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Any advice for the winter? (General Discussion)

by Trillium, Saturday, December 09, 2017, 14:45 (46 days ago)

First snowfall today! My kids are loving it, but the guineas are NOT! They're hanging around in a covered area of the run, with a couple of them up on roosting bars. They don't seem to want to go back in the coop, but they don't want to touch the snow either. They're 6 months old, so this is the first time they've seen it.

Now that it's winter, I want to make sure I'm taking care of them right. The average January low in my area is 20F. I'll make sure they've got shelter, food, and unfrozen water. Is there anything else I need to do?

Any advice for the winter?

by ChrisCT, Monday, December 11, 2017, 10:14 (44 days ago) @ Trillium

Yea, they have to learn to deal with snow (I think a pretty "unnatural" substance for their genes instructions ;))

First thing you want to be sure of is that the coop is well lit. That is, that they see the coops interior a brighter than the evening dusk (they don't like to go into a darker recess, it seems dangerous I guess).

The Big Fear with snow is that they won't fly-down onto it and many people have lost birds because of this. They fly up into trees, it snows even a tiny bit, and they will absolutely Refuse to fly down to this foreign substance. Don't let them ever get into this position!

Any advice for the winter?

by Trillium, Monday, December 11, 2017, 13:32 (44 days ago) @ ChrisCT

Our coop doesn't have electricity and isn't lit at all. So far it hasn't been a problem, but maybe it will be now? They haven't been out to range in the snow yet. I guess I'll look at options before I let them out.

Any advice for the winter?

by ramdai, Monday, December 11, 2017, 18:48 (43 days ago) @ Trillium

greens i like to bring in chickweed in pots and rotate it through, some growing fresh leaves, while others being eaten

hay, table scraps of green veggies

also a good dust bin for them-- add a bit of Diatomaceous Earth to the mix--I find winter is the best time to help them control external parasites since dusting is often very limited and I keep the mix well stocked with DE

wild dusting in spring and summer is more difficult to treat their dust places--as fast as I scatter DE, they choose a new place to dust

I missed reading this

by Barbara-NH @, Saturday, December 16, 2017, 18:54 (38 days ago) @ ramdai

Also good advice, especially about the greens. I think guineas really need greens during the winter. I know they get excited when they are offered some when it's cold. Not so much during the warmer months when greens are readily available and growing.

Any advice for the winter?

by ChrisCT, Monday, December 11, 2017, 20:15 (43 days ago) @ Trillium

Our coop doesn't have electricity and isn't lit at all. So far it hasn't been a problem, but maybe it will be now? They haven't been out to range in the snow yet. I guess I'll look at options before I let them out.

I would not let 6mo old bird out to free range with snow on the ground (or anytime it's expected). As I said, Many people have lost their birds because of snow on the ground. They fly-up, refuse to come down and either get eaten or fly away looking for a snow free area (in the Very Cold you also risk frostbite if they spend their nights in trees)

I don't think the snow is as big an issue with light as much as it getting dark so much earlier maybe...

So maybe put them In earlier or try putting a flashlight in a dark coop to see if it makes it seem more "friendly" ;-)

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Any advice for the winter?

by wheejo, Orange County NY, Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 17:57 (10 hours, 46 minutes ago) @ ChrisCT

I hung a red light in the coop. Worked great.
Is this the same Chris that I met when I brought eggs to CT, and met at the post office (who played guitar)?

Good advice, Chris!

by Barbara-NH @, Saturday, December 16, 2017, 17:41 (38 days ago) @ Trillium

The only thing I would add is that guineas benefit from some added treats during the winter months when they cannot forage for insects or snip off bits of green grass. Mine always loved some shredded romaine lettuce that I would toss out onto the frozen ground. Mealworms would be snatched up as quickly as I could toss them out as well. Other treats were mixed wild birdseed, especially millet and black oil sunflower seeds.

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