Raising Guineas

Guineas are an interesting addition to your farm or acreage. They have great personalities. Guineas are the farmyard watch dog, sounding the alarm whenever anything usual occurs. They will consume large amounts of insects and seldom bother your garden or flowers. They are easy and inexpensive to raise. Once started, they fend for themselves, living on insects, seeds, and grasses. They control deer ticks, wood ticks, grasshoppers, box elder bugs, flies, crickets, and all other insects. Their call will discourage rodents. They will kill snakes, and alert you to anything unusual.

People keep Guineas for many different reasons. They are becoming very popular as for the control of deer ticks. Also, people living in wooded areas have Guineas to keep the number of wood ticks low. They will discourage rodents with their call and will kill and eat mice and small rats. Some people who live in areas where snakes are common claim their Guineas will spot and find snakes so they can kill them before they cause any harm, and the Guineas themselves will kill snakes. Guineas have also been used as junkyard guards. A man claimed that if you use a guard dog for security, you may get sued if the thief gets hurt. But the Guineas roost in the trees at night about the junkyard, and when an intruder disrupts them, they make a ruckus and the yard owner simply turns on the yard lights and the intruder flees knowing that police are on their way. He says losses are way down and no law suits. Other people keep Guineas because they enjoy having them around. They are very curious and interesting birds, having quite a personality. Others enjoy having the various colours, especially the new colours that are bring developed.

The incubation period for Guineas is 26 to 28 days. The eggs may be incubated under bantam setting hens (10 to 15 eggs) or large setting hens (25 to 30 eggs), or any reliable incubator. Follow the instructions for the incubator. If nothing is listed for Guineas, follow the instructions for pheasants or turkeys.

Start young Guineas on good pheasant or turkey starter (28% to 30% protein). The high protein makes them grow fast. Brood at 95 degrees for the first week. Reduce 5 degrees per week. Keep them warm and dry and you won’t have any problems with them. Be sure to prevent drafts in your brooder area. The first water given to keets (young Guineas) should be warm to prevent chilling. You may also add one tablespoon of sugar per quart of water to give them quick energy. You may also add electrolytes or Terramycin to help relieve shipping stress if you have brought them in from another location. Make sure they can’t get into the water or they will get wet and chill or drown. Use marbles or rocks to fill the water area so as to make a shallow drinking area. Also place the feed and water close to the heat source for the first day. A large cardboard box (two or three square feet) makes a good brooder box for 25 to 30 keets. Keep the brooder fresh and clean for each brood of chicks and throw away when it gets soiled.

(reprinted from guineafarm.com)

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