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Guinea Fowl for Gardening

Posted by nico_girl3 none (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 31, 12 at 16:40

I'm getting ready to put in a vegetalbe garden. Last year we had grasshoppers really bad, they ate most of my grapes. I was thinking of getting some guinea fowl to help keep the number of pests lower. I'm trying to keep everything all natural and not use any sprays. Any advice or experiences with this would be most helpful.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Guinea Fowl for Gardening

How will you keep the guineas from hurting the plants? Maybe you could turn them into the garden area after all the veggies are harvested, seems like too little, too late.

RE: Guinea Fowl for Gardening

  • Posted by gmatx z6 TX Panhandle (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 7, 12 at 13:16

Guineas are truly the way to go if you are trying to not use pesticides. We use 8-10 guineas to keep insects down in the yard and garden. They do not damage the plants or vegetables. The only two insects that I noticed they did not control as well as they did others were squash bugs and large tomato(tobacco) hornworms. After I picked the large hornworms off, the guineas were able to keep the young ones "gathered"!

Be aware that the guineas like to get under the tomato plants to lay eggs and also create nests for setting.

If you are going to use the guineas, you need to have some older keets (4-5 months old now) and put them in the pen they will have as their home. The best way to train them to come "home" each evening is 1) leave them in the pen for several weeks after you get them before you let any of them out; otherwise, they will take off to parts unknown. 2) Then, begin to train them by allowing 1 or 2 out of the pen for a while each day. They will want to get back in the pen with the others. 3) Do this for a few weeks before you let them all out. 4) Choose a phrase/word and use that phrase/word every day when you start outside to the pen in the evening to feed them. They will learn to associate the word/phrase with returning to their pen and being fed. It is easiest to get the guineas to "pen up" around the beginning of sunset.

Also, you need to make sure the run for your pen has an enclosed top (chicken wire or netting of some type) or your guineas will fly out and roost in trees or on top of buildings. This will make them easy prey for predators. They will need to have a high roost board in their house because they will not roost on the floor like chickens will. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just a 2x4 run across a span of their house at least 4 feet off the floor.

Best of luck with your guineas - they are a hoot to watch when they chase grasshoppers. More entertainment than watching TV!

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