Guinea Fowls and Chickens

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5 years 7 months ago #543048 by BlueApple
Hi there!

So after months of searching, we finally found our little piece of paradise of almost 8 hectares. And we would like to bring guinea fowls as well as chickens on the property.

As this is our first time having a lifestyle property, I was worried about what would attack guinea fowls and chickens? I know stoats are a problem. I'm expecting to guinea fowls to roost in trees at night after their 6 weeks of being cooped up. For the chickens can I let them free range all day as long as I bring them in at night, and how long do they need to be cooped up so they know this is their home and are certain to return at night?

Any tips on making sure they live as long as possible without getting murdered by anything?

Thanks! :silly:

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5 years 7 months ago #543051 by Nora
Replied by Nora on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Stoats, ferrets, weasels cue somebody for how to tell the difference. Have traps set all the time for constant control. Make sure the coop has 13mm wire all over it and closes completely at night to keep the beasts out.

Hawks. Trees provide cover.

Dogs. Fence out.

Two weeks is long enough to coop them up and have them know where home is before free ranging in day. Best to have a perimeter fence to limit possible nesting places so you can find eggs. Chickens and guinea fowl will both roost in the house by themselves at night. You just have to shut the door yourself behind them at dusk, or get an auto door controller which opens and shuts according to the amount of light available.

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5 years 7 months ago #543053 by BlueApple
Replied by BlueApple on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Hi Nora,

Thanks for your answer! Will definitely invest in a trap for the stoats and cousins. Hopefully the cat learns to hunt them as well. I know she likes to hunt rats above anything else.

We have a perimeter fence, but it's just for livestock , so not really small enough to stop any birds from walking through. Perhaps we can add some chicken wire to a smaller area. Will have to see.

Thanks a lot!

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5 years 7 months ago #543054 by kate28
Replied by kate28 on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Do you already own the birds?
I thought I wanted Guinea Fowls........then I visited someone & heard what they sound like. OMG hell no!

My chooks had been free range for all their lives (oldest one is around 4yrs old) they had a house but chose to sleep in the trees and lay all over the property. I bought a good coop a few months ago, locked most of them in for 3 weeks but couldnt catch the last two girls. Time came to let them out & they went straight back up the trees to sleep & laid the eggs in the garden. Next I caught them all & locked them away for 5 weeks. I then let them out in the late afternoon and the first night they all went back to bed. Great! The following night 6 made it back to bed & 3 didn't. Those three were back in the trees & then laid their eggs in the garden the next day. Grrrr!!
My suggestion is to buy hens that are used to being caged & were not totally free range.

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5 years 7 months ago #543056 by BlueApple
Replied by BlueApple on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Hello Kate,

I hand raised a guinea keet last year in south africa when my boyfriend's cats caught one out in the wild and brought it home. We saved it and hand raised it. They do make weird noises, but they are so funny also. I would be getting geese if I wasn't getting guineas so they would be loud too anyway... hopefully on 8 hectares they won't be staying right under our windows :lol:

After what you wrote, I guess it's going to be luck dictating who sleeps where. I dont want to run all over the place to find eggs, and I'm also worried about predators like stoats that might attack them...

I guess I will just have to try my best and see what happens!

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5 years 7 months ago - 5 years 7 months ago #543068 by Furball
Replied by Furball on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
There's a predator you've missed off the list: Feral cats
If you live miles from anywhere then Timms traps baited with meat will kill them. If you have adjacent neighbours whose cats wander, then you can either use a live catch trap, or warn the neighbours that you will be putting out kill traps in a week and it's their choice to let their cat wander or not...
Last edit: 5 years 7 months ago by Furball.

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5 years 7 months ago #543077 by BlueApple
Replied by BlueApple on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Hi furball,

Killing cats is completely against my ethics. I have 6 chihuahuas , 1 golden retriever and 1 cat, and I'm definitely not going to be planting traps around my property that could accidentally kill one of my fur babies. I could put a trap to just catch them and then give them back to their owners, or deliver them to the spca if they take feral cats. ( not sure about that)

That's actually one of my fears, that someone kills my cat. We rescued her as a kitten from a pile of trash in a third world country and flew her to New Zealand to save her life which cost us around 2000 Nzd, and I'm scared someone decides to shoot her. She's actually a really good rat hunter. She's not interested in bird though. And she would definitely never kill a chicken as she only weighs about 2.5 kilos and is a very fearful cat.

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5 years 7 months ago #543090 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Two facts: Feral cats are not like your cat [those that are have starved], and giving cats to the SPCA means they have to kill them [not what the SPCA was set up to do!] If, like me, you can't face doing it, pay for your vet to euthanise them.

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5 years 7 months ago #543091 by BlueApple
Replied by BlueApple on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
I admit that I'd have a hard time doing that, but it would be my heart talking, not my head. I understand they are feral and need to be controlled for the sake of our biodiversity. If I ever catch one in a trap, I will most likely do as you've suggested and take it to be euthanized.

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5 years 7 months ago - 5 years 7 months ago #543111 by Furball
Replied by Furball on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Hello Blueapple
I appreciate your love of cats - note that I only advocate the use of kill traps if you live far away from domestic moggies, or have warned the owners thereof so they have a reasonable choice on their cat's safety.

If you have such a beloved cat, then I'd strongly recommend thinking about making it an indoor cat for two reasons:

1) Wildlife well-being - You don't know what else it's catching apart from rats, (and it will be catching birds and lizards, just not bringing them home)

2) Your cat's well-being - Though you yourself might only use live-catch traps, you don't know what your neighbours are doing. They may set traps without telling you. They may shoot over their land in twilight. They may run bait control programmes for possums rabbits or rats, and if your cat catches and eats a poisoned animal it will suffer secondary poisoning. A roaming cat can get locked in other peoples sheds or attacked by dogs. Also, if your cat encounters a feral cat it may have a nasty fight and be hurt. Indoor cats are healthier and live longer than ones left to roam, so you're actually caring more for your cat by ensuring it has a happy life indoors.
Last edit: 5 years 7 months ago by Furball.

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5 years 7 months ago #543113 by BlueApple
Replied by BlueApple on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Hi furball,

Yes I agree that it's actually better for the cat to be indoors. This cat is hard to keep inside as she was from feral parents and goes nuts if locked inside ( she got caught by some dogs that caught her by the tail a few years back, so she very rarely strays more than 100 metres from the house). I think the best solution would be to build her a little run so she can be contained but still get sunshine, and observe wildlife. Also will be good for my sister's cat when she visits from Auckland ( she has a ragdoll cat and they are much too soft to be left outside alone)

Otherwise walking my cat on a leash once a day can also be an option ( I promise I'm not a crazy cat lady, I'm actually more of a horse and dog person :P )

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5 years 7 months ago - 5 years 7 months ago #543115 by BlueApple
Replied by BlueApple on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
Picture of the cat in question.

Seeing how bright her color is, she would be an easy target for anyone. :dry:
Attachments:
Last edit: 5 years 7 months ago by BlueApple.

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5 years 7 months ago #543120 by Furball
Replied by Furball on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
There's nothing wrong with being a crazy cat lady. Own it :-)
Cat runs can be pretty glam, and you can get really creative with them to give your cat exercise and stimulation - Check out the pics on this site for some DIY ideas. catnip.com.au/gallery/

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5 years 7 months ago #543129 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Guinea Fowls and Chickens
I agree indoor cats may be parasite free and not get into fights, so may be considered safer, and of course pose no risk to wild life. But I would question whether being indoors all the time is healthy from the cats point of view. I lived in Brisbane and knew several people that kept indoor cats and all of them displayed neurotic tendencies, from defecating in wardrobes, to pacing, yowling and licking themselves bald. One owner got a run but by that time the cat was agoraphobic and panicked if put in the run. They need to express their natural behaviour so confinement must be carefully though out.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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