Guinea talk. - Page 6
Hello Patty and Clay... I finally had some time to post a bit this morning. We just celebrated our 3rd week with the keets. They are growing before my very eyes. They have moved out to a garage in an enclosed (with cardboard) dog crate with tree branch perches. I have two crates connected to move them from one to the other for cleaning. Since we're now keeping them year round, we needed a larger building with electricity, so we're having an Amish barn type shed built. Patty, they will love the higher ceiling as you recommended.
Do your guineas eat clover? Mine LOVE it! They are so cute to watch as they grab a stem and run with it - others chase along after them.
Clay, I hope you are able to work with Madison to be nicer. I have to say, Henry isn't too interested in me - only for food and I have been trying to train him to come to a bell, but he's not real consistent. The keets have trained like a dream. One idea I have used with him - I got from our dog trainer - is that he doesn't get to just eat when he wants to. He only eats when I ring the bell and give him his food - so it's forced him to make a positive connection with me. He is definitely more skiddish than the keets though and probably will always be. He won't be free ranged for another week. We have a busy week coming up and I know if he gets wandering, I won't have the time to go looking for him - best for him to stay in the covered run for another week than risk losing him again. I'm also waiting on the weather.
The keets still require heat when it's below 70 degrees. If it warms up enough, I'd like to get their crate moved to the shed with Henry. I'll keep you posted!
Your guineas are so cute. I love the little stripes on their heads. That is the last thing to change when they grow their adult feathers. Spider and Mary Jane still have some stripes but they are fading fast. I told them to keep the stripes but they won't listen.
I'm glad your keets are training well with the bell. When they hear the bell they know it's food time and we had better come home. With Henry being cooped that long I hope he realizes where his home is. I'm sure it's difficult with them when they have to get used to a different place to live. Has he seen the keets yet? I bet he will be glad to get some company. I know they are flock birds.
Their coop sounds really nice. The amish have high quality work and their products are built to last.
Yesterday my husband went into the garage and there sit Spider and Mary Jane on his motorcycle. Spider was on the seat and Mary Jane was on the pouch on the back of the seat. He said if the key was in it they probably would have taken off with it. I told him I wouldn't put anything past these two hoodlums. I wish we could have got a picture of them on the motorcycle.
We don't have any clover in our yard and I'm sure if we did they would go after it. I give them two boiled eggs every morning and they sure enjoy those. They are eaters that's for sure.
Have a great day.
I have concerns about Henry as well. I really would like to let him free range now, but the keets are in a garage where there is electricity (still need heat) and he is in a utility shed (no electricity). Since he's the only one, when I do free range him, there's nothing to draw him back. I'm going to be tied up for the next week with an event here in town - Oz Stravaganza - and I can predict what will happen. My husband will call in a panic because Henry took off and I won't be able to do anything about it. Well, it's only 5 more days, so I guess he'll have to wait.
I've been watching the evening temperatures and checking to see how much the temperature in the buildings drop. They are dropping about 10 degrees if there is a 20 degree difference from day to night - so if it's an 80 degree day, the buildings will be down to 70 degrees by morning. The keets are supposed to be at 75 degrees now. I'm looking at 70 degrees during the day and 50's at night, so that means without heat, the buildings will be at 60. I think another week or two and I'll be able to move them in with Henry. That will be interesting! I'll keep them in the crates for a week to see how everyone adjusts. I'll have to keep an eye on Henry since he had a history of being aggressive with chicks. Eventually, the French Guineas will be bigger than he is, but they're not there yet.
I know what you mean about the stripes, Patty.... they are so cute with them. How old are Spiderman and Mary Jane now? It's been fun to watch them grow and change and having Henry has helped me to anticipate a few things too - like the clover. I put a pot of it in his run and he's so happy! Thanks for the idea on the boiled eggs. I'll have to try that - another good source of protein for them.
I would love to see Spiderman and Mary Jane on that motorcycle. That would have been a great picture! Maybe you'll get the chance again before too long and if you do, please make sure to share.
Question - do either of you have a good idea on how to move them? I know their legs are fragile and I'd like to start taking them to the enclosed run when Henry is free ranging. I read somewhere that a cardboard box is too slippery and they could injure their legs in the move sliding about. Any ideas on what to put in the cardboard box to keep them from doing that?
Have a great day! Sending a picture of the sunset I took here a few days ago. Love the seasons and being outside!
Spiderman and Mary Jane will be 10 weeks old this coming Saturday. I'll be sure and share a pic of them if we can catch them on the motorcycle again. That would be really cute.
I would put that shelf liners in the bottom of the cardboard box. It's the rubber kind that nothing slides on and it comes in a roll that you can cut off. That should keep them from sliding around.
I hope Henry does good with the babies. Thats good that you are introducing them to him while still in a crate. He can see them but not get to them.
The picture is really pretty of the sunset. Have a great day.
Shelf liner is a great idea, thank you. It's good for me see the pictures of the guineas as the grow. Helps me to plan what I have to do next. Can't wait see a picture of them on the motorcycle!
How old is Madison, Clay and do you have your new one yet?
On Wednesday I decided to let Henry out to free range - got thinking about what Patty said. I was going to be around for the day and thought I would give it a try. I have to say, I wondered if I would ever see him again since we don't have a flock to keep him grounded yet and there are 20 acres of tall grass between us and the neighbor. He kept disappearing and reappearing throughout the day. Near sunset I went out to ring the bell, but no Henry. I let our neighbors know in case they saw him wandering. I tried the bell one last time about 15 minutes left before the sun disappeared and Henry came RUNNING toward me. I turned and ran and he chased me all the way back to his coop! Big sigh of relief... He was in yesterday due to thunderstorms - didn't want him to get spooked. I'll be sending him out again today.
Today we celebrate our 1 month with the keets. I'll be taking their picture again. Soon I'll be opening up the space for them to travel between the two crates. They're getting too big to all be in one - I'm noticing a bit more aggression - time for more space!
Happy Friday! Clay, I noticed you are in PA - we probably have similar weather. Patty, where are you located?
Glad I could help you with the shelf liners. I live in Southern Indiana right across the river from Louisville, Ky. We had storms yesterday too the keets do not like the rain at all. They still won't go back to the coop to get out of the rain.
Congrats on your 1 month old keets. I would love to see pics of them. I know their growing fast. Mary Jane and Spiderman have blue on their heads now with long feathers on their necks. They are just so strange looking it's cute. I've not seen any aggression between the two of them. They move in unison and stay togeather all day.
We have been herding them to the coop in the evenings instead of carrying them inside. They are doing pretty good. I've also read if you put a light in the coop it helps them to come to it in the evenings. I'm so glad that Henry came back even tho you had to do it twice with the bell. He's learning and that is great.
Have a great day.
I wondered about the rain. I appreciate you sharing your experience and will have to keep on eye on the weather and them when they start to free range. I thought I could to do that at 8 weeks - based on the Gardening with Guineas book, but I've read on Backyard Chickens that people are recommending 12 weeks. What are your thoughts on that? We get a lot of strong wind here too and I'm not sure how they'll handle that. I think playing it safe first and then watching their behavior when it's a mild wind will give me some information. You can learn a lot just by watching them.
That's good that you haven't seen any aggression. I think it happens more in flocks and definitely if they don't have enough room. I don't know if opening the two crates together is going to solve the problem. They seem to always travel as a whole flock and I find them in one crate or another - just like Mary Jane and Spiderman! I may remove the two roosts from the one side and just leave their food in there and keep one roost on the other side to give them more room for traveling. I've included some pictures for you.
I hope your herding goes well. It's hard to herd Henry - just one - he holds his ground and when I move, he scoots past me. I read somewhere that using a long pole helps. I bought two of those pool noodles to try - just to sort of hold out low, not swing around - when the keets are bigger. Not sure if something like that would help you or maybe they are easy for you to herd. It sounds as though your husband is willing to help too - so that's good. The more, the merrier! I haven't been to your part of Indiana. I'm sure it's lovely and that we have similar weather. I want to ask you some coop questions and weather questions, but will save them for another time.
FYI - I left the door to the run open yesterday, but I don't think Henry came out. He was in there two hours after I opened up and at dusk when my husband closed the run. He really is goofy!
I have a question related to poop. Sorry.... For the most part, they have been on a chicken starter with an antibiotic (I couldn't get a turkey starter), then I give them the meal worms, clover and some of the game bird / turkey feed. I'm starting to switch over to more of the turkey feed and less of the chicken starter, but I'm noticing their poop is more runny and has a stronger smell. Do you think this is a normal process or is there something wrong here?
Have a wonderful day in Indiana and PA! Hope all is well, Clay...