Since it seems to not have any serious problems when poultry is in the same space. It is usual to see a farm raise different kinds of poultry such as chickens and turkey, chickens and geese, etc. So can guineas and chickens live together?
Can Guineafowls and chickens live together?
The answer is totally YES. They can get along quite well.
Even though guineas and chickens are both poultry, they still have some distinct differences in their habits and lifestyle. So, it is necessary to have an understanding of each kind when raising a mixed flock of guineas and chickens together.
If you comprehend and know how to deal with predicted problems, it would be a very interesting combination when letting guineas and chickens live together.
About the Guinea fowls or Guineas
Maybe everyone is not familiar with chickens, but I am sure that there are quite a lot of people who have never heard about guineas before. So let’s see what guineas are.
Guinea fowls originate from West Africa. They are known as undomesticated, pretty much wild, and independent birds.
Guineas have a few different species with different colors and markings but they generally have gray plumage with white dots. In comparison with chickens, guineas are much bigger in size while their wattles and heads are smaller.
Guineas do not need humans to survive, they are much happier with their independent life. Most guineas can overcome the disease and against predators well.
There is just a low rate of guinea flock that cannot survive when being sick and they still have the ability to breed in sufficient numbers in order to maintain the flock’s integrity.
Guineas are good flyers as chickens but once they fly out of the coop, there is a high possibility that they will not come back at the end of the day and perch wherever they want. So it is quite hard for farmers to control them.
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The reasons why we should let guineas and chickens live together?
Guineas are the good protectors
Guineas are keen on eating vermin, bugs and even killing snakes. A lot of farmers were surprised at how guineas are good at eliminating harmful insects and repelling snakes out of their farms.
While chickens aggressively dig in under the soil with deep holes to look for insects so it can wreck your farm, guineas have a tendency to find their food above the ground and it is likely to reduce the damage.
In addition, guineas have quite loud calls. When predators and threats appear, guineas usually make noises that help you be alerted of the danger constantly. It can scare predators and keep your flock safe.
That is the reason why adding guineas is a great idea since it is not only helpful in your garden but also protects your chicken flock.
They produce eggs
Both guineas and chickens do lay eggs though guineas do it at a lower rate than chickens.
Spring to fall is the time that guineas lay eggs heavily during the year. They can lay between 80 and 150 eggs each year.
In the meanwhile, chickens are able to afford approximately 320 eggs per year. However, the guineas’ eggs have richer flavor compared to chickens’ eggs.
Potential disadvantages of letting chickens and guineas live together
Even though guineas can get along with chickens, it is not totally 100%. There are some conflicts between these types of bird that you have to take into consideration before putting them together such as:
- Guineas are much larger and stronger than chickens so they basically always win any fight and injure chickens.
- Guineas and chickens have different diets.
- Guineas can affect chicken’s laying by their loud call.
How to help guineas and chickens live as harmoniously as possible together?
You should know some tips to help guineas and chickens integrate with harmony. Here are a couple of references to raise them together more efficiently:
- Firstly, farmers should raise guineas and chickens when they are young. The sooner you let them live together, the more likely they get along with each other.
- Secondly, it would be better if you introduce guineas and chickens slowly to help them get used to each other step by step. It also reduces the stress on either guineas and chickens.
- Thirdly, you need to balance the numbers between guineas and chickens. If your guinea fowl outnumber your chickens, it can overstress chickens by guineas’ dominating nature.
- Fourth, it would be a greater idea to divide guineas and chickens at night instead of letting them live together all the time. This guarantees that there are no fights and everything is fine overnight.
- Last but not least, guineas are known as social animals and they are keen on interacting with each other. You cannot have just one guinea even in a flock of chickens, ensure that the guineas still have a few friends to play with. (Source)
These mentioned reasons listed above may be enough to convince you that it will be a great choice to add some guineas to your chicken flock.
Apart from the benefits, there still exists a couple of disadvantages and difficulties when raising guineas and chickens in the same place.
Therefore, to help your chicken fowl integrate with guineas well, you should observe them regularly as well as follow some helpful advice to achieve the best result.