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Territorial Feral Guineas?? (General Discussion)

by swann2b, Monday, October 08, 2012, 02:04 (805 days ago)

:-H Anyone ever heard of wild ( or runaway Guinea's who have taken up living in your property) killing and breaking necks of other new Guinea's.
My friends have had over the years a diminishing group of Guinea's that belonged to neighbor on land that sits behind thiers. These Goons always have come to thier property and have grazed with no problem. They were always welcome never harassed and even had food left for them. Over years they have dropped in thier numbers from 12 to 4 either by dogs, coyotes or whatever. Well this spring and summer I had been hatching keets and gave them six 3 month old keets which they penned up until a week ago and at 6 months old started letting them out to graze. They have in another covered pen 10 new 3 months old still locked up. Well, so far 2 of the older keets (6 months old) have turned up dead in 2 days time with necks broke.:-( They hasn't seen the original Goons actually kill them but has seen them chasing the juveniles relentlessly. She has determined thier necks were broken. They do have a small Border Collie cross that used to chase the original set but they hadn't noticed the dog harassing the juveniles. :-/ They are sure the original Goons are the killers. If this is the case what to do? Shoot them? Certainly they shouldn't attempt releasing anymore Juveniles until this is settled. Anyone ever heard of murderous territorial feral Guineas?? Help... :-H Thanks.

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I've not heard of such behavior

by BarbaraNH @, New Hampshire, USA, Tuesday, October 09, 2012, 00:17 (804 days ago) @ swann2b

..not to the point of breaking the necks of the newcomers anyway. Frantic chasing is quite common, but killing is not. I have heard of aggressive guineas that relentlessly chase other guineas, but when that continues, the newcomers aren't likely to want to stay in the area and will most likely move away from the area that has already been "claimed."

It's hard to say if the deaths can be attributed to the feral flock, but I wouldn't rule it out. There are always exceptions to every rule.

I'm sorry to hear about this. I hope things can be worked out and future problems can be prevented. I'm sad to say that I don't have any advice that might help.

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Territorial Feral Guineas

by jackiekennedy ⌂ @, Mabank, TX, Tuesday, October 09, 2012, 08:39 (803 days ago) @ BarbaraNH

They have tried to harm some of my roosters, but ole Rohoe whipped em and they let him alone. I never turn my roosters on the yard with the adult guineas. If you didn't see the feral guineas perform this act, I highly doubt it.

I agree with Jackie...

by CindyTX @, Tuesday, October 09, 2012, 09:58 (803 days ago) @ jackiekennedy

killing each other is just not in guineas' repertoire. As Barbara says, you can never say never, but this is not what they do, not what they're "programmed" for.

Another thing to consider - sometimes what appears to be a broken neck isn't really. When they die, their necks remain limp quite awhile after the rest of their body becomes stiff. Also, they tend to lie in a sort of "broken neck" position when dead. But a necropsy usually reveals no broken neck.

There are so many possible causes for the keet deaths: snake bite, dog or cat attacks, raccoon - on and on. The feral flock is probably much more wary than the keets are and better able to avoid some of the predators.

I agree with Jackie...

by swann2b, Tuesday, October 09, 2012, 20:04 (803 days ago) @ CindyTX

Thank you :-) all for your opinions and help. I to think it has to be the Border Collie and the juvenile keets are just not fast and agile enough to out run her. I know the feral adult Goons will chase them and may pull feathers. Now if I can convince my friends it is the dog not the other Guineas !:-/

Dog. Sorry, but it is the dog.

by JeanneAR, Tuesday, October 09, 2012, 23:15 (803 days ago) @ swann2b

Adult guineas will peck at/harrass younger ones somewhat, but they are "teaching them". They teach of pecking order, where they belong in the coop,in the flock, and the order of daily foraging. They will chase the younger ones to teach them agility and how to avoid predators. They will show them how to hide in brush when a hawk or flying predator is nearby, and to know when it will rain, so they should take shelter. Guineas will chase, fight, flog, feather pull, for a place in the flock or to win a hens' attention, but I never seen them kill anything except a small snake.
Dogs, no matter how docile and sweet, can have a moment of insanity and grab a bird. A mouth grab on the back of a bird can crush a birds lungs. No damage on the outside, nothing visible. Just a dead limp bird.
So yes, the dog is probably the culprit. Dogs see the birds fussing about, chasing or pecking or doing something birds do...and think "hey, I gotta stop that!" and they run in and grab. Then the dog knows ouch, I am not supposed to do that!, but it is too late.

I don't know how you could convince them...

by CindyTX @, Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 08:52 (802 days ago) @ swann2b

other than setting up a wildlife camera, but those feral guineas are a benefit - the juveniles can learn survival skills from them.

Border collies can be very sneaky, especially if they sense that the owner does not want them with a border collie, it is hard work. Borderto chase the birds. They can be trained to leave the guineas alone, but that breed has some bird dog blood in in its background, and it's very difficult to overcome.

And yes, guineas cannot outrun a dog, sadly, and running rather than flying is their first instinct.

Good luck, I hope it works out for everyone.

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