FARMS: Curiosities of how to raise a guinea hen
Hello brothers, I present to you a simple way of how to raise guineas chickens step by step.
There are many benefits to raising guinea fowl. These unusual birds act as guards, alerting you with a lot of noise whenever a strange human, wild animal or snake approaches. Although some claim that they tend not to touch your plants and that they feed on insects, many gardeners do not say so. S will eat your vegetables, so it is advisable to use chicken wire or other protection on your crops. In the farms and haciendas, they are valuable because they eat the ticks; In fact, ticks are your favorite food, and a property infested with ticks can change that quickly with your help. Given the amount of diseases that ticks can transmit, the taste of the guineas for that insect makes them use the chicken wire around the crops. They also offer delicious eggs and tasty, nutritious meat. The adult guinea fowl are very low maintenance, although the breeding of chicks of these birds is much more complicated. If you decide to raise these birds, make sure you know what is needed before you start.
Important information to know if you want to choose this type of bird
Raising guinea fowl provides many benefits, but it will also bring some disadvantages that you should take into account when determining if these birds are suitable for your property.
They make a lot of noise, so they could displease your neighbors.
You can keep guinea fowl in a pen, but they will prefer to roam freely. The more space you give them to wander, the happier they will be.
They are not as docile as chickens and you will have a harder time catching them if you let them roam.
Get a chicken coop.
You must have a completely closed chicken coop ready before taking your Guinea hens home. They can fly, so they will escape if you do not keep them in a closed chicken coop.
Even if you plan to let them roam freely, you'll need to start by placing them in a chicken coop.
This should provide a minimum space of 3000 to 4000 square meters (3 or 4 square feet) per bird. You should give them more space if you do not plan to let them roam freely after the training period.
You should provide them with food and water in the poultry house, as well as clean bedding on the floor and innkeepers in which they can stand.
You can provide a refuge for the night.
You will not have to provide a shelter for your chickens once they roam freely. However, this may be useful to protect them from predators such as foxes and owls. If you do not give them to them, they will rest on the trees at night. A shelter is different from a chicken coop, as it allows chickens to enter and leave whenever they wish.
The shelter can be something as simple as a 3-sided shed with a mesh front. You should place an innkeeper near the back of the shelter, which should be long enough so that each bird has several inches or inches of space to rest.
Make sure the space is dry and that there is clean bedding on the floor.
Place a light in the shelter, as the guinea fowl do not like to enter dark places.The best thing is that the refuge has two entrances, thus avoiding that the most dominant hens block the entrance.
If you want to provide even greater protection, you can keep your chickens in a chicken coop at night. To keep them inside, you must cover the top with a mesh. If your hens do not roam freely, you can trim their wings to prevent them from flying away.
Choose your birds.
After having the designated space for your chickens, it will be time to choose your birds. You can buy them from local breeders, at pet food stores or from online vendors.
You can buy adult chickens if you wish, but if you have young, you can domesticate them more easily.
You can get guinea fowl in various colors of "purebred", but many of the birds are crossed, which makes them have feathers of various colors. The color of the feathers will be the only difference between the different varieties.
These hens are monogamous animals; Therefore, it is best to buy them in male and female pairs. It is very complicated to differentiate a male from a female, but you can do it if you verify these three traits:
The males have a larger mucus than that of the females.
The males emit a monosyllabic sound, and the females emit a bisyllabic sound.
Unlike females, males have a narrower opening between their pelvic bones. If you hold the hen with one arm and use your free hand to touch the bones, you should notice an approximate distance of 2 fingers in the males and 3 fingers in the females.
Make your chickens adapt.
Your chickens will need a little time to get used to their new home, before letting them roam freely. Keep them in the henhouse for at least a week. Once they have adapted, they will most likely return to their home, so you can let them roam.
Even if your chickens are flying at the beginning, they will most likely return home to rest during the night.
You can help your chickens get used to returning home at night if you feed them in their shelter at that time.
Bring them food and water. It is very easy to feed guinea fowl, but your dietary needs will vary taking into account if you keep them in your pen or if you let them roam and look for food.
If you let them roam, they will eat all kinds of small animals in your yard, including ticks, grasshoppers, spiders and small snakes. You will not have to provide them with any additional food, just some mixtures of grains in their shelter during the night if you wish to encourage them to spend the night there.
If you keep them in a pen, give them food for commercial chickens (450 g or 1 lb per day for every 6 chickens). You can increase egg production if you provide them with more protein-rich food designed for turkeys and wild birds in February, since this is the time before the start of the egg-laying season.
Your chickens will also depend on you to have a constant source of fresh water. You can buy a poultry drinker, which will contain a large amount of water and will dispense little by little in a small bowl. Keep in mind that you will have to heat it to prevent the water from freezing if you live in an area with cold weathe.
Collect the eggs.
Guinean hens roam freely; therefore, they can create their nests and lay eggs almost anywhere. To find them, you should observe them at a distance from the middle of the morning until the early afternoon, since they are more likely to lay eggs at this time. After finding a nest, wait for the bird to come out and collect some eggs.
Unlike common hens, those from Guinea lay eggs seasonally, so you can only enjoy them between March and May.
Guinea fowl create their nests on the ground, but they like to try to hide them with tall grass. Also, they will share their nests on a frequent basis with other Guinea hens.
If you take all your eggs, you could dissuade them from putting more eggs in that nest, so you should always leave some.
You must get ready to intervene.
Guinea fowl are not very good at taking care of their small delicate offspring, so you should try a bit to raise them.
If you notice that you have left a nest, take the eggs to an incubator immediately. You can use a commercial sales incubator and follow the instructions to incubate turkey or pheasant eggs if you do not have specific indications for guinea fowl. The incubation period lasts from 26 to 28 days.
When the hatchlings hatch, you will have to take care of them until they have developed all their feathers and you can release them together with the rest of the group.
If you also raise common chickens, you can use one that is brood so that you can lay the eggs and take care of the young.
The guans are also suitable surrogate mothers.When releasing the young, you should keep them confined to their outdoor chicken coop for at least a week, so they will get used to their new home.
Create a safe home for the young.
You will have to keep them in a box for the first 6 to 8 weeks. A box of 40 x 80 cm (15 x 30 inches) will provide enough space for around 15 pups.
The young are very delicate, so you should provide them with adequate space to prevent them from trampling on each other. If the box seems to be overcrowded, you should place them in a larger one.
The young can escape through very thin metal meshes; therefore, it is best to keep them in a container with solid sides, such as a strong cardboard box.
They will learn to jump soon, so you should cover the box with a screen.
Keep the box covered with clean paper towel for the first few days and then use wood shavings. They will need a textured surface so as not to slip and injure their legs; therefore, you should not use newspaper.
Keep them warm.
The pups should be kept warm and warm, so you should use a heating lamp to maintain a constant temperature in your box. This should be at 35 ° C (95 ° F) during the first week. Then you can lower the temperature a little each week until you reach the same temperature.
Bring them food.
During the first 5 weeks, feed the pups with commercially available food containing 24 to 26% protein, and then give them a mixture with 18 to 20% protein in the next 3 weeks. You can give them food that is designed for other types of birds (such as common hens and turkeys), as long as it has the right protein content.
Feed them with your hand to make them get used to you.
Bring them water You should provide them with a constant source of fresh, warm water. The young will not tolerate cold water very well.
If you give them a water container with an irrigating base, this will be a great way to ensure that the offspring always have enough water to drink without risking drowning.
They are social birds and they form flocks, which sometimes reach a thousand individuals. When these groups move, they travel several kilometers during the day and at nightfall they climb the trees to sleep, which they also do in case of danger; in these cases, they can run at high speed. It is curious to see a group of these birds approaching a drinking fountain as they do it individually for each individual, in strict order.
This is truly useful to us @farms. Indeed we @farms find this post informative and educative, thanks for sharing
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Wednesday: Geese as a farm bird
Thursday: Rearing Turkeys
Friday: Chicken in poultries.
Saturday: Guinea fowl