Sue : Hi Gina, I have been given 4 guinea fowl chicks but I think one of them is a chicken, I already sent a message to you but I’m emailing so I can attach some photos. Can you take a look at the photos and let me know what you think about the pale grey bird I think is a chicken, I really hope it’s not a cock, we had to give our other cockerel away to a farm because he was too noisy for the neighbours. We also have 3 old hens, two are 11 years old the third is 7 years old. The 2 older ones don’t lay anymore the 7 year old lays occasionally. They don’t seem to like the guinea fowl chicks at all, is there anything I particularly need to know? The guinea fowl are currently living in a hutch inside the chicken pen so they can get used to each other. I would like to ask everyone if they have any experience of keeping hens with guinea fowl. We’ve put them together a couple of times but the hens weren’t impressed at all and kept pecking the chicks. I guess they’ll get used to each other eventually but has anyone any advice? Thank you
My Reply : Thanks for the photos. Guineas can come in quite a variety of different colours but the body shape and comb does also make me think it is a chicken. With regards to them living happily together it definitely is possible. In the Guide To Guineas ebook there were a couple of examples of some who had done so and I’ve also been searching through a few past newsletters where several readers have mentioned that they have guineas in their flock. I haven’t found any specific integration tips that might be helpful to you – but also no major problems mentioned either. There have been a variety of pecking orders mentioned – one said her young hens are the boss when it comes to the pecking order and who gets priority when roosting, another also had Turkeys in her flock and it was those that were at the top of the pecking order, then the Guineas and then the chickens, whilst another said her Guineas had kept themselves completely separately from her chickens. Guineas can be a bit more ‘wild’ than chickens and if they are upset for any reason tend to chase down the object of their displeasure as a pack – often this would be along the lines of a chicken rooster getting himself into trouble for trying to mate with a guinea roosters hen (it is possible for Guineas and chickens to breed with each other although any resulting chicks will be sterile). Guineas are more inclined to roam and generally can fly a lot better than chickens so will naturally roost in trees but can be trained to use a coop (and will be safer from predators if they do). As with probably the majority of all animals and birds the potential for any problems is a lot less when there is plenty of room to segregate themselves if they wish to and also if there are no hormonal males trying to compete for their girls attentions.
Does anyone have any advice?