How do you train a guinea fowl to stay?

Answered by Frank Schwing

Training a guinea fowl to stay can be a bit challenging, but with patience and consistency, it is definitely possible. Here are some steps you can follow to train your guinea fowl to stay:

1. Start with Guinea Keets: It is much easier to train guinea fowl when they are young. If possible, start with guinea keets rather than adult birds. This way, they will become more accustomed to their surroundings and develop a stronger bond with their coop.

2. Raise Guinea Fowl with Chickens: Guinea fowl are social birds and tend to do well when raised with other poultry, especially chickens. Keeping them together will help the guineas learn from the chickens and develop a sense of security.

3. Keep Guineas in for 6 Weeks to Coop Train: When you first bring your guinea fowl home, it is essential to keep them confined to their coop for about six weeks. This period allows them to familiarize themselves with their new home and recognize it as a safe place. Make sure the coop is secure and predator-proof.

4. Let Your Guineas Out One at a Time: After the initial six weeks, you can start letting your guinea fowl out of their coop. However, it is crucial to do this one bird at a time. This way, each bird can establish a territory and become familiar with its surroundings before releasing the next one.

5. Gradually Increase Free-Ranging Time: Start by letting your guinea fowl out for short periods, such as an hour or two, and gradually increase the time they spend outside the coop. This gradual approach helps them become more comfortable with free-ranging and allows them to return to their coop willingly.

6. Provide Food and Water in the Coop: Make sure to provide fresh food and water inside the coop. This will encourage the guinea fowl to return to their designated area regularly, as they associate it with sustenance.

7. Establish a Routine: Guinea fowl respond well to routines. Try to establish a consistent schedule for feeding and letting them out of the coop. This will help them anticipate when it’s time to return to the coop and make the training process easier.

8. Use Calls and Treats: Guinea fowl can be trained to come when called. Use a distinct call or whistle when it’s time for them to return to the coop. You can also use treats, such as mealworms or cracked corn, to lure them back inside. Consistently using the same call and offering treats will reinforce the behavior you desire.

9. Be Patient and Persistent: Training guinea fowl to stay takes time and patience. Some individuals may take longer to learn than others. It is essential to be consistent with your training efforts and not give up easily. With time, they will start to recognize their coop as their safe haven and willingly return to it.

Remember, guinea fowl have a strong instinct for exploration and may still wander off occasionally. However, with proper training and reinforcement, they will become more likely to stay close to their coop and return to it willingly.