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Predators (General Discussion)

by Guinea Mom, Friday, October 05, 2012, 01:51 (717 days ago)

I am new to raising Guines Fowl. I had 4 hens until this evening...I went outside to check on the hens as they were roosting in their tree, and Oreo was lying on the ground dead. There was no blood but his head was missing...and feathers were scattered. My other 3 hens are nowhere to be found. I feel terrible about this. I have tried to get them in their coop to sleep at night but they want nothing to do with it for roosting.

What is it that attacked my hens and do you think the others will come home or do you think they are dead as well? Any suggestions on how to get them in their house for the evening. They always have food and water. And leave a light on at night so there is light for them.

Any help, suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You. :-(

That was almost certainly an owl...

by CindyTX @, Friday, October 05, 2012, 03:50 (717 days ago) @ Guinea Mom

and once the owls figure out that there is a free buffet waiting for them in the trees, it won't be long until you have no more guineas.

We always strongly recommend that guineas be trained to go into a coop at night. All my neighbors told me when I first got guineas "just let them roost in the trees," but that is very bad advice. Guinea fowl need protection from predators and the elements, just as any poultry does.

I hope you'll be able to then train them to go into the coop. There is an article on that topic in the "articles" section linked at the top of this page. It is aimed at training keets, but the same treats-and-herding method can also be used for adults. Good luck!

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I'm so sorry you lost Oreo, Guinea Mom

by BarbaraNH @, New Hampshire, USA, Friday, October 05, 2012, 11:41 (716 days ago) @ Guinea Mom

It does sound like an owl is the culprit, but I am hopeful that the rest of your guineas could still be alive. I'm sure they must be upset by what happened, but if you can get them inside their coop tonight, and keep them there for several days or even a week or more, I think you will find that they are much more likely to want to continue to roost inside their coop at night after this experience. You will need to change their habit for roosting in the trees at night, which isn't always easy. Once they become accustomed to roosting in a building, they should want to continue that new habit.

It can be done. Best of luck to you and your guineas!

I'm so sorry you lost Oreo, Guinea Mom

by Guinea Mom, Friday, October 05, 2012, 11:52 (716 days ago) @ BarbaraNH

Thank you for your reply Barbara. I will say a prayer and do my very best. What do you think attacked Oreo in the Tree if it was not an Owl? Possibly an eagle or a hawk? Thank you,

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The method of the kill is typical of an owl

by BarbaraNH @, New Hampshire, USA, Friday, October 05, 2012, 12:05 (716 days ago) @ Guinea Mom

Owls are noted for knocking poultry out of a tree at night and decapitating them. Anything else would most likely take more than just the head, but I think other possibilities could be a raccoon (or family of raccoons) or a weasel, mink, or fisher, depending on where you live.

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Sorry for your loss

by Sandshaven ⌂ @, Lackawannock Twp. Mercer, PA, Saturday, October 06, 2012, 04:18 (716 days ago) @ Guinea Mom

Did the others come home?

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:g: g:r g+b g+w g+p g+t :g:

Sorry for your loss

by Guinea Mom, Saturday, October 06, 2012, 09:41 (716 days ago) @ Sandshaven

Thank you for asking...Two came home, Scooter & Chi Chi. Blue is still missing. Blue went missing the night before Oreo was killed.I live on a lake and there is an eagle that lives in a tree across the lake. I think eagles attack in the daytime, this happened in the evening around 10ish PM. To me it seems like the work of an Owl, based on what I am reading. Still praying Blue will come home.

I tried for 3 hours to get Scooter & Chi Chi in their coop last night, to no avail. I DID NOT want them roosting in the tree as this is where the attack took place. They kept running under the deck which is enclosed except for a small entrance. I was able to secure them under the deck for the evening. They are out pecking at the ground right now. My dogs are keeping a close eye on them.

Do you have someone who can help you with the herding?

by CindyTX @, Saturday, October 06, 2012, 09:51 (716 days ago) @ Guinea Mom

It's hard to do with one person, when they're first learning. Much easier with two people, armed with herding sticks. What you want to do is move very slowly, and it's more like "putting pressure" on them from the rear than really pushing them. You want to avoid crossing that threshold where they get panicky and flighty.

You may already know all this, but just in case. Good luck, I hope they figure it out soon, for your peace of mind and their safety!

roosting without shelter

by Birdman, Saturday, October 06, 2012, 14:08 (715 days ago) @ Guinea Mom
edited by Birdman, Saturday, October 06, 2012, 14:13

I am sorry for the loss of the loved guinea fowl. You should have known or assumed that kind of predation would happen before long. Roosting poultry require a "well sheltered" spot on a "roosting bar" out of sight from owls and other flying predators.

In Africa, wild guineas roost on branches of trees that shield them from view....provide excellent shelter. Trees in North America lose their leaves and provide poor shelter from flying predators.

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roosting without shelter

by CarlNC @, Raleigh NC, Saturday, October 06, 2012, 14:11 (715 days ago) @ Birdman

First, so sorry for your loss....Out of sight alone won't keep them safe. They have to be out of reach because owls also hunt by sound whether there are leaves on the trees or not.

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