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Keeping Guinea Fowl with Chickens: 9 Things You Must Know

guinea fowl and chickens

It’s becoming more and more common to raise Guinea fowl with chickens. So we have put together some helpful information for you regarding these birds and what sort of room-mates they make for your chickens.

Guinea Fowl with Chickens

It’s important to know that Guinea fowl and chickens are vastly different in their lifestyle and habits. This may sound like stating the obvious, but you must understand that they are very other birds indeed.

This article will help you understand the dynamics of these two very different birds.
It is possible to keep the two together, but it will take some adjustments on your behalf.

If you expect the guineas to just ‘fit in,’ you are in for a big surprise.

Domesticated and Wild Birds

Guinea Fowl
Guinea FowlThe Guinea fowl still runs wild in its native land of Africa, where it is pretty prolific. The Guinea fowl has resisted all attempts at domestication.

Guinea fowl have not been ‘improved’ much by humanity to any significant degree, making them incredibly hardy and relatively disease-free.

They do not need people to thrive – they can manage well on their own. They feed themselves very well, and although a good percentage of the flock may succumb to predators or disease, they continue to breed in sufficient numbers to maintain flock integrity.


The chicken that we all know and love is, to a great extent, a very domesticated creature, even the flighty breeds that would prefer no humans around.

The process of domestication has been centuries in the making – a slow progression to the point of ‘farm bird’ and pet.

We have changed the chicken in many ways, and the chicken has come to rely on humans to a great extent. After all, we feed them, house them and care for them. It is a somewhat symbiotic relationship.

Introducing Guinea Fowl to a Coop

If you intend to keep the guinea fowl from wandering off, it is best to raise them in a house that will be their ‘forever house.

Guinea Fowl you move them from one place to another, you run a considerable risk of having them wander off, never to return.

If you raise the keets (babies) with chicks, you will stand a better chance of them not wandering off as they will bond with the chicks.

When they are ready to be let out into the yard, there is a whole process to follow if you expect them to come home.

Most agree that you let out only one keet at first. It will wander around a bit but won’t go far because of the flock mentality.

It will learn its’ way around the coop and surrounding area but will not stray far from its flock-mates.

The next day you let out two and so on. The reasoning is that they have now imprinted ‘home’ on the coop.

They dislike entering dark places at the roosting time, so a small night light in the coop will entice them in – along with some ration and cracked grains.

Don’t be surprised if your guineas start roosting in trees or on top of the barn. It’s what they frequently do. They can fly very well for about 500 feet, so high places are well within reach.

Feeding and Dietary Differences of  Guinea Fowl and Chickens

Wild Guinea FowlTurkey starter (21-23%) for the first four weeks and then 18% feed should be given as needed. This is assuming you are incubating eggs or have managed to corral some very small keets.

You should never give the medicated feed to Guineas since it is highly toxic to them.
Maintenance feed can be a regular chicken ration.

However, guinea fowl are incredibly self-sufficient in food, gathering much of what they need while ranging. This makes them very thrifty fowl to keep.

They will rid your property of ticks, small snakes, small rodents, and insects in short order. Guinea Fowl are known for eradicating ticks very effectively. They also eat weeds, seeds, and other undesirable things.

The Pecking Order and Assertiveness Between Guinea Fowl and Chickens

Male Guineas can be very assertive, especially if you have roosters in your flock. The Guinea males will run off the roosters in short order.

They may harass him, deprive him of food and fight constantly. It is not a harmonious relationship.

They can also be pushy with smaller birds, although some of this behavior is modified if they are raised with chicks.

Although Guineas are monogamous, there is the occasional mating of Guinea and chicken, resulting in sterile offspring.

In a small farm/backyard setup, many folks agree that a ratio of one male to five female Guineas is acceptable.

Intelligence Levels of Guinea Fowl

The guinea fowl was last in the line when it came to intelligence, and the bucket was almost empty. Many owners have said that it is a wonder the birds have survived at all, given their intelligence levels.

They will roost in places where they get picked off by owls or raccoons, nest in dangerous spots, and do other suicidal things like crossing roads when cars are coming; they are not bright.

In Australia, they are known as Goonie birds – very appropriate, we think!


Chicken with Guinea FowlWe tend to think of chickens as a flock, which they are. They range out together and spend time with their companions, but they also can do things independently.

Guinea hens can function well as both an independent unit or as a flock – this behavior is natural to them in the wild.

The guinea takes ‘flocking’ to a whole new dimension – where one goes, they all go (a bit like sheep)! It’s like watching a small, gray wave cross the lawn.

If one gets separated from the flock, it will make a lot of noise until the community comes to find it!

Roaming and Free Range

Guineas can be difficult to confine. They fly well, so fencing doesn’t stop them. You would likely have to build a total enclosure – but then guineas don’t thrive if confined.

Their natural behavior is to wander and roam at will, and they do. As we already mentioned, they are more likely to return to base if raised with chicks, but this is not a given.

Enticements such as feed and water in their shelter area will encourage them to come home but don’t always work.

Noise Levels of Guinea Fowl

Two Guinea FowlAll guinea keepers will tell you – guineas are LOUD!

This can be annoying for your neighbors, especially if they are close; they are likely banned if you live within city or town limits.

Generous folks will tell you they are great ‘watchdogs.’ Other, perhaps more realistic folks, will notify you they will alarm for a plane flying over, the neighbor’s dog barking, or because a leaf fluttered by.

Initially, this will startle your chickens, it might even put them off lay for a short time, but they should adjust eventually.

Guinea Fowl Egg Laying and Mothering Skills

Guineas tend to lay eggs communally – where one lays, they all apply. A clutch can be as many as forty eggs!

Mothers may brood communally, each taking turns in sitting on the eggs.

The mother will sit for 28 days, assuming she didn’t nest beside a raccoon den or other such hazardous spot. She will be guarded by her mate, who will keep an eye open for danger during the daytime. At night she is on her own.

When the keets hatch, she will march them back to the flock – over the hill, down dale, through water…it’s a minor miracle that any survive since the keets are susceptible to cold and dampness.

When raised in the wild, a large percentage of keets succumb to Mother Nature.
Once back with the flock, she is just as likely to forget she now has babies and will run with the community.

If the keets cannot keep up with the flock, they will be picked off by any predators – I suppose this is what makes them so very hardy.

Summary of Raising Guinea Fowl and Chickens

Many folks have kept guineas and hens in a relatively peaceful co-existence, other folks have given up on the Guineas and either sold them off or the birds wandered away.

Remember, chickens will naturally go to roost at night, whereas Guineas are very independent; they will not go to roost in the coop because you expect them to.

You may succeed to some extent if you are prepared to put in a great deal of time and effort to caring and working with them.

Guineas are known to be relatively long-lived – they can live 10-15 years. We found that somewhat surprising given that they are not the most intelligent bird out there.

Many owners have said they would not be without these odd creatures as they are not only great for the garden, but they are also quite tasty as table-fare and have vibrant eggs too.

Do you keep Guineas? Let us know how they get on with your chickens in the comments section below…

READ NEXT: How To Raise Chicken And Quail Together

Keeping Guinea Fowl

89 thoughts on “Keeping Guinea Fowl with Chickens: 9 Things You Must Know

  1. I have 5 Hens and 4 Guinea’s. They get on together famously. I have the reverse, my Guinea”s will not wander, where the Hens go the Guinea’s will follow. At night the G’s will roost on the Hen house. I can sit and watch them for hours, they are the funniest Bird I have ever seen. I would recommend them to anyone who has Chickens. Cheers Danny Roberts.

      1. My chicks and Guineas grew Up together.. .
        Along with Their food .
        They love Treats .Like Dry and canned corn.
        They will Eat Watermelon slices out of my hand .
        But No touchie. 😀
        Pet your Chicks Daily ,When small
        ,then they get used to being petted.

    1. I was wondering when I can let my Keets out in the chicken coop with the older hens and the roosters I don’t want anyone to get hurt but I did have four guinea fowl and three regular chickens that are in the house. May 11 19 they were a week old. Just over a month old.

      1. put them in a cage in the chicken lot for a few days and then turn them loose shouldn’t have much trouble that way the chicken will be use to them and vice versa by then

    2. Thanks for sharing y.Danny! Very intriguing about them following the hens. I have 3 and what I hoped to be 1 hen but I’m suspecting it may be a rooster..raised together. My bfs dog killed my pet chicken and feeling bad this was the replacement.

    3. My father bought me 4 grown G’s and they have killed 3 of my smaller chickens. They aren’t in the chicken coop but still go after my smaller chickens. Any ideas??

      1. if the Guineas are cocks they will kill chickens and also guinea hens, this happened to me and I realized that there were too many cocks in the flock and got rid of all but 1 of them, now my guinea hens and chickens are much happier.

        1. Diane what signs that the Guinea is Male and attacking your chickens. I just lost 6 chickens in one night. I was thinking it was in the weasel family as one was decapitated and the others all had wounds to the back and side of their necks. This is not something a male Guinea would inflict correct? I think my Guinea is female but I’m not 100% sure. I appreciate any feedback you can provide. They all got along free ranging and in their run space as well as their coop for over 6 months together.

  2. I now have 13 guinea Fowl reared over about twelve months by Cochin Bantams. They dominate their mothers and will hang out with them for months longer than their own chickens would. They range over about five acres to eat insects and seeds. When they are a few weeks old the keets fly into a tree to sleep but find their mothers the next morning for foraging. I rarely see snakes in the yard now and as a group the Guineas will even challenge quite large sand goannas and send them on their way. Quite enjoying their company and they get on well and feed with the visiting Pretty Face Wallabys, and resident Pilgrim Geese and Cochin Bantams

  3. We have Guineas and we love having them. We have chickens sit on the eggs and raise them, which works out wonderfully. We have found that our bantams make the best moms.

  4. Guineas are an independent bird. They eat with my chickens, but roost in trees at night. They go off into the woods to lay eggs and hatch their young. I saw a hawk attacking a mother and her chicks. the chicks dove into the grass and hid until mom called them out. Great for letting you know when someone is coming up the drive. Very loud

  5. I have 5 hens, 4 guineas, and 2 roosters. Right now I have 1 hen and 2 guineas sitting on about 25-30 eggs mixed in one laying box (actually a horse corner feeder). The box is about 3 feet off the ground in the barn and I’m not sure what to do. I was going to put some straw bails under the box to lessen the height for hatch time but never is the nest left alone. Any suggestions? 1 week left till the 21 day mark.

      1. I have 3 Turkins, 4 astralorps all pullets around 13-15 weeks old. I just got 2 keets. 5 days ago. When I can I introduce them? I live in town but have a privacy fence around my yard.

    1. I have Guinea and Chickens nesting in the same box about 20 eggs. Do I have to worry when the babies hatch together?

    1. We have two Guineas (both boys!) 3 hens and 5 week old chicks. The two boys scrap over breeding rights. The older chap doesn’t isn’t interested in the ladies, the young pretender is enjoying the company of one of our hens. The chicks are just developing their wattles and sadly the welsummer that we really wanted to keep is a boy 🙁 should i risk keeping him or will it all end in blood. They are not free ranging yet (chicks) still in run with momma hen.

  6. I have production red chickens (hens) and two guinea fowl who are 18 weeks old now, and I think I have made a mistake by making them into pets. I let the chickens and guineas free range twice a day, at least for an hour at a time. I have two runs for them to stay in during the day and two coops for night. The guineas won’t eat bugs and won’t leave my patio unless they follow us out into the yard, to the barn, or to the field. I can pet them as easily as I do my chickens. BUT I need them to start hunting for bugs and not just sit on my patio furniture!! Are they just too young? Or have I spoiled them rotten?

    1. Wow, sounds like you feed them on your patio? That could be a sticky walkway, eh? Lol
      I have a mixed flock of Gunieas and hens that have a love/hate relationship, to say the least! Ten Guineas, eight chickens and one Rooster. Most of them were eggs together.
      Male guineas will chase off the little fluffers by stamping a foot a them and a hiss click noise. If the fluffers we’re just cracked out of an incubaitor, they will need a lot of attention from you, or an older female hen or Guinea to adopt them.
      The first spring/summer I had my flock, I made the mistake of giving them a piece of bread outside my back door. Suddenly, I had a screeching awking gaggle that crapped everywhere, living on my back porch!! WTD? WTD?
      I added a yard attached to their hutch that is big enough to feed my flock in during winter or yucky storms. I started tossing out a few meal worms to entice the guineas, and the chickens love them!!
      Anyway, everyone runs into the enclosure (we call the netted enclosure the coop) as soon as they see me or hear me rattle the worn can. It only took once, and they are usually in the coop an hour before sunset, waiting on me.

  7. We purchased 10 keets in the early summer and introduced them to an established flock of layers, a rooster, and a pair of ornery Chinese geese. Unbelievably, all get along, or I should say – tolerate one another. The sole rooster (Ameraucana) is not the least bit put out by the Guineas, nor are they by him. However one female Guinea appears to have been shunned by the rest of the Guineas so she tends to hang out in the coop with the layers (Ameraucanas and Barnevelders). However she does return to the Guinea shelter at night, which is separate from the coop. Recently, the Guineas discovered a porcupine traversing the property so they began harassing it! Had to separate them from it so it could escape. On another occasion, 8 wild turkeys showed up and the Guineas were so taken with them that when the turkeys departed, the Guineas accompanied them! Had to retrieve them after following their calls through a wooded area to track them down and turn them around. Needless to say, it has been an interesting adventure…so far!

  8. We have 4 birds, 2 female and 2 male. A few weeks ago I heard them sounding off, and looked out the window. One of the males was standing up nose to nose to a very bewildered coyote at our mailbox!! He ended up chasing that coyote back where it came from! These birds are simply amazing…very loud, but would not want to be without them. And yes, they do not do well raising keets.?

  9. We raised 4 guineas with four chickens. Just lately, this Feb 2019, I notice a male guinea roughing my chickens, pecking at them and rushing them. Is this normal? Should I separate them? The were raised together and all go into the hen pen at night. But I am worried about my chickens being bullied.

    1. Its territorial pecking order, give it a little more time, but keep a close eye. They should find a balance in no time.

      1. I forgot to mention he might just be trying to get her to mate with him. Guineas are monogomous-typically one male has a harem of up to five fems that are His. Lol Male guineas don’t sneak next door to have flings with pretty hens, like roosters do.

    2. Yep, your chickens are being bullied.
      With mine, it progressed to chasing and pulling feathers out to holding them down and pulling multiple feathers out! I had sprayed my hens to keep guineas away, but the only thing that worked was booting my guineas out of the hutch and coop. They prefer to be outside and were only frustrated because it had been so cold. I fed them, but… Now, they go in n out of the coop and hutch, will come when I call, no bully’s, and they roost on top of the hutch and coop netting. Sometimes, when you’re a wild thing, frustration at being cooped up is let out on rest of flock.
      In my experience, Guineas don’t participate in the pecking order of chickens. They have their own rules and while they can walk n talk chicken, they are still guineas!!

  10. I have just started the project of guineas fowl by giving two sitting hens the eggs of fowl and they hatched all as I gave each hen ten eggs now I have twenty guins that I hope to monitor and learn the behavior very well but so far they are fairing very well.

  11. I have 13 hens and one rooster, I want to get some guinea hens. How do I introduce them to my older chickens? Can I put them in there as babies? Will the rooster hurt them?

    1. There will be pecking orders taking place with a rooster on hand, and the hens may also conduct pecking order but with a rooster it may be more formal. I would use the cage method and put your guinea hens in a cage inside the run and have the flock get used to them for a few days and then slowly introduce them physically.

    2. Never put small chicks or keets in with older birds. You have to wait until they can fight back or get away. Guineas don’t go by the pecking order like chickens.

  12. Is it necessary to keep adult guineas away from newly hatched keets & should hen & keets be kept in coop for a while

  13. I just picked up 28 Guinea Geets this morning – they are 2 days old. I have them in a brooder, and I’m wondering when I should introduce them to my other chickens. I have 15 five-week old chickens, no adults. I don’t really know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Jacqui Myers

  14. Hello, I just hatched both Guinea Keets and Bobwhite Quail Chicks. I’m brooding them in separate stock tanks but when they’re 3+ weeks old, could I coop them together? Unfortunately I don’t have separate coops, only one, which is a 12’x32′ old enclosed shed. I was hoping that with 384 sq. feet there would be plenty of room for 20 Guineas and about 50 Quail. I plan to release the Quail on our farm when they’re 6 weeks old and would keep the Guineas cooped up til’ they were 8-10 weeks old.

  15. Interesting. I have 3 guniea fowls. 1male 2 females in a 12 m² area. Would they thrive & can I leave them to free range. What are the consequences of confining them

    1. Guinea fowl prefer free ranging and scavenging, they would survive being confined, but would thrive as free range.

  16. I picked up 3, 6 month old guniea hens (1F 2M). They had “bloodied” the ducks they were living with. So I was concerned of introducing them to my 5 chickens (speckled Sussex). It turned out the chickens were the ones to chase them at feeding time. I put them in a pen for a week then let them out, they never cam back to it but spend there nights in spruce trees, but come to feed every day. They lived the winter (Maine), now I have 5 keets hatched by a chicken. The guinea hen and chicken fought over the nest for weeks,sometime sitting on it together. But the chicken won out and the female Guinea has gone of to another nest. No roosters.

  17. We now have 7 adult guineas, 9 chickens, and 39 pullets/cockerels. Our guineas were raised with our chickens and have done great. They are flighty still but when I give them dried worms they recognize the cup and come running along with the chickens. I have been trying to test everyone out to see how safe my chicks will be with the older ones. So far the guineas seem to be just curious about the chicks. I haven’t left them alone with the chicks yet.

    1. This is an additional note about my guineas. There are two guineas taking turns sitting on eggs inside the coop. There have been some very hot days when they have not been sitting on the nest but then they will go back to it later. Is this normal? Wondering if the eggs will hatch at all! We have quit letting our chickens/guineas outside to roam because we lost a lot of them last fall. We have a very big barn and the guineas roost in the rafters now.

  18. I have one male guinea with 6 hens and a rooster that was “gifted” to me. He is the funniest bird I have ever had. He walks on my porch and looks through the window and calls for me for treats. Recently two of my hens became broody and my guinea would actually sit on the eggs next to the hen. When the first baby was hatched he flapped his wings at my dog when she’s got too close to it. Another baby was just born today and he was sitting on it next to the broody hen. I have had some guineas in the past with my chickens l, but they have never acted like him. It must be because he is the only guinea.

    1. I have 4 males and 1 female. She disappeared for a while and then reappeared with tiny keets! For safety I caught her and the babes up and put them in a large 6 ft cage inside my enclosed chicken run. (Our last keets got eaten by feter male cats).
      As soon as I open the coop/run in the mornings the male guineas come in and spend the day around the cage. It’s like they are protecting them. In evenings they go roost in their tree. They come back the next day. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  19. I had 6 chicks and 6 guineas together for about 2 monthes. I have found 2 cannablized (dead) chicks. I think its the guineas. Time to let them out?

    1. This can happen and at times it is because they are protecting their space, the chicks would have had to stay away from the guinea’s laying nest. If you are not wanting this I would look into rehoming them. Guinea’s can be unpredictable with what shenanigans they get into given they are kept to keep small pests out of your coop.

      1. I have a small flock of 27 guineas which I rear for meat but mainly to sell off the keets. I love game birds especially guineas and turkeys. I brood keets together with turkeys so I am able to feed them a game bird starter. Each species finds its turf so no problem while housing them together.
        I love guineas but I can do without their noise.

  20. Hello! This is a great place for information, and I’ve been trying to find out everything I can about Guineas since I wound up with one in my chicken flock.
    The first week of June, I went to the feed store and got 8 chicks (mixed flock), then got 2 more the next week. A week or so after that, I heard a strange call in my yard and went out to find a single Guinea keet (about 2 weeks old, I think)! No idea where she/he came from. Put her/him in with the chicks and she/he immediately started eating and made what I assumed were happy sounds.
    Fast forward to about a week ago and I noticed my 11 week old keet was chasing one of my pullets. The keet (Victoria) would chase her and peck her once on the back, then chase her back another way and peck her again. I only witnessed this happening twice that day, and only two chases and two pecks, nothing incessant. The next day there was a bit of chasing and just running around – not too much, a sprint across the run then back again.
    Naturally, I got worried thinking my keet might be turning aggressive. I posted my dilemma on another chicken forum and most people told me to re-home my Guinea, but I’ve also read that sometimes they mellow out.
    Of course, I’ve been torn and a nervous wreck ever since. The chasing/pecking only seemed to happen when I went out there with them (I go out in the morning and late afternoon. I work from 12 – 5:30, but I would peek out there from the window in the morning and never witnessed any chasing or crazy behavior, but who knows what goes on before I get home).
    I’ve been checking the pullet each day and she doesn’t have any wounds or visible missing feathers. Just today, Victoria the Guinea chased the pullet again and pecked her, but just the once, and Victoria also pecked at two other chickens this time (and later saw her pecking gently at the face of one of the other pullets).
    Victoria is pretty tame – I can hold her and pet her, even though she tries to break free at first – and she’s only ever known the chickens. I’ve also seen her sticking her head under one of the chickens as if cuddling under them like a chick under a mother hen, and she pants when I pet her neck (saw a video of someone petting a Guinea hen’s neck and the hen started panting, so I was wondering what that means).
    I’ve been told my keet is probably a male (based on the behavior) but is there a chance Victoria really is a pushy female? I heard they are hard to tell apart. She started calling a few weeks ago, and she’s been making alarm sounds and the single-syllable call (I think) – no ‘buck-wheat’ sound yet, but it isn’t constant and she’s actually been pretty quiet compared to what I’ve read, even when birds fly overhead.
    So, I’m wondering if I’m worrying too much (that this is just normal behavior and so long as no one is getting injured it will pass) or if re-homing is the best thing to do. I’d really like to keep her/him because I’m really attached, but I also don’t want my hen to end up hurt or worse, dead.
    I have a side compartment built inside the run area (about 4′ x 8′) that is currently housing my one older hen who is still getting used to the new chickens. If things got bad, could I just keep Victoria in there – so she can still see her flock but not cause any harm – or will she cry when it’s roosting time? They are currently in a coop/run set up that is about 150 sq. ft. and my dad and I plan on adding another 190 sq. ft. and I’m planning on building a chicken jungle gym. I have a few compartments attached to the coop/run, all adjacent to one another, so if I put her in one of those, she would still be within sight of her original flock of chickens.
    Sorry for the long post, but since this is my first experience with Guinea fowl, I am trying to educate myself as best I can. Thanks for any advice/personal experiences you can share with me!

    1. Hi Jenna!
      Most of the comments I recieve here are concerns about chickens getting fiesty with one another. There are a few articles that may give you some clarity but do realize that this is normal and bound to happen if you an avid chicken owner. To prevent this there is a proper way to introduce your new chickens to a flock. Read here: https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/how-to-introduce-new-chickens-to-your-existing-flock/
      Panting is a sign of heat exhaustion. Make sure you are keeping them cool with water and air flow in the coop.
      I would also recommend reading about the Pecking Order, a natural occurrence in owning a flock. https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/the-pecking-order/
      Here’s more on chicken bullying https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/chicken-bullying/
      But if you absolutely feel uncomfortable and have exhausted your options, re-home or create a separate space for her. She will acclimate to not being in the flock, just love her.

  21. I don’t have a comment, more of a concern. Three months ago, a Helmut headed Guinea hen arrived in our yard. We live in central Oregon, high desert. The weather is great for the bird now, but I am worried about the winter. Last year we had about 3 feet of snow in February lasting for about a month. It can get to 0 degrees, but not often and not for extended periods of time. We asked around the neighborhood if they know of someone who lost a guinea fowl but no one has claimed her. I am concerned about her living in cold weather. What should we do? Will she go away and find a warmer home? We really should not have her based on own home owners association. Any suggestions welcomed.

  22. How do you raise chicks and keets together if they require different food? I wanted to raise keets with my broiler chicks since i am short on coop space and the broilers would be butchered in a couple months. I am not sure how to handle the food situation. Any advice would be great.

  23. When my guineas were young occasionally the odd one wood roost above the shed in a tree, I would keep telling them to come down and throw sticks up at them and get them in the shed using arm signals and keep telling them “in yer go Chook” , eventually they grew out of it and stuck to roosting in the hen shed by themselves. Also when young the chickens would forage with them, Now they are all much older but they still often hang out together. In the day, you can tell the amount of bird danger that’s about by the severity / intensity of their alarm calls and if it carries on with intensity then i take a look in case its a fox etc. I use an electric fence at end of garden to stop foxes doing day raids and that has helped greatly. The guineas love grooming some of the chickens of fleas around their heads and chickens stay motionless for some minutes while a guinea fowl checks them over, Guineas love a small amount of millet and premium bird seed as a treat, the more millet content the better. but millet is not that good for them nutritionally so used as treat only. Their bond to a mother chicken kind of carries on even after she has left them and guineas remember her as their mum a long time after and guineas as a group flock around her sometimes like they are treating here as some kind of matriarch, They also can tend to do this with the oldest “head hen” of the chicken flock or the cockerel. I often think they are acknowledging their status or something, funny.
    The guinea hens can continue to make a repeated thwacking noise at night and I’ve heard in in the early hours of morning but luckily their shed is 300 feet away from any house so its not a problem.
    I really like keeping them and with 6 Embden Geese as well no one gets any further than the front gate before i know someones turned up.

  24. Hi, I am after advise about introducing two, 4 week old keet’s into my flock. I have four 7 week old chicks that although 3-4 times the size get along fine, but the mother hen is very protective and wants too attack the little keet’s that buzz about them like they are on speed.
    I have them in separate coops now and let them free range on alternative days.
    1 keet was blinded for 5 days from the first attack when it stuck it’s head through the mesh too try to join the chooks. The swelling and infection has mostly gone now.
    Any advise?

  25. – I have found that allowing a broody hen to sit on & raise keets is by far the best method (done it for years)…as they are more likely to survive with a hen mother, stay close to the chickens & accept the flock.
    -I also have a solid roofed aviary linked to the henhouse..which means the guineafowl can choose to sleep outside, but safely ..& generally do, in all weather!
    – Do have a very feisty male GF & a rooster who do tolerate each other …helped by introducing young GF to established rooster!!

  26. I really want to get guinea hens for tick control. we have 7 acres but the ticks are SO BAD. my major concern is that we have a lot of neighbors (with dogs). Even though we have plenty of land for guineas, is it hopeless to think they will stay on our land?

    1. We started with 10 guineas, they wandered the whole neighborhood. Then predators started picking them off. When it got down to 2 guineas they started to stay closer to home. We have only had one guinea for over a year now and he stays pretty much in our yard. The flock mentality seems to contribute to wandering, and maybe they needed more bugs for that many birds.

  27. I have 17 guineas and 21 chickens. All roost together in my very large coop, and free range together during the day. All put themselves to bed at dusk in the coop. Both guineas and chickens run to me whenever they see me. I kept the guineas penned within a large wire cage in the coop as they grew, and let them out to range with the chickens at about 5 months. I give them all some oats in the morning, as well as some chicken feed. They all get along. I’m surprised that this doesn’t seem to be the norm! The guineas are now laying eggs on the floor of the coop under the nesting boxes. Sounds like i’m very lucky!

  28. We have raised 4 guineas with 6 chicks. They remained separated in the same coop for 3 weeks and then let out to mingle. 1st few days hens not that happy but a week later all best friends. We let them out to free range after 4 weeks. They now think they are chickens. Insepera ble. Good but not what we intended. We wanted them to wander and clean up the property but they stay with the chickens in the free range area. They make NO NOISE at all, nothing, just a little chirp hear and there. Complete opposite of everything we have read. Sleep in the coop every night. Thinking of getting an older guinea to teach them how to be a real guinea ? Anyone with similar experience?

  29. I have three Guineas, 16 Ducks, eight turkeys, five geese, and about 30 chickens. For the most part everyone gets along and behaves. I’ve never had a problem with the Guineas bullying my chickens but hey first guinea has bullied my turkeys before. I have a seven year old Royal Palm tom who is my buddy. And the Guinea will not let any other Tom’s near him… He will chase them off and harass them until they leave. He has named himself the protector of my Tom. This guinea was also raised along with a female Duck… They were together for the first year and inseparable. That duck now runs like the Guineas do still three years later!

  30. I raised one guinea with my chicks last year. He turned out to be male and all the chicks hens. He picked out two hens he likes and “guards” them meticulously. I recently purchased a rooster for the remaining hens. The poor thing is tortured, chased, and harassed daily by the guinea. I also had an adult hen given to me recently. i had to return her the next day because the guinea chased the newcomer mercilessly. When one of “his” hens are in the chicken house on the nest, he flies to the top of the house and watches and shrieks until she is finished and comes back outside.
    He’s quite the guard for the whole yard. He sounds the alarm for any intruder: human, dog, buzzard overhead, etc. My dog can be in the house and when she hears the guinea, she’s learned to run out and see “who’s here.”

  31. I have a question. I have one keet that I have hatched from an incubator and have transferred to the brooder. I am worried that it is by alone. No signs of other eggs pipping now. Any advice?

  32. We inherited one line guinea hen. It just showed up at our back yard after a bad storm. This was 5 years ago. At that time we had about 6 hens and 1 rooster. They all got along okay but sometimes the guinea hen would attack the flock. We named him Phillip. After our hens and rooster died Phillip was all alone. He has never wandered off. Now we have a new flock and he hangs around with them but is very territorial with the rooster and especially around food. He occasionally attacks the hens and sometimes it’s seems very violent. Recently I have observed that Phillip lays down more and more. Is that part of the aging process? We enjoy watching them peck the ground. He is noisy when he hears unusual sounds like lawn mowers and hammering.

  33. I was worried about not keeping the Guineas contained and that they may fly away. The farmer that sold me the keets said to keep 2-3 of the guineas in the run or coop and let the others out. They will not stray and will come back to the coop or roost in nearby trees. Especially if there are treats that they like waiting for them. They are funny birds, though, and FAST.

  34. I raised 7 keets with 3 chicks. One blk/wht chick always hung with the keets and as they got older it almost seemed like the chick was their leader. Now about a month after they started free ranging (I coop at night) they will not let the chick anywhere near…they chase him off and peck at him. Any idea why? suggestions?

  35. We raised 3 keets with 3 ducklings together in the same brooder.. After a few weeks we raised 18 chickens separately from theM until they were the same size. The guinea hens and the 2 ducks and the drake go in a house at night separately from the chicken hen house. The guinea hens are usually with the ducks and drake sometimes alone by themselves but they do boy like to go far for too long. At night the guinea hens sometimes will be the first to go in the house and sometimes it takes a little bit longer than the ducks. The guinea hens really don’t roost, it is comical that they sometimes act more like the ducks. The guineas do interact with the chickens but not as much as they do the ducks and drake. Recently we got 6 more keets with 18 more chicks and hoping they will adjust to the flock.

  36. I am having great trouble with my guinea. I originally had a dozen chickens and about 8 guineas that were incubated and raised together. The guineas would nest above the coop at night and hang out in the coop with the chickens during the day. I had a predator issue (I think an owl) when they were still young and now I’m down to just one guinea with the dozen chickens and she seems hearty… doubt a predator will get her at this point. She’s pretty much only in the chicken coop now, and stays inside with them at night as well. She’s completely converted to chicken…. but she’s a bully! She is pecking my hens something awful to where most of them are completely bald on their backsides. I’ve got them all in aprons now to help, but she still finds a spot to grab them such as their wings which are now becoming more raw as well. I can’t cover my coop and force her to stay out. How do I stop her from brutalizing my poor hens? Her and the new rooster are even having issues. The old rooster ignored her.

  37. I have at least 7 Roos, I have 2 Guineas and at least 21 hens some still chicks, I have an a few chickens with limps because of my guineas ? and our Roos don’t do one thing bout’ it! Even our mean en’!So we ain’t gettin to many eggs no more. We will get rid of our Guineas cause I can’t always keep an eye on em’?

  38. Thinking of getting some Guinea fouls – for my 8 chickens to protect from snakes etc!
    Are they louder than roosters?
    Do they eat same as chooks?
    Thanks this info has been helpful

    1. They might not be louder than roosters but they yell very frequently and loudly over seemingly nothing yet ignore the deer that wander into the yard.

  39. Hi there, I’m an adult farm girl. I raised my chicks and guineas together March 2018. I don’t know how to tell the difference between male and female, but I think I had one of each. The smaller bird began laying eggs late 2019. She stopped laying her eggs with the hens about 20 days ago, and I found her clutch of eggs last weekend. I didn’t do a head count 2 nights ago and she was killed while on her nest. I have put the eggs under light, but I don’t know if they are fertile. I have not observed any sexual activity. But I’ve only had roosters to compare. don,t know about guinea birds and bees. Can you help me?

  40. My wife and I got guinea 4 keets at the same time as we got 4 chicks and 4 ducklings. One chick died after about 4 weeks. Now at about 20 weeks one of the two male guineas is very aggressive and attacking one of the ducks nearly daily. They free range my back yard (which is a 1/4 acre) during the day (when the attacks happen), and share a coop that is 8×4 and an attached run that is another 12×8 at night (when no attacks happen).
    I am trying to determine if it is merely them determining the “pecking order” of the yard or if I am going to have to have guinea soup (only as a last resort). I don’t want to lose a duck or a guinea.

    1. I have 2 male and 2 femal guinea. Male #1, aka Bad Boy, all of a sudden became very aggressive to Male #2 inside the coop and outside during grass time. I put Bad Boy in a large dog crate just outside the guinea coop. Still in seeing and hearing of the others and they would check on him during their grass time. Treated it like a time out cage. It worked. I released him 2 days later and he rejoined the others with no aggression. It’s been 3 – 4 weeks and still doing well.

  41. Most everyone seems to have chickens before they add guineas. I have never raised chickens or guineas till 2020. I have 2 male and 2 female guinea flowl that I raised from a couple weeks of age. I have managed to teach these guineas to understand “guinea guinea din din” and “guinea guinea grass time” and if I leave the coop door open they will return to roost inside. I close it up and tell them how good my boys and girls are. 🙂 Some think I might be as goofy as the guineas but seldom do I have to utter “guinea guinea dumb dumb”. They are laying eggs and are delicious but tiny and only seasonal. The coop is 8×8 open framed completely covered in chicken wire underneath a tree to make them feel like they are in the tree instead of the coop. This has worked very well for me and them. Was thinking of adding laying hens to my adventure for more consistent eggs, but not sure if putting them together would work, or if I should maybe do rotational grazing with the hens in full coop/run chicken tractors. I have preadators galore. Any thoughts on how to successfully add chickens to the guinea world.

  42. I have 6 grown chicken hens and was wondering if adding 1 or 2 baby Pearl Guineas to my flock would be okay. Just curious if anyone has done this or is it a bad idea?

  43. We are purchasing 2 Guinnea Keets and about 6 layer chicks (all just a few days old) and plan to raise them together. Should I just give them all the high-protein turkey/gamebird Grower? Will it harm the chicks? Will the guineas be OK on the regular chick starter? Thanks in advance

  44. We have 11 guineas and 12 chickens all born mid April and have raised them together from 2 day old chicks and keets . My grandson hatched 4 of the chickens from a dozen grocery store fertile eggs. They all have been in their new pen for 2 weeks. Today I booted out 4 guineas and 4 chickens for a trial run of free grazing . They all followed me out to our garden but weren’t happy when I left. The ruckus that started was amazing (they all have their big kid voices now). Shortly they all managed to get back to the pen area and did not calm down till I let them back in. So much for wandering. I do spend 20-30 min daily in their run/pen hand feeding them dried grubs and peas. They have been fun to watch. Luckily we live in an area where most of our neighbors have 5-10 acre parcels, I have warned them though. Hoping my tick problem will be history .

  45. We have 3 females and 2 males. The 2 males constantly call out, is this normal? And is there a way to quiet them down?It’s driving my husband crazy and he is driving me crazy haha. Thanks

  46. When it comes to telling the guineas, how do you tell them apart? I have 2 I have hand raised and want to breed them, but I can’t find any info on telling weather I fave a pair of males or females.. I’ve talked to people, searched Google, asked family who have had them.. nothing.

    1. You’re female will have a two tone call of what sounds like, buck wheat, buck wheat and the male has more of a fast trilling. The male and female will make the same sound for alarm. I hope this helps you.

  47. We raised 3 guineas that we purchased as keets. As soon as they were old enough we let them out of their cage. Starting that night by their choice they slept in the chicken house. They love our roosters once the roosters have matured though they prefer the larger ones. I have even seen them grooming one of our French Copper Maran roosters. They love our silver laced Wyandotte hens and will follow them as if they are part of their flock. They also follow me and other family members closely. They are almost 6 months old. They don’t like being touched but will stick within 6” of me. I have found in raising guineas that if you raise them by hand where you are handling them daily they will bond closely with their human caregivers. They do like their space in the henhouse and some hens they don’t like. I put our roosters next to them and the problem is solved.

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