I am currently waiting for my first clutch of 6 guinae fowl eggs to hatch. I have my brooder ready but have been given conflicting advice as to the shelter requirements for these birds. We have a tree/hedge lined acre plot surrounded by fields and originally believed that the adult birds preferred to roost in the trees. I am, however concerned as to how they cope with the British winters and wondered what the best form of shelter to offer them would be? Many Thanks,
Thank you for your enquiry.
You are right in thinking that guinea fowl like to roost in trees and this is what they would do in the wild in South Africa.
I was given 3 adult guinea fowl that had been put in a hut at night so all of my other guineas that I have reared have done the same.
Guinea fowl can be trained to go into a hut at night especially if you are rearing them from birth.
I tend to put mine in a brooder when they first hatch out and then move them to a covered run until 8 weeks onwards before I transfer them to their outdoor hut.
When I transfer them to their outdoor hut I don’t let them out striaght away so that they get used to the hut and know that this is where they shelter. I have read that if you let one guinea fowl out it won’t go far as it likes to stay close to the others.
I like to put mine in a hut at night so that the guinea fowl are protected from predators. It also keeps their food and water away from wild birds. The hut also shelters them from harsh weather and is large enough when the rain is very bad or it is snowing (guinea fowl hate snow) for them to stay inside all day as the shelter has a roof, a roosting area indoors and a run area so that they can see outside.
I have found that my guinea fowl learn very quickly where there hut is and will at times gather outside it if I haven’t opened the doors for them. They seem to prefer to go into the hut rather than roost in the trees.
I would not recommend keeping guinea fowl inside all the time but I certainly think a shelter for them at night means that losses to predators is kept to a minimum and shelter from bad weather is a good idea.
Hope this information is useful.
Sara @ farmingfriends