ibnahmed Abdullah wrote:
So how much space does a bird need what would you consider a good starting flock and money and manpower are not a a issue.
any advice will be appreciated
I've never worked on such a large plot of land before, and frankly, I'm having trouble visualizing it. But I can offer some advice for guinea fowl raising. If deforestation is a problem and there is minimal undergrowth then the birds will struggle. What is predation like?
My flocks generally make up groups of 15-30 birds that range about a 40 acre area of mixed woodland, pasture, and vegetable beds and orchard. I've never had more than 4 flocks at a time and I've never felt the need to stress the whole system to see how many I can push. They love hunting in packs, moving through the tall grasses, or marching through the woodland herbs looking for anything that moves (rodents, bugs, small snakes). I got into them to control my tick populations, as they eat them and their carriers with ferocity. Unless you are ready to pay to feed them though, I agree with Jay that you might want to consider rehabilitating the landbase to support them. Maybe it makes sense to start small.
I'm not at all familiar with your climate and native species, but in my opinion creating spaces to support understory plant growth is a requisite to ranging guinea fowl. I would look for early succession species native to the area. This will likely include "weeds," many with taproots to pull moisture for the subsoil. They will likely be opportunistic and compete for bare soil. Earth works like ponds, swales, hugel-culture beds and so on will be vital to making the most use of water that falls or runs on the property. These will likely be your best locations for starting your oases of desired species. With some assistance, you can spread these patches faster than if left alone (though this would work as well).
How do you plan to catch them? Are you intending to allow them to reproduce and swell numbers? I raise my chicks with friendly broody hens which seems to help them adjust to my presence and impart a sense of protectiveness on the hens so they don't walk off from the clutch, or abandon chicks in a field. Guinea fowl don't seem to be great parental figures, at least in the climate I'm in (zone 6, wet temperate mountains). It seems starting them with broody chickens (I have a rooster that is apt to watching over guinea chicks too) has improved their subsequent reproduction in the field. Even then, during slaughter times, these buggers know what's going on and make themselves invisible or abandon the coop for the tallest hemlock on the property. There is a balance to be struck between keeping them wild and getting them to trust you at the expense of their domestication. This might be an important consideration to discuss with your partners if you don't yet have a plan in place.