what does a guinea hen say?

ceresone(missouri ozarks)October 27, 2005

are they the ones that make a 2-sylable sound? like--putt-rack? or is that the males?? i'm told both--and i dont want to get rid of the wrong one. does anyone know for sure how to judge male from female guineas?

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chick_mom(south middle TX)

The females call sounds like "Buck-wheat" The males sound is "Keet keet keet". The Females cheek wattles are close to the head and smaller than the males which stick out to the side..Neither one is known to have a brain.. no, really! The males also tend to be more aggressive..Mine is destined for the soup pot if he keeps picking on my chickens..Kit

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 10:44AM
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I always thought the males sounded more like 'ratt-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat!" LOL! Yes, the head sizes and wattles can and do vary due to breeding and genetic diversity, but those calls are always indisputable.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 3:48PM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

Way more than I can handle.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 6:25PM
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judyag_44(SW FL)

Yep, the female has a two syllable call.."Pot-rack, pot-rack" and the male only says one syllable over and over in quick succession. The hens have small wattles that are close to her neck...the male has larger wattles that flare out.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 1:47AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

glad to finally have a correct answer--but at the same time, i heard what i didnt want to hear--lol. this means i have 3 males-and 1 female.plus, i do have one thats mean to my chickens--and i cant kill him!!oh well, guess i'm make a male pen-and add all my roosters. hummm, that means i still have to feed them---

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 8:16AM
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i thought they said buckwheat but maybe thats the local accent.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 9:29AM
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Ceresone, please don't just pen up the roosters. Guinea fowl are really not suited for penning like chickens. They are still partially wild, having not truly been domesticated in the way of chickens and turkeys. Unlike pen-raised pheasants, guineas do have a very good homing instinct-just like peafowl. Free-roaming guineas also prefer to forage, rather than eat from a feeder if given the choice. Does that tell you something? Let them feed themselves for the most part as they are excellent natural insect control and will readily attack and kill any invading snake or rat which could threaten the chickens. Hopefully, next spring, you can obtain at least 6 hen guineas for breeders.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 9:39AM
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Guinea hens are the only ones that make the 2 syllable sound "buckwheat" Or whatever you want to call it :) The females can make any sound the male makes, including the loud "alarm" sounds. The males arent as talkative as the hens, but will sometimes say "enh" Sometimes you cant tell hen/cock from just looking at them... The good thing is that guinea cocks usually dont fight, at least not as much as chicken roosters. They will chase each other around. Ive heard the maximum ratio is 6 hens for 1 cock. I have an even number of cocks and hens and it works out fine... during the summer they split off into pairs. This time of year they split off into age groups. I've had a few people this year request hens only. I prefer to keep both sexes since the main reason I got them was for tick control. Usually hens will "buckwheat" all day but sometimes its harder to tell which are hens. Do you have any pics you can post of yours?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 12:20PM
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judyag_44(SW FL)

I would echo the plea.....please DO NOT pen your quineas with your roosters. Have heard of guineas actually starving roosters. In my own experience, the guineas who roost in the cedars around our yard, are anxious to get into the chicken house to the feeder in the morning and make it a point to attack every rooster there BEFORE they will eat a bite.

We have 16 guineas (5 pearl and ll royal purple) that we got specifically to control ticks and have been very, very happy with the decrease in our tick problems this summer.

We love our male guineas! Of the original 5 we got 4 males! They are very tame and cluster around us when we go out and inevitably untie our shoes (even when double knotted) as they discuss various techniques loudly among themselves! 8)

At one point we had a very mean brown leghorn rooster running lose. We tried to alway carry a stick to improve our chances of getting around without a puncture wound from him.....the guineas rescued me several times. If they felt that he was getting too close to me they would attack him...have seen them pull out a tail feather more than once as he tried to make a get away.

Good luck with your "feathered family".


    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 8:20PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

we have our chickens and guineas in the same house, with large fenced (and topped)pen. the guineas are still young, 6 months, but they chase the hens like mad, wish i could turn them out, i'd love to, but the last time i had guineas, the roosted in a tree in the back yard, where my dogs live. racoons decimated them!i finally sold them because we couldnt catch either the coons or the guineas.varmints just lay in wait in this area for a stray bite of chickens or guineas.and--i've tried putting the roosters and guineas on free-cycle-no luck. but i'm grateful to be able to sex them properly.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 8:28AM
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Its weird that at my farm, the chickens rule the roost! When I got my first guineas, I only had 1 hen, now I have 17 chickens & about 50 guineas--they have all decided to sleep in the same coop. Ive never seen any guinea even begin to challenge a chicken. Even my roosters all get along really well *knock on wood* (the free-range during the day) My guineas are more "chicken" than the chickens.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 4:01AM
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amiz5904(z8 NC)

My guineas definitely chase the chickens away from the feeder - particularly my oldest male. I have a flock of 6, but the chickens way outnumber them.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 8:34AM
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undercover_owl(8 Pac.NW)

Which makes a less obnoxious noise: Guinea birds or Peafowl?

Siamese: what makes you want to keep so many Guineas?

Ceresone: I had the impression that Guineas are like "guard birds" or at least, are extremely alert to predators. What do you think?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 8:26PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Thats why i got the guineas, to be guards for my chicks, after a snake got into the pen. I think they are unbeatable as guards, mine dont get loud, unless something happens, when i'm the only one around they make a low chee-chee to themselves. but-- i have 3 males to one female-and they are soo mean to my chickens. male guinea, anyone?and while you're here, can i give you a white giant rooster? no? how about a black guiant? or a buff rock? or, failing that--bantam roosters anyone?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 8:21AM
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sweetgreen(z5 MI)

undercover owl - as to which makes the less obnoxious noise, that depends on the time of year. Peafowl are much louder, and have more 'eerie' calls, but only during breading season. They are very quiet the rest of the year. Guineas have an annoyingly repetitive and not exactly quiet call, and it's all year 'round. Guineas will quiet down as they mature - teenage guineas call all the time and many people get rid of them at this stage because they can't stand the noise. But once they have a year or so under their belts they are much better at calling only when there is some danger or oddity that they are alerting to.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 10:50AM
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My worst enemy: loose guinea fowl in the tomato patch. LOL!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 3:41PM
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I have not had the problems you guys have with your Guineas coexisting with chickens. They all live in perfect harmony here. And over the years we've had to buy new Guineas to replace the ones eaten by coyote, etc. and never any problems. I always buy adults also, never Guinea chicks.

I too will suggest never making Guineas live in a coop. They just are not suited to a life of confinement plus, you're giving up the sole reason for having them in the first place: They eat massive quantities of bugs!

We do shut our Guineas and chickens up once the snow flies and the temps are too cold for them. Our barn is not heated but we seldom lose a Guinea to freezing although it does happen on occassion. And if we happen to get a mild winter day where the temps will get above 40 degrees I will let them out for some exercise but they always come back in at night to roost in the barn in the cold weather.

And as to sexing them...we've had Guineas for 15 years and if you ask me there is NO reliable means of telling the males from the females unless you happen to find a bird sitting on a nest of eggs, that is probably a female!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 1:03PM
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Well, I no longer have those constantly noisey guineas, but kept my only occasionally noisey peafowl. Never got through the guinea teens so to speak. those hens just yelled all day and night for no reason at all.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 8:41AM
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I've been thinking of getting myself a Guinea hen....I live in town next to a park.....will this bird make a lot of racket and get me thrown out of my neighborhood? Will it stay in my yard or run around and come back?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 7:18PM
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Are you joking?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 9:43PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

I have had chickens in years past but never Guineas. I was thinking of getting them for bug control but I saw a post that mentioned they were tough on the tomatoe plants.

Will Guineas tear up a garden? I plant both veggies and flowers.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 8:23PM
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sweetgreen(z5 MI)

gurley - personally I've never had experience with guineas eating veggies - but I don't plant lots of veggies either. I've heard more about them pecking at new seedlings of anything, rather than bothering rippening produce. I've also heard that if you don't feed them the scraps of veggies, then they don't learn to eat them off your plants. In my opinion, I think it varies widely by individual bird.

I don't think they tear up a garden nearly as much as a chicken does. Yes, they still scratch around a bit, and their dusting holes are bottomless pits. But they aren't the garbage-disposal-digging-machines that chickens are.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 8:15AM
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I haven't heard they hard on any plants. I doubt the tomato plants would taste good, but they may peck some ripe fruit.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 12:58PM
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I know nothing about Guineas but would love any info you may have. I have 16 chickens that do not run loose. They have their own coop and "chicken run'. Do the guineas need their own coop? Can they fly? What if my dog chases them? Will they eat my garden? Will they chase my 4 year old? I am in Western N.C. and bugs thrive here...hoping they might help! What do you think? HELP!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:13AM
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