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Pecking order woes (General Discussion)

by pearl7000, Friday, April 19, 2013, 07:53 (369 days ago)

I had written in a while ago about our new combined flock, and how gentle all the birds are (no fighting).

Well, the honeymoon period is over. We have two that are obviously low on the pecking order. I have not seen it as I've been traveling for work, but my husband and daughter say it is nasty and the other birds keep those two away from food/water.

Other than having multiple feed and water stations, any other recommendations? Will this settle down after the order is in place?

Again, they are all cooped up together (with indoor/outdoor options) for a few weeks until they know their home, so I am thinking that might be temporarily intensifying things??

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Safe hiding places...

by BennieAnTheJets @, Friday, April 19, 2013, 08:54 (369 days ago) @ pearl7000

..may help also. Like a board leaning against the wall so that a weaker bird can get out of sight for a bit and find cover from angry beaks. I would be careful to make the hiding places "safe" in that they would not trap a bird. Multiple exits would be good in case a bully comes in behind them.

We had an injury with a weak bird being trapped in the branches I put in the coop to slow down the bullies - it back-fired, so be careful that they can't get stuck in a hinding place arrangement.

Multiple food and water sources sounds like a great idea. And we were careful with treats when they were confined a lot: always tried to give plenty or nothing at all, so there was no reason to fight for scarce resources.

Some say a mirror helps, but our Guineas went crazy over those and attacked the glass until I started to worry they may hurt themselves, so I took it back out. Others seem to have good luck with mirrors, though, to distract bullies and give the impression of a bigger flock - they seem to behave better in bigger flocks, some say.

We only had Guineas since July 2012, so still Newbies, others have much more experience and may help you more.

Good luck! I know it is terrible when they fight and you can't help'em.:-/

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Bennie

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Bennie...

by EllenTX @, central Texas, Sunday, April 21, 2013, 16:02 (367 days ago) @ BennieAnTheJets

"give plenty or nothing at all" is NOT the way to do it. If the birds are confined, you must keep food ( not treats ) available at all times. If you don't, at least keep water available, until the next feeding. Guineas take on twice as much water, as they do feed.
Remember: a guineas body is made up of mostly water.. just like your's.

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“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

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I think Bennie was talking about giving treats

by BarbaraNH @, New Hampshire, USA, Sunday, April 21, 2013, 21:58 (367 days ago) @ EllenTX

Lots of treats or none at all, not lots of food or none at all. Maybe I'm not reading the post correctly, but that's what I got out of it.

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Yes, treats...

by BennieAnTheJets @, Monday, April 22, 2013, 01:50 (366 days ago) @ BarbaraNH

..sorry if that was confusing.

They always have their staple food free choice and water and grit and oyster shell. They just don't get excited about that. :-)

The excitement comes with the treats, and so I try to make sure everyone has enough and no-one needs to fight another Guinea for their share. (millet, meal worms, warm or cool water - warm in winter, cool in summer - this is extra water, in addition to the water they always have) That kind of thing.

I never throw in just one piece of kitchen scrap but make sure that I give enough for all or none at all, all at once. That's what I meant.

Thanks for making it more clear!

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Bennie

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Ahh.. now I understand. Thanks for clearing that up.

by EllenTX @, central Texas, Monday, April 22, 2013, 05:27 (366 days ago) @ BennieAnTheJets

- No text -

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“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

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