for you Jane


  68. I cannot agree with the author more. Guineas are dumb as a box of rocks. I purchased Gardening with Guineas which is a very good book.

    Followed the instructions to a tee and my Guineas used to go into the coop at night. Then one day they decided the rail on the horse corral is better and just stopped going into the coop(unless I herd them in every night).

    Even though more than half of them have been murdered by Owls they continue to sit there night after night. It does not matter if it is pouring down rain they will sit on that rail even though their coop only 30 feet away. They are DUMB!! I have to run home from work every night during the winter or else another Guinea will get killed. I think I have had enough!!

  69. Cathie says:

    I have five guineas and I will always have them. I love their personalities and everything about them, they really make me smile. I also have peacocks, chickens (hens and roosters), banties, ducks, dogs, cats and they all get along. I would much rather have their noise and poop than snakes or other intruders (wild or human).

  70. Karin says:

    I have 2 roosters 3 hens and 3 guineas ( one female guinea and two male.) I got them all at the same time and they were all about 8-10 weeks old. We put them all in the same run and coop at night on the 2nd night and they have all been free ranging since the 2nd week we had them. They all get a long just fine. Every now and then we will have a little spit spat pecking attack but that just started. They are now 6-7 months old and follow each other all around. The guineas I find to like us more they tend to follow me where ever I go and greet me every time I go out side or get home from work. Only the female goes crazy with her talking and never stops but I don’t mind it but my boyfriend wants her gone. She can be very very loud.
    One of our roosters and one of our male guineas just fought for the first time the other day and it was on and off allllllllll day we thought they were going to kill each other but they stopped and hasn’t happened since and they continue to free range together and go to bed together in the coop at night.

  71. Renee says:

    Thank you so much for your post. We just moved to a farmstead toward the end of last summer and plan on getting chickens this spring. I have been throwing around the idea of getting a couple guinea hens too, because we have Horrible chiggers and grasshoppers as well as the added benefit of the “alarm system”. I like knowing what I am getting myself into and appreciate your honesty. I think I had better discuss it further with my husband, because I dont know if he would be able to take quite that much noise… I do like that they are good free rangers, but if they dont come back well Im afraid I would worry too much about them. So, gives me more food for thought!

  72. Sharene says:

    Haha, I just got rid of my guineas yesterday. A couple days ago one of my neighbors came over and strongly objected to the absurdly-loud creatures. Recently she transitioned to working from home and apparently the screaming birds just drove her mad all day! Weighing guineas & people isn’t hard to judge. So, goodbye birds! I sent one of my kids over to inform her of the news with a handmade Valentine card:

    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue
    The Guineas are gone
    Because we love you!

  73. […] I decided what to do, I found this blog: 5 Reasons Not to Own Guinea Fowl […]

  74. Ann says:

    I’ve had guineas for 4 years now. It was a learning curve, but I think we are getting it. I absolutely LOVE them. I don’t mind the noise, the breeding, even the bullying. They do fabulous job of keeping the tick population under control. We live in Lyme country and it is a huge problem. The guineas are one of several risk reducers. I love the babies, but mostly I love their personalities. I have watched several interaction that I swear I could enterpret. I love how they interact with each other. The egg are wonderful, we haven’t eaten birds yet, but thinking about it.

  75. Debbie says:

    You are absolutely correct about their stupidity. I find it exasperating. They actually forget they can fly!! OMG!! I’ve seen a group of them bumping into a 6 inch high barrier continuously trying to get past it. I currently have 21 of them. I view them as disposable. I hatch their eggs in the incubator when the flock gets low. Morons! But they’re my morons. :)

  76. Kay says:

    I know a farmer whos roosters kept dying. He kept the rooster in with the chickens and guinea, Well come to find out, the guinea would not let the roosters drink any water and he lost 2 roosters before he figured out why his roosters were dying. Others too have told this very same story. So if you have chickens,roosters and guineas do not keep them in the pen together. I have found that guineas are very affectionate birds. I am thinking about getting a couple because I do not have any chickens.


  77. sarah says:

    Maybe ill just continue to let my neigjbors come intomour yard occasionally before i gomout and get my own…

  78. Israel says:

    I love guinea hens and yes I had some but had to get rid of them because they starting nesting on my neighbors lawn. I just love them, when I was little my dad bought me some and I didn’t know what they were until they started to grow up. They are good watch dogs and very funny, if you have the space you should get some, I’m going to try to get some again this year, I hope everything goes well this time.

  79. K says:

    We always brood guinea keats with chicks. Guineas, like any other gamey fowl–including some breeds of chicken–instinctively take issue with something noticeably different. Whether that’s a stranger or a creature they’ve never met. Guineas raised on their own without chickens will almost always become aggressive to roosters in particular. I think this is largely due to the fact that roosters who are clueless about guineas will try to breed the males and of course to a unsuspecting guinea that’s a sign of aggression–especially in the breeding season.
    Our guineas that are raised with chickens do beautifully and have shared not only a coop but a run with our Australorps for 6 years.
    Guineas are a wonderful addition to the homestead and repel snakes as well as decimate tick populations. I definitely suggest someone who hasn’t owned them to give it a try if they’re considering. If they have to interact or live with chickens, I suggest getting eggs or day old keats and raising them with chicks.

    • We brooded ours together from babies. They still bullied the chickens something fierce. And they were all completely free ranged- so plenty of room to run away and spread out. The chickens were terrified and featherless in many places.

  80. We’ve had nothing but a good experience with our Guineas. We started with 15 of them and they didn’t bully our chickens at all. Maybe our rooster kept them in line. Sure they were loud for the first few months but most days you don’t even know they are there. They only sound off now when something is wrong or they seem something that is not normal. As far as intelligence, I think all farm animals are dumb…some smarter than others for sure but more along the lines of Dumb and Dumber. That’s why I guess they are farm animals and I’m the farmer. :)

  81. Sharon says:

    Wow after reading this and talking to my father, I’m really worried about my neighbors having them. We live in town and have town sized lots. My neighbors is actually smaller than most yards – there is a two car garage that takes up part of it. It sounds like these are not something you should raise in the city. I don’t want to listen to screeching all the time. I’m also concerned that they will fly into my yard – I have a dog and don’t want to have to deal with him chasing them. So far she just lets they “free range” – there is no pen other than the temp fencing she put up at the property lines and no coop. What do other people think of this?

    • I wouldn’t raise them in the city. Most places have it against the rules to own even roosters because of noise. Guineas will be loud, they will roam, they will find high places to roost and explore (like a roof). I would bring up concerns, but also I wouldn’t worry too much about the dog, as long as it is in your yard it will be the guinea that is trespassing. Chances are if they are free ranged completely nature will take care of the numbers for the most part.

  82. Melodie says:

    I have had 5 guinea hens since they were babies. Today one of my dad’s guinea hens is missing. I am hoping she is sitting on eggs and was not attacked by a fisher cat. My 7 chickens were attacked by fishers. Please oh please let her be sitting

  83. Catherine says:

    I do not own guineas, but our neighbor does. They are always in our yard, and on our land also they annoy our chickens and are quite mean to them , they also breed with my chickens which I do not like. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about how to stop them coming over the fence and to stop them doing what they are doing? My neighbors have just about ‘abandoned” them and do not care where they are, they do not feed them or try to find them, basically they just don’t care at all.

  84. Sue says:

    I do not agree with most of the things you said about guineas. I have raised them with chickens and I don’t remember them ever being mean to the chickens. I have let a chicken hatch the guinea eggs and they are pals for life. Yes, they are loud but so are the neighbors dogs. I am raising three now and I’m sure I will enjoy them.

  85. Kathleen says:

    I really enjoyed your article, in spite of the fact that we’ ve not had the same experience with our guineas. We raised them from keets, in their own little enclosure inside the chicken run, and when old enough turned them out to free range. They co-exist with our chickens, roost together at night in a pretty large hen house, each species roosting as a group. No bullying, plenty of room for all the birds to roam, and the guineas seem naturally cautious. We fenced off our living area to keep the chickens and sheep off the decks and out of the house – the chickens are not shy. The guineas can fly over the cross fencing, and often do, but steer clear of the decks and the house. The guineas do not leave the property for some reason. They fly over the cross fencing but steer clear of the road. That seems to be pretty intelligent behavior to me.

  86. Kristy says:

    I love having guineas! The only truth in this negative article is the NOISE. As long as there are guineas around we do not see a single tick in their range. “Scientific studies” “prove” pecticides do us no harm too. Any coincidence we are being told they do not eat ticks when the only other solution is heavy pesticide use? So why do people who have them (truly FREE ranging) attest to having no ticks? Guineas will stick around their territory once established. Ours roosted in the trees at night with the banties. Yes he males do need to establish a pecking order, but I never saw them try to tear each other apart the way chicken roosters do! In fact, when a banty hen went broody and her rooster had to go find another hen to be close to (loose banties form family-like groups) the guineas would adamantly try to break-up the fight, jumping in, chasing off the agressor, going back the hunt for bugs. They are not stupid if you take the time to try to understand them.

  87. tony says:

    I must have a strange crew. Given, they make a lot of racket. My wife fusses all the about the noise. I bought them also for the ticks but I have experienced none of the problems y’all describe. I brought mine home and put them in the pen with the chickens. I kept them up for about six months before letting them out. The first night two would not go in the pen. One went to roost on one of the poles sticking out the side of the pen, the other in a maple tree over the pen. Next day I let them out they ask came back and went in.I had to chase a few of the late chickens in the pen but the guineas were there. I have had my give for about a year and a half. Sorry y’all are having so much trouble but my whole flock goes up each night and I still have all me originals.

  88. Carmen says:

    I LOVE guineas. I started with 3 and 20 years later had raised hundreds. I admit to their goofy and frustrating bad habits but they are NOT stupid. They are a semi-domesticated dry-land species (think of trying to herd roadrunners or grouse). All the things that people complain about has served them quite well as they evolved and survived for millennia on the arid plains of South Africa. While guinea mamas are quite fierce they do like to nest in private and will take off with the first dozen or so healthy keets that hatch. In a world with hippos, crocodiles, elephants, large wild dogs, and large wild cats the race does, indeed, go to the swift. Over the years I learned to let my cochin hens hatch out a dozen guinea eggs at a time observing that the keets raised by chicken foster-mothers were calmer. . . at least until the hormones kicked in next breeding season. I left feed only in the pens for confined laying females, young, and sickies. Once the other birds went out on range they had access to water but no feed. A couple hours before sunset I would collect eggs and let the females out to get some exercise. At dusk the chickens would head into the pens while the guineas milled around catching last minute bugs. Then just before dark we would throw scratch or wild bird seed into the pens and then lock the doors after everyone scrambled inside for treats. No muss, no fuss. . . usually. :) Since we’ve moved 6 months ago I’ve been living in a apartment and have been severely poultry deprived. But guineas are at the top of my ‘must have’ list once we settle into our new home.

  89. Becky says:

    My sister mentioned that these showed up in her yard last week. There’s about 3 or 4 that roam around at a time. She lives in the city, in a cul de sac type neighborhood. We figured out they are guineas as she originally thought they were turkeys. Do you or anyone else on here know if you’re aloud to just buy these birds and let them free roam your neighborhood? I could see about having these in the country but just letting them roam in town is crazy to us. As they are super loud and all day long. They just go from yard to yard on everyone’s property.

  90. Shannon says:

    I found your site after I googled “why are guinea fowl so dumb?” And everything you’ve said is spot on! We have a family of hens living around our house which backs onto farmland. We feed them and let them shelter with our chickens, but they are still “wild”. Lucky for us, they haven’t bullied our chickens…. Yet. But what bothers us the most is how they can be so easily killed by predators. Almost one a week gets killed by a dog or bird of prey. We had a large flock which has dwindled down to just three. Our chicken yard has bird mesh over most of it to protect them from the birds of prey, and sometimes the guinea fowl fly over the fence to get in… That’s fine, but when a huge bird is about to kill them, they panic so badly. Yesterday one of them flew into my daughter’s trampoline (it’s one with a high safety net around it)… Do you think it figured out how to get out? Nope. It just ran in circles for ages, until we got him out. The yard next door has a dog that has killed quite a few of their Brothers and sisters, but they still go into that yard! Stupid, stupid, stupid. We are desperate for them to live, but you can’t fix stupid.

  91. Angel says:

    This article is…very contrary to my experience on all points. My guineas are ten times more gentle and kind natures than my chickens, who peck new edition chicks when my guineas would never peck anyone. My guineas tamed more quickly and more eagerly than my chickens, I hand raise all my birds. My guineas stick right by my side like dogs and understand my signals much more readily than my chickens.
    Guineas are not domesticated birds, they will be wild if you spend little time bonding with them and showing them the ropes. I spend time with my birds everyday and they see me as the leader, the guineas are much less hard headed than my chickens who are more independent. Guineas are naive, yes, they are playful and curious and very innocent creatures who don’t have a good instinct for avoiding predators. But my male guinea keet gave his life to protect my hens from an invading feral cat and thanks to him no one else had a scratch on them, which was a miracle but also a tragedy because he was the sweetest bird in the world.
    Don’t get guineas if you don’t plan to bond with them as pets, because they will not magically turn into birds who have been genetically domesticated for centuries. But they make the best pet birds I’ve ever had if you give them love and play with them and most importantly, hand fees them mealworms from day 1 to communicate your love and the fact that you can be trusted, that is a language they comprehend.
    I find this article to be offensive and ignorant, honestly. I never even heard of
    Guineas before I got them a year ago and had no poultry keeping experience but I had worked with countless wild birds at the refuges I’ve worked for and knew good and well any wild bird can be tamed rather easily by taking the time to gain their trust and learn how to communicate with them. Day old keets are goofy, happy, adventurous little things just begging to be played with, they are a million times less wary than chicks so really unless you don’t have the time to get to know your keets well and interact with them daily, raising tame guineas is an inevitability. But don’t expect wild, untamed birds to just naturally behave the way you think they should if you never make the time to build that relationship.

  92. dennis says:

    well just purchased 2 day old keets.. first time ..hoping i have a good experience with them..bought 10 all diff colors..

  93. glen says:

    hi I have 10 on 10 acres all you say is true & I love em ..no snakes,ticks,bugs.or creepy crawleys they are noisy & super frendly …dont mess up the garden & get on great with our 2 dogs & 3 cats 7 fallow deer 2 very large stags & 8 sheep 3 turkeys,8 peacocks & 3 ducks….What wonderfull creatures ..give me another couple of dozen…………But I dont keep any smelly lice attracting garden scratching chickens…..we just live in paradise……………….regards glent ps we can hand feed all our wildlife

  94. Michelle says:

    Questions… 1. Couldn’t a just get two of the same sex, so no egg laying? 2. I saw a comment of rounding them up into the coop, soooo they don’t simply go in on their own at night? 3. Can they fly fly or can they only fly to say fence height? I really don’t need them wandering off into neighbors yards, but I’ve heard they are good rattlesnake guards. 4. We have a pool… how are they around bodies of water?

  95. Julie says:

    All you say is about them is true, except for one thing – my guinea hens have developed a taste for tomatoes, walking down each row and just putting a hole in whatever one strikes their fancy. They have even decided to take dust baths in newly planted areas – totally disrupting the seeds, which I think they ate, They figured out some seedlings have the seeds below ground, such as some varieties of squash, so they pull them up to eat the seeds. I do feed them everyday, and they have 24 + acres to roam on. Fences are not working. They really can fly quite high and far. What to do?

  96. Dawn says:

    We picked up three at the farm store on May 24th 2015. We raised them in a container in out entryway until they were four weeks old. They went out to the garage in a larger tank for two more weeks. I had moved them out to the chicken coop for the remainder of July. I had put them in an XL wire dog kennel to keep them protected from my aggressive hens. August 1st I let them out of the dog kennel and they I believe think they are chickens. They are all free range, but continue to stay side by side to my Black Sex Link hens. Everyone gets along really well. They know that My German Shepherd is there to protect them and the hens. They have begun to roost along side the chickens ant night. So far it’s been a great experience. I think they sound like a car alarm. It’s not really that annoying, like I said, I only have three.

  97. CRae says:

    We have guineas and raise them! They coexist with chickens, dogs and horses without any problems. Our neighbors love when they do come visit as they each have their own personality and are fun to watch! Right now we have 33 in the brooder and a waiting list. Sorry they don’t work for some people, as it’s great to be bug and snake free around the buildings at the ranch.

  98. Lorrie says:

    We have 2 guineas they were raised with 13 other chickens. I to this day can’t tell if they are male or female. They like to chase all my chickens away from there food every time I feed them. One night I was waiting for all the chickens to go in the cage and the two fowls chase and chase each other and they wouldn’t stop. To night I went to close the coop and the two guineas were chasing each other I couldn’t get them to stop chasing each other so it looks like they can stay outside the coop tonight. Not sure if they’ll ever stop. I won’t be surprised if I find one dead from being run to death.

  99. Lori says:

    I agree with a lot of what you had to say however our flock of Guineas do not have a mean bone in their bodies and I actually have to keep my Silkies and Rhode Island Reds from harming my poor Guinea I have 4 male and 4 female. I sadly have to part with my flock because my neighbor is complaining about them and they are used to free ranging locking them up in a covered area would kind of defeat the purpose of why I got them :(. They are excellent at eating fleas, ticks, mosquitos etc.

  100. Nevart says:

    My husband and I recently moved to NC and we are in a very rural area, but only have half an acre. The beetles, ticks, ants are everywhere. We have GIANT beetles. Seriously. Hercules beetles. The Japanese beetles decimated the leaves on one of my trees, and the vegetable garden was a total loss from insects I couldn’t even identify. I had a guinea who just showed up one day when I was living in the south about 30 years ago, it roosted in the pine tree right outside the back door and ate my cat’s food. I don’t remember it being obnoxiously loud, and only have good things to say about it. I’m thinking about getting a couple of Guineas to help keep the bugs down, but I’m worried that the property isn’t big enough, that they might scare the daylights out of my two elderly dogs, and that they also might scare away the wild birds that I love. Any suggestions?

  101. Francis Ochan P'Akech says:

    I will definately keep them for 2 reasons; 1) to help get rid of snakes around our homestead as much as possible. I hate snakes any kind of snakes. and 2) to get rid of ticks as much as possible. Otherwise, I am not bother by any other behaviors.

  102. Natalie says:

    I had a bunch of ill-tempered (chased the chiockens away from the food…etc.) guineas back 7-8 years ago…
    They sure tasted good..

    Then we got several lady guineas, figuired they;d be nicer…
    They *were*, but they made noise ~all day long~…
    I can’t replicate it here, but you can look “female guineas” online and hear it yourself…
    5-6 of those roaming the yard countinupsly “talking”..no thanks….I am working in the yard and like my quiet.
    They tasted good too…

    Now I have 2 male guineas..Floyd & Eugene…
    They come up on the porch in the morniong..I can hear their feet on the wood..
    They look in my bedroom window (I have it open on the cooler nights)..I can hear them quietly twittering “is she awake in there..??”
    I say “Hey Floyd and Eugene..I hear you out there..”
    Then they commence to yammering…

    I will also eat out of my hand, but tentatively (grab it and run)…which is fine….

    They rarely bother the chickens..they eat together with no problem..and they roost in the rafters of the chicken house…they let me know one night when possum go in there, they raised all kids of hell.

    A couple of thoughts, here.

    I got the other guineas when they were 6 months old or therabouts, and they had their personalities already “set”…
    Floyd & Eugene I got at 2 1/2 to 3 months..
    Maybe if you get them younger they coexist better?

    I have thought about getting them some girlfriends..but,..I am afraid that will cause them to fight..so, I’ll leave them as 2 old bachelors.. :-)

    They are in a 100ft by 100 ft fenced area with the 11 hens and the rooster….they don;t seem to have wanderlust..
    But then..the other guineas I had didn;t either…although *they* did nest in my trees at night…

  103. Natalie says:

    I can’t find an “Edit” function here….so, I apologize for the typos above…

  104. AAS says:

    Alright , the above post is not entirely untrue! LOL , BUT the benefits far out way the down falls to be sure. Not a tick or nasty bug on the yard! They are great watch dogs and are fun lawn ornaments and unlike chickens they do not destroy the garden or the yard. They do alert one to something unfamiliar….if they are chattering I KNOW there is something up and they show me where.

    Dumber than dirt . Excuse me , the dumbest and one of the most expensive birds to replace on the planet! For instance I started out this year with 18 …now thanks to coyotes and the like I am down to 6. Every year it is the same thing , I am surprised they can survive at all as a species…too stupid to go into the coop at night and STAY there! At 5 am they are out foraging in the tall grass next to the vast CRP by a river bottom! DUH! KFC is OPEN!

    BAD parents too….many are the times they hatch clusters of eggs…..of which only 24 hatch and unless YOU catch them , the keets will drop off 1 to 4 at a time until they are gone. SHOULD any survive any longer than that the young birds make their parents look smart. Picked off one by one.

    This year I have collected all the keets and will raise them. Praying the 6 left will make it until it is too cold for them and they come back to the coop.

  105. Debbie McReynolds says:

    I LOVE MY GUINEAS!!! I’ve had guineas for about 3 years, my first little flock I hand raised even taking ticks off the dogs and giving them as keets. They even followed me on a horseback ride one day, all the way through the woods until they decided to stop and eat bugs.. we had to literally walk them back home on the highway.. lol.. they entertain me, and the ticks are 199% less since I’ve had them. I am raising them now and have a total of 7 adults, 9 youngins and about 20 eggs in the incubator. I’ve had a few problems here and there but I’ve about got them figured out. The benefits so out weigh the negatives. People are always so interested in them because they are different. Remember they originially come from Africa and have wild instincts. I will say however they are not for everyone, they are loud but I don’t have a problem with the noise. I get more irritated with my two male mallards that chase my poor sweet goose.

  106. ronald says:

    we had 14 guinea hens 3 got killed and the others ran off after 8 wks in coop …no where to be found..debating if we get more or not…

  107. Avril says:

    I have had flocks of Guinea fowl for about three years. I LOVE them. They are utterly stupid but that is part of their charm. I hand raised them and they follow me up and down the road, sit on the fence and wait for me to come home and then race up the road in front of the car. They even sit on the car roof and bonnet for a ride They worked out that they could see what room I was in by checking each of the Windows of the house in turn. One minute you’re in the bath, the next minute you hear the tap, tap, taps of beaks and several pairs of eyes staring in through the window! One of my GF, Georgie, comes into the house whenever the front door is open to look for us and will quite happily wander around the house.
    One of my chooks has been poorly and sadly passed away today. I had been nursing her in the house and when I realised it wasn’t going to be long, I put her out in the garden to enjoy the sun. Georgie stood guard over her for hours until she passed.
    I have seen my flock fight off a fox on one occasion as well as a dog that broke into the garden and attacked my hens – even risking their own lives to do so.
    The only downside is the noise – I don’t mind it as it isn’t constant and only when they are alarmed. They are good for warning you of foxes, strangers etc but mine also shout at helicopters, which is slightly annoying as we love on the flight path of a major military helicopter base ….. Ho hum. All part of life’s rich tapestry I suppose!

  108. Alisa says:

    If the guineas are raised with the chickens from chicks will there be less fighting/picking on each other?

    • Not in our case. We raised them in the same brooder and we still got bullies. But if you read others’ stories they will say otherwise…I guess it just depends on the temperament of your guineas.

  109. saundra says:

    Yes I need help with my genies we have 6 got 5hem when they were about a month old kept them in a cage 4/6 weeks then turn them out after about 3 or 4 days they finally started wandering away from their cage we feed them every night they wander around and eat all day they talk the dogs they get in the dogs cage every now and then so far we’ve gotten them out without them getting hurt my problem is I have a 2014 Chevy Cruze maroonish red and they are getting on my car and there scratching the crap out of it I don’t know what to do does anyone out there have any answers for help on my car right now I can take it to a detail shop for a hundred and $125.00 they can polish them out but they get on there on and off all day please help anybody with any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Oh I left out we got them to help them eat up the text and kill snakes I’ve had the Rocky Mountain Spotted tick fever 3x in 3 years my husband had it once that’s the reason we got the guineas and we have a lot of rattlesnakes on our land but we need are guineas so far they stay at home so I just need them not to get on my car thanks to anyone that can help m

  110. sherri says:

    I totally agree with this article. Thought shattering noise, bullying, absolutely no sign of intelligence. Would never have them again and only wish there were big enough predators here to eat the 9 I have to tolerate!

  111. Autumn says:

    The guinea makes the noises as a warning to protect its family /friends,I had one and he was sweet he loved to stay with my turkeys and the chickens and everybody got along with him,for everybody complaining about the noise ,that’s to protect the other animals ,if there’s a hawk the guinea will make his noise and scare the hawk away,guineas are one of the smartest birds in my opinion

  112. Judy says:

    We have one Guinea who adopted us last spring when a neighbor got some. She is so funny and makes me laugh every day. We don’t have chickens so that’s not an issue and she gets on well with both our dog and those of another neighbor. After the initial squawking when everything was new to her she doesn’t make much noise, except for the morning I woke & thought my baseboard heater was making a crazy racket. Then I glanced out and saw her. I went out to see what was up and she had discovered her reflection in the basement window. I love her funny run as she comes to meet me when I go out. She chases after the car as I head to work and comes tearing out of the woods to great me when I get home from work. Then cleans the bugs off my license plate. I worry about her for winter and have rigged a “nesting” box with hay on the porch where she peeks in the window some mornings. Whether or not she will take advantage of it remains to be seen. I have started giving her some millet twice a day but mostly she fends for herself. She’s really a sweet, fun, accidental addition to our family and come to think of it, I haven’t had one tick this year.

  113. Jill says:

    I have 25 free range chickens and I had two ginnies. One day I was letting the chickens and the ginnies out of the coop and one of the stupid ginnies went on the road and got hit. That other ginnie stood there and let out some weird noises and he wouldn’t leave the dead Ginny. You would have thought that the Ginny knew that the other one was dead. For a week that Ginny wouldn’t stop screaming and he kept going to the body of the dead Ginny. Is any of that normal? Should I get him a new female?

  114. Alisa says:

    I am looking for another bird to keep with my chickens and have been researching guineas. I’m more confused after reading this article and all the posts. Seems to be about 50/50, you lover em or hate em.

  115. Alisa says:


  116. Tim says:

    They are absolutely awful. They wake you up at 5:00am screaming their heads off. They won’t come near you either so you can’t catch them. If you can’t catch them you can’t relocate them to another unsuspecting owner. Don’t ever get them. Don’t let your neighbor’s get them either.

    • kathy lyons says:

      A good fish net will do the trick of catching them. But mine do not run from me and I can herd them maybe try to herd them an walk around with them an they might get used to you?

    • kathy lyons says:

      oh an if you dnt want them an live near I will take them. Have fish net will travel lol

  117. Tammy Chapman says:

    We brought home 5 guinea keets. In the house for a bit when tiny, then to a small fenced space within the chicken coop. They got along well with our chickens until the time one didn’t return for a few evenings. When he (she?) returned, we had some issues between it and the rooster. I resolved itself within 24 hours. Only two of the keets survived to flying, free range age. I have two questions. Yesterday, I was out tending the birds and rabbits when the guineas started fussing loudly, about 50 yards out .. on the compost pile. So much so that I actually spoke to them to ‘be quiet!’. Then the first one takes off … and right behind him the second. The first one .. I swear, buzzed me. I didn’t have time to recover before the second one was within arms reach … when suddenly it changed it’s mind?? and diverted .. and ran right into the greenhouse frame!! That pole is about 3 inches wide and he hit it full on. I was on my knees laughing … from relief and the humor of it all.
    #1 .. Do guineas attack? (I did read one comment that indicated this happened to someone … wondering if it’s common).
    Secondly, and the reason I stumbled upon this article was that I discovered one of our rabbits missing this morning … after searching I discovered the stomach, entrails and some cartilage. No evidence of intruders into the pen … and I wonder if a bird of prey got lucky .. or if I have to watch the guineas, who free range during the day and (thus far) return regularly. The one that disappeared for a few nights was just learning to fly and caught the attention of and was chased off by our dog. (Learning curve!!)
    #2 Do/will guineas eat young rabbits??
    Not a bit of fur, skin or ears or feet seen.
    I also noted a pile of … poop … from whatever predator it was … that looked bigger and different than chicken poop … and I’m not sure I’ve actually seen enough guinea poop to know the difference.
    Any input would be sincerely appreciated.

    • kathy lyons says:

      never heard of guineas eating a animal if they i’d I would think predators would be of little worry. So I think something maybe a possum or skunk or other hungry critter gt the rabbit, you just may not of found it’s way in yet. Possums can climb.

      Guineas do attack but usuallt when your trying to catch them, I havent had one fly at me for no reason yet but you never know what the silly things might do

  118. Angelisa says:

    I have a male guinea and he is even trying to steal my turkey hens away from the Tom and he has pulled many feathers out of the chickens and turkeys. But I got lucky cups I locked him up in his owe pen for 3 weeks away from everyone and when I turned him lose again he was the best behaved little bird you could get. Hes still doing good and the ducks keep him in check it only took one drake beating the crap of of him and now hes nice. Lol go ducks

  119. Roger says:

    We have a dominant male guinea who was terrorizing our chickens and our non-dominant male guinea. I tolerated it until he began to bully our rooster and kept him run into the coop which was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”. The solution that seems to have solved the problem is I batted him around the chicken pen somewhat severely with the bristle side of a large straw broom every time I caught him bullying the others. Other than a few feathers floating around I don’t believe he was harmed except for his bully pride. Now every time I get close to the chicken pen he ducks for cover in the hen house. It took a couple of less severe refresher courses with my broom before he completely stopped but for now we have a whole new level of calm in our chicken yard.

  120. Tammie says:

    They kept the mice away from our chicken coop, which ultimately kept the mice away from our house. Unfortunately they attacked our small dogs. They put holes in their tender skin. They are food for our table. Hmmmm so sad for them.

  121. David says:

    I’m having very little problems with my guineas. Sure, they make noises, but only once in a while. I enjoy watching them. They seem to get along pretty well with the chickens and they’ll go into the coop at night with the other birds. They’re almost maintenance free.

  122. Matt says:

    We have guineas, chickens, ducks, horse, goats, rabbits, and pigs. Everything you mentioned in your article has not been the case for us. The guineas stay on our property(in fact they follow our roosters), they return to their coup every evening along with over 50 chickens. They clean up the ticks. They don’t beat up on the chickens, ducks or the other guineas. We let them free range everyday and they will come back to the laying boxes to lay their eggs. They are excellent alarms, and never had them fly away.

  123. Chicken Princess says:

    These stories are amazing. I have 90 Pastured FREE TO ROAM Laying Hens and 400 GUINEA and no one Beats Anyone UP. Only problem and I had, until my Christmas Gift was built, ( a three teired wire fence, that they can’t perch on ) was the Guinea Dropping on the railing of our walk way. Having to hose it off 6+ times a days. We have Egg customers coming and going all day long and the droppings are just disgusting. The Noise from the flock..is just something we’ve gotten used too, and yes it is loud. We have 16 acres and they roam it all and then some, but we are TICKLESS. The best part above being Tick-less is, Guinea fowl is delicious. Better than Chicken, Turkey or Pheasant. Makes Great Stock for soup too. Partners In Poultry FB

  124. Sherrie says:

    I have only one guinea fowl. I love him to death. He has never left the property, in fact he stay around the coop and house. When I am outside he follows me around. One of the things I most love about him is his bullying. I cannot let my chickens or turkey out of the coop due to the predators around. The few times they have gotten out, GG keeps them right around the coop, and start squawking until I come out and round them back up. I can also tell him to sing to me, and he will start squawking, so I do not feel they are stupid. Maybe if you have a full flock they are. But I love the squawking.

  125. Tiffany says:

    I live in the middle of town and have a neighbor with them I find them very annoying because the neighbor doesn’t keep them on his properties instead they’re all over everybody else’s roofs and on our property and and make their screaming noises at all hours however our neighbors and I had had enough of these peoples Birds

  126. Stan says:

    Sarah the free range etc….
    I have never seen this in many many years of having guineas and chickens. It sounds like you have fell in with a bad bunch of guineas. I would start over!
    A bullet will stop a trespassing guinea in its tracks.

    Tammy Chapman:
    1. They will only buzz you like that, as far as I know, if they have some keets and you are getting too close to them. Could they have hatched some keets you’re not aware of? They may have been fussing at a snake or other predator who may or may not have been after their keets. If there are no keets, or no keets have been killed and eaten my theory falls apart.
    2.Guineas will not eat young or old or any rabbit. Some other predator has killed your rabbits. May have been what the guineas were fussing at 50 yards away on the compost pile.

    Ed: no, they are not stupid. Misunderstood maybe.

  127. C. W. says:

    We love them. They are endlessly fun to watch, have helped tremendously with the tick situation, give us great manure, and are FAR less persistently loud and for shorter distances than lawnmowers, leaf blowers, airplanes, road ways and back-up beeping. We did not try a mixed bird flock and so cannot speak to them brutalizing other kinds of birds.

  128. Catherine says:

    Does anyone want my one male Guinea? It’s bullying my hens horribly now that my rooster was killed last week. I am an animal lover and don’t want to kill it but am happy to get rid of it….

  129. Dana says:

    i love them they may be noisy but they aren’t mean to the chickens and they protect the chicks and my dog loves them too.

  130. Dana says:

    i love them they may be noisy but they aren’t mean to the chickens and they protect the chicks and my dog loves them too.

  131. Dana says:

    the bad things are they are noisy they bully my hens but they can be very nice because the protect my chicks they sleep in a tree were they wont bother the hens my dog loves them and they eat all of the bugs in my yard.

  132. Rebecca Ashley says:

    Have had Guineas 11 years now. Don’t ever want to be with out them. Have never had good luck with pairs raising their own. Our climate is hi humidity and wet often and the keets die of respitory issues. I hatch out as many as I can every year. Sell a few but keep many. Usually have at least 15 to 20 but have had 35. No ticks and noseeums.

  133. Candice says:

    I have had Guineas for some time and all is true with exception of the Chicken attacks. I am nit saying the posters are wrong, just that I have never had this happen. So wondering what the common denominator is? My guineas do not roost with the chickens. My chickens free range during the day but are locked in at night. My guineas roost up on the top of our garden fence (15ft high) they free range during the day, but rarely leave our property, but then we have 15 acres that is mostly hilltop, so probably like the view for predators. Not sure. Maybe as far as chickens go, they don’t do well in confined spaces together?
    Their worst trait is their noise level. They are freaking loud! If I looked out every time a guinea was squawking? I’d never get anything done! Haha!

    • I am not sure if there is a common denominator- ours were raised together from babies, housed together- though the guineas often decided to roost in the trees instead. Both free ranged completely- more bullying went on outside than in the coop.

  134. Rhonda says:

    I have 5 Guinea fowl and have them in a 50 by 50 foot enclosure with my 13 chickens. All were free-range birds until I lost 3 chickens and one Guinea in one day. I live in the woods. Many of my chickens are missing feathers, lots of feathers. Today one of our chickens who has been picked on by the giuneas was dead when my husband closed up the coops tonight. After discussing the Guinea behavior with my husband, we decided to boot them out of the enclosure and coops and let them live in the woods. The death of Henny Penny, that’s what we called her, was the deciding factor for me. We will try to construct some type of shelter in the trees. I’ve read that a 3 sided south facing shelter with a roost is adequate. This illustrates the meanness if the birds.

  135. Res says:

    OMG they are the dumbest birds in EXISTENCE! No, REALLY. They will fly over a fence and then get ‘stuck’ on the far side of the fence, away from the rest of the flock, and will then spend HOURS running back and forth, screaming, because they can’t get through the fence. I’ve seen them do this within feet of an OPEN GATE.

    They ARE loud, very loud. And they don’t just bully birds — I have dogs come visiting my farm and the guineas will all line up on the fence line to the dog yard to heckle the dog. I have dogs come herding in my pastures and there will be a line of animals — sheep, dog, heckling guineas — going everywhere, until the dog finally loses its nerve and runs for its handler.

    On the other hand? When I moved into my property, it hadn’t been lived on for years, was hideously overgrown, and there were so many ticks….I can’t even. I hadn’t taken a tick off a dog in over 20 years before I moved in here, and I’d NEVER had to take a tick off of me. I moved into here and I was taking ticks off my dogs DAILY, and I had to take ticks off of ME almost as often! One day, after walking across a pasture, I had to take EIGHT of the nasty buggers off of me! It was HORRIFIC.

    I couldn’t spray, because my sheep ate that grass, so I had to find another solution. I got guineas. Within 2 weeks of releasing the guineas on the property, I was able to walk across my pasture and not pick up a tick. Within a month, I wasn’t seeing ticks on my dogs AT ALL.

    For me, that is TOTALLY worth the noise and harassment — especially since, the guineas will keep snakes and rodents out of my barn and coops, and I’ve seen them go after a weasel trying to sneak up on my ducks. Additionally, my guardian dogs have learned to come running when the guineas go off — now they are a very effective team to keep all sorts of predators out of my flocks of sheep and ducks and chickens.

    Also, I am finding that while the guineas tried to bully my chickens when the chickens were young — now the adult roosters are taking names and kicking tail feathers, so…..

    The guineas are never cooped, they have free roam of the property. And my guardian dogs are egg suckers, so I never have to worry about unexpected broods of guineas appearing, nor do I have to worry about losing my guinea-hens to predators while brooding — the guardians find and eat any and all eggs that are not safely stashed in the nesting boxes in the barn, and I have control over the nesting boxes.

    Guinea eggs are also quite tasty! 😉

  136. Squints says:

    Has anybody gotten any offspring from a guinea and a chicken? I heard they look like vultures…

  137. les says:

    First of all you separate them from your chickens, secondly you eat the mean ones, meaning you keep one male to breed. If they get noisy. Kill them and eat… there are ways to keep them in check..as far as eggs, you eat them also… it’s only a matter of harvest and don’t put chickens with them, that’s just dumb.

  138. Vicki Black says:

    I greatly appreciated this article and the excellent responding comments. I plan to get guinea fowl chicks. Knowing the problems they create helps prepare me psychologically and greatly improves how I raise them. I am always better when prepared. Thank you for the courage and willingness to write this assessment.

  139. Lynne says:

    Hi, We live on the outskirts of Stutterheim and got used the guineas roming the countryside. My sister and brothe-in-law (our neighbours) were presented with 10 resident guineas – hand reared.

    We love these little critters – they live next door and roost on a pergola and are absolutely no trouble at all. They are fed mealies in the morning and evening and if we are a little late they peck at the dinningroom door to anounce that they are waiting. They are cute and get on very well with my Staffie who has never chased anything, including the guineas they are ‘big friends’. My Staffie calls me if I take too long to get the mealies.

    Yes, they can be noisy but one gets used to their different calls. On the whole they are relatively quiet and this could be that they were hand reared and are the French Guineas – they are white with very pale combs.

    We love their stupidity – they try to get through a fence instead of flying over. We have about 3 different flocks comming for food in the evening – we scatter mealies in four places and they find their own areas to eat at. We have a bigger problem with the doves and pigeons.

    We love our Guineas!

  140. phil says:

    So nobodys talked about what is most important to me. How does the meat taste and how much feed do they need ro bring them to slaughter weight. Can they be raised entirely on range?

  141. Ape says:

    Honestly, i think it is like any creature. Its all about how you raise them. I have a flock of ducks, i raised together, and they stay together, and dont come to me. I have another flock of ducks, that i kept seperate. Each duck alone, by itself in my house, so each one bonded with me. When i put those ducks near the other set of ducks, they run from them, and hang by me. Theres the working egglaying free range duck flock, then there are the companion duck flock. They want nothing to do with each other, but follow me around, and sit in my lap and climb up to my neck to snuggle. But i put a TON of work into them. Same with dogs. My career is training dogs, and breeding East German WORKING line genetically superior German Shepherds. I put so much work into the puos before they go to their new homes. They come potty trained, and know commands, and have been socialized and exposed to everything. But if i were to NOT do that, then they woukd just be wild crazy little pups. Same sith the Guineas. Everyone has their opinion, and experiences. My ‘neighbor’ (2miles away) was getting rid of his “hand raised” gunieas. They were not friendly, they ran away from him. Ok well his idea of hand raised is not my idea. I raise my KEETS inside. They see all the commotion, dogs people etc. Then they go out on the front porch so they see more stuff, then i move them to a coop and run, by this time they are big, as this process takes months. These birds learn by this process, that all this stuff like cars, the amish horse and buggies, and my dogs and certain neighbirs will pass by. They do not go crazy. Only when they see something like a predatir or someone new, which is fine by me. My pack of k9s do the same thing. They dont bark at my neighbirs horse and buggy, but when the amish have a gathering, and some of their friends go to their house, they alert to those horses and buggies. I only know it isnt my neighbor going by, because of them. It is all how you raise them, in my opinion. I put so much work into them, my keets are trained, i went to school for animal behavior, so i control animals by altering behaviors, and the Guineas are no different.

  142. Lehigh says:

    We had 6 guinea fowl and one got stuck in a pen and the other five came to our back door and started squawking so loud to get our attention and when we came out they lead us to the pen where their mate was stuck. I don’t think they are as stupid as people say. At least in our experience. Love the fact that the tick population is down considerably from previous years.

  143. Lindsay says:

    This article definitely gave me a lot to think about.

    We’re in the process of purchasing a new home with a fair amount of acreage. It has a mix of pasture land and woods. We live in an area where ticks are a big problem and it’s a concern for us.

    I’m worried about the Guinea fowl wandering too much. The property already has a nice coop but it’s placed just behind the house. Do you think placing the coop further back on the property, where there’s more room to roam and not quite so close to the street, would help keep them where I want them? And how much do I have to worry about them getting into the woods?

  144. Patricia says:

    I laughed my ass off reading your 5 reasons NOT to own Guineas…I own 5 female Guineas 1 female Chicken (Hen) and 2 Roosters…all purchased as chicks/keets last Spring. My 5 female Guineas hang out with my Chicken Hen…or I should say she hangs out with them…they get along just fine…the 2 Roosters try to jump on all of them whenever they get a chance so I do my best to keep them apart. I let them all comingle at times when I can walk around my small farm with them all…they chase each other but it is FUN. Everything you discussed is true to a point…I think mine are better behaved because I don’t have any male guineas. Your comments touched my funny bone….but….I would not give up any of my guineas for anything…they are great and I find them humorous.

  145. Sharon says:

    I found your article and found it rather amusing. My friend just got a dozen year old Guineas, and is planning on getting some keets to sell. Of course I said I wanted some, four to begin with should be quite enough, I think, maybe not though. My next step is to look on the internet to find out all the things my friend doesn’t know about Guineas. Since I don’t know the first thing about Guineas I felt this to be a wise decision. I think the reasons why or why not depends on what you want them for. As I found out when John brought home their Guineas they are quite loud. Since the barns (where they will be housed are at least five acres from the house I don’t expect that will be much of a problem. I can barely hear our stallions at the house when it’s breeding season. I will house them in a barn stall (where they can’t get lost) until they know where home is. Thereafter they are on their own. The chickens have their own house, and closed in run so there is no problem there. As for suddenly having a whole flock of Guineas that will be necessary since we live out in the middle of nowhere, and there are plenty of predators around. I will undoubtedly loose some to foxes, coyotes, cats or whatever else happens to be out and about. Then too we have dogs who just might find a guinea too tempting a treat. As for the reason why I want them in the first place, we raise horses. I can’t have my chickens down at the barn because there are just too many predators, 40 or so Guineas will work just fine. We have tons of fly larvae, and billions of grasshoppers, as well as the whole gambit of bugs, and mice. Hopefully they will make the barn their home but if not we have lots of trees (Pine, and Juniper) for them to roost in. Guineas are not for everyone, but it sounds like they will be perfect for me.

  146. kathy lyons says:

    I had 7 guineas to start with an those were slowly killed then finished off by tractor blade, which was upsetting because they were a good group that stayed together. I now had another 7 and am down to 6 now, but they do not travel together. I have two teams, an one solitary whom is a hen. But my solitary rooster sorta keeps them together an yes the rooster an male guineas fight all the time I cant help it I love birds, an plan for geese later.
    My solution to the chicken guinea bully problem was two coops I trained the guineas to stay in the homemade chicken tractor. and I had to replace my chicken flock due to the bullying so they are in a new coop. It is a good thing I didnt have very many chickens or Id of had guinea soup lol

  147. kkhh says:

    We tried raising guineas two years ago. We already had a flock of laying hens. Hubby built a separate coop for the guineas. We started with 5 keets — two somehow escaped when they were several weeks old and that was the last we saw of them, so we ended up with 2 males and 1 female. We let them free range on our property, with the goal of them keeping ticks and other bugs under control. What a fiasco! The two males spent most of their day chasing the female, who spent her time trying to escape. Needless to say, they did little to control insects. They definitely preferred chicken feed, and at some point, they all decided they wanted to take charge of the chickens and began spending their days INSIDE the fenced chicken area, hounding and tormenting my poor girls. Towards dark, they’d climb up on to the coop roof and screech and make a racket until exhaustion set in and they quieted down for the night. We have a winter coop at the far end of our barn, and early on, we were thinking we’d house the guineas in with the chickens over the winter months. After seeing our chickens being bullied and picked on continuously, we decided that we couldn’t be so cruel, so we found a new home for the guinea trio.

  148. Jacky says:

    I have a flock and do love them but they have grown too much and this year we have had so many babies that the flock is excessively large for our property. How can I reduce the numbers? They are so wild it is virtually impossible to catch them.

  149. Janice Murphy says:

    We have had guineas for about ten years and love them. They cleared our property of ticks, fire ants and snakes. We raised them with the chickens and I have never seen any of them fight. Our neighbors don’t have to use pesticides on their gardens because the guineas keep them free of bugs. The neighbors also appreciate the fact that the birds let all of us know when someone is coming down our road. So I can’t complain about them and neither does anyone else around here.

  150. DDL says:

    I have had 9 adult guineas now for about 4 months. We converted an old cotton trailer into a coop with gravity-fed water and two sets of doors so the birds cannot get out when we go in. They are hilarious to watch. Who needs TV when you have guineas? The roosters can be extremely aggressive toward each other, but I have actually picked up one of the roosters to move him and he never even attempted to peck me or be aggressive in any way. I had grasshoppers so bad last year that they demolished the most beautiful garden I had raised in 6 years; thus, the guineas this year. There have been only three problems with having guineas that I have seen thus far. One: the roosters canchase each other to total exhaustion. One ended up in our dog watering trough with only the beek sticking out of the water. My husband just happened by and saw him; dryed him with a towel, and left him shaking and cold to the touch, under a heat lamp for the night. We totally expected to find him dead the next day since fowl don’t do well with water and cold. He was sitting on top of the sacks in the feed room where we had left him the next morning! They are tough! TWO: contrary to what you may read, they WILL peck pumpkin plants, squash, squash, and tender young corn to death! I finally had to cover my dessicated plants with chicken wire to protect them. When I let them out of their coop, I have to shoo them away from the squash and pumpkin plants or they will peck them just to peck them as they go by! THREE: they are difficult at first (for the first week or so that you let them free-roam) to get back into the coop at night. Remember, we got fully-grown guineas that had been at home with other people for several years, and then uprooted and brought to our house. I left them in the coop for the first two and a half weeks. Then, I let only one out for about an hour and got him back in. The next day I let two out for about two hours. The next day I let four out for about three hours. Then I held my breath and let all nine out for the afternoon. After that, I was able to let them out for all day. They now start making their way back to their coop (and the feed I put out for them in the late afternoon) at dusk. So far, I still have all nine. However, the first week or so, be prepared to pull your hair out since they will walk right in front of the door to the coop and pass it by as though they have never been in there in their life! It took two hours one time during that first week to get all of them in. Now it takes about 10 minutes if they don’t all go in on their own volition. They are fearless and curious. They will follow our mower (pulled by a four-wheeler) even though it is loud and obviously potentially dangerous. They don’t like it when our male cats fight and raise a terrible ruckus. The first time they did that, the cats were so startled that they both quit fighting and took off across the pasture. They aren’t particularly afraid of the dogs. They even light on top of our upland bird dog’s cage and drive her crazy! We don’t intend to let her out when the guineas are out because I am sure she is fast enough to catch one of the guineas not paying attention. They kill and eat snakes. We have found three snakes already with their heads bit off and most of the snake missing due to bird bites! I live in rattlesnake country and I love this guinea trait! All-in-all, I love these funny, loud, tick, grasshopper, and snake-eating fowl. Hope I helped you learn a bit about these creatures, and good luck if you decide to raise or get some. p.s. I forgot to mention that we also bought another 20 keets and have not lost a single little one since we received them. They will be joined by 6 turkey chicks in a week. This may get down-right comical before it is over.

  151. bb says:

    I have been raising 4 guineas in an enclosed coop in the City for a year now. These are urban guineas. I always figured that I had 1 male and 3 females. After a year now, I still have not seen any eggs on the way. Was I wrong? ARe they all males?.

    I understand that there are several ways to tell between males and females, but after considering all these indicators, I am not any closer to know for sure.

    They are very noisy for sure, and finally somebody just complained to the City and I have been warned to get rid of them or else…by the City Inspector. So I am looking for a new home for them where they will be happy. Any suggestions?

  152. Poultry Problems says:

    Horrible experience with guineas that we not ours. The neighbors bought 8 and would not keep them in a coup. They aslo would not feed them, instead wanting them to eat grub worms and ticks. The guineas would not stay in their yard, they prefered our yard. They constantly used our carport as a restroom. The carport led directly to the front door of our house. The guineas also relentlessly chased our 2 year old at the time to the point she was afraid of going outside. We spoke with the neighbors who downplayed our concerns. We suggested since they had coups maybe catching them after they went to roost and put them in the coups. The time we had that conversation was at dusk, and the guineas were roosting in trees visible to all of us. They claimed they were unaware of where the guineas roosted. We showed them by pointing to the trees in the left. They looked and walked off without saying anything. Needless to say the guineas disappeared shortly afterward. Now they have a freerange rooster doing the same thing. We can’t win for losing! Ugh!

  153. Herd says:

    I am convinced that guinea fowl each have one neuron which they contribute to a collective group. A group of 5 guinea fowl have 5 neurons and are 5 times smarter than a single guinea fowl.

    When 3 get on one side of the fence and 2 on the other it usually isn’t a problem, they will squack for a while but then the 2 will fly over and join the 3.

    If however there is the same number on each side they will be there to sundown trying to decide what to do.

  154. Maddie says:

    We have a small egg farm and my father was given a guinea hen to raise. We named her Beatrice. Beatrice was VERY and I mean VERY loud. She wakes me up in the morning sometimes. Beatrice would also escape from our property and run into the woods. One time she went missing for two days. Something interesting that happened was her eggs that she laid. The shell is much more stiffer and hard than a chicken egg. We love Beatrice very much but she is annoying, rude and loud. But still pretty cute with her big body and tiny head! Beatrice has also been seen eating frogs and mice… Wondering if anyone else had this? I don’t mind her killing mice, but the frogs don’t do anything wrong!

  155. Alisha says:

    I love love love guineas so much and can’t wait to have them again. Yes, they’re noise, it’s why they are called “watchdogs”. If you’ve got a good flock then there is a reason they are screaming. I watched out old flock run off a bobcat one day that was after our chickens. If they had screamed I would have ended up face to face with him (I was on my way to the chicken coop). I watched as these crazy birds harassed that cat so much that you could see the irritation as it ran off. They eat snakes, wood ticks and other critters. They’ll let you know when a car pulls in, or a stranger is in the woods.
    That being said, we had another flock that were complete morons and they all got picked off by coons pretty fast. They would actually get lost in the woods and would scream until my husband chased them back into the yard.
    This time we’ll get babies and raise them in the chicken coop just to make sure they know the area as home. Can’t wait.

  156. Alisha says:

    Oh, and they’re HORRIBLE mothers. Nothing like chickens. They will walk into the woods with 6 babies and come back with 5. Go out with 5 and come back with 3. I’m convinced they just don’t think to check and make sure all the babies are with them. Ours laid their eggs in the woods and would just forget them.

  157. Barret Lyne says:

    I have over 700 free ranging Guineas on my ranch and I love every one of them! I live in a heavily hunted, poached, and trapped area and my free ranging Guineas are about the only wildlife I get to enjoy on a daily basis. If you do not want yours, email me and I will provide them a home in the wilderness on the Navasota river in Brazos county, Texas.

  158. Lawrence says:

    So I started raising Guineas for meat about a year ago and I can attest to the nice and stupidity. haha.. Fortunately, I have them fenced in on about half an acre of land so they don’t fly away and not return or get eaten by fox. About 500 are 10 weeks old and 200 who are 3 weeks old. I just bought 50 chicken birds for home use and was thinking of putting them together when they go older. After reading this article, I may have to house them separately.

  159. Thomas says:

    I have only 2 with my chickens, and they do go at a chicken over scraps I throw in the run. They are kinda stupid and make that horrible screeching sound. When they are happy and not alarmed they make a peep sound. I would not want any more of them and the ones I have think they are chickens same as the ducks that were raised with the chickens. Ducks can’t roost so I have a chicken that sleeps on the ground in the coop with them.

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