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6 of 17 DEAD!! First time with guineas...HELP!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by elevan, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. elevan

    elevan Songster Premium Member

    So, I ordered 12 guinea keets for pickup from Ridgeway Hatchery in LaRue, Ohio. They were hatched on Wednesday afternoon...I didn't get a call from the hatchery until 3:30pm on THURSDAY and it went to voicemail...didn't get vm until 4:15 and they close at 5:00 pm...and they are an hour away from me...

    So I wasn't able to get them until this morning. Lady at the hatchery said she put them on feed and water last night. I picked them up at 8:30 am this morning and they added 5 extra keets (so we had 17) because a few were looking poorly.

    Drove the hour home and almost immediately upon arrival 2 died. A 3rd quickly followed and then a 4th. We just lost the 5th a little while ago. And the 6th just died after the remaining 11 piled on top of it to sleep...bending it's neck clear back...there was no way I could have saved it by the time I discovered the pile up.

    This is my first go round with guineas...and I'm really frustrated. Ticked off is more like it...

    Is it normal to lose so many? Are they really that fragile? I've raised chicks and ducklings and never seen anything like this...

    Their brooder is at 93*-96*, they have a 24% feed (highest I could find) and water in one of those quail waterers (no way to drown). They are on bedding pads sold to me by the hatchery (same thing they put into the box when they ship chicks).

    On the way home I really expected to lose 4...just because of the way they were looking...but now I've lost 6! I don't want to lose anymore...what else can I / should I be doing??

    Please help!

    Thank you!

  2. snyd08

    snyd08 Chirping

    Jun 17, 2011
    no i think u jusrt got a bad hatch sent your way. something more than likely happend during the incubation period. maybe people opening incubator up too much somrhting like that IMO
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    I'd add poultry electrolytes w/vitamins to their water ASAP (get them from a feed store or Tractor Supply usually stocks Save-A-Chick packets), or at least get some clear pedialyte and give them that as their only source of water for several days. If nothing else at least add some sugar to their water and a pinch of salt for now, and dip each keet's beak in it a few times, several times a day, you want to see them swallow a few times. They will fuss, fight, choke and act like you are drowning them, but at least you know they are taking in fluids and electrolytes (hopefully vitamins too). Offer them boiled egg crumbled up with their starter feed, and scatter it on a paper towel in front of them. And other than what I've suggested and keeping them warm (make sure they can get away from the heat if they need to), there's not much else you can do...

    I'd ask for a refund from the hatchery if I were you, regardless if they gave you extras or not, you still had a lot of stress and trauma of seeing the keets die to deal with.

    Sorry for your losses, I know it's frustrating and hard to go thru. Hope the rest pull thru for you.
  4. terrilhb

    terrilhb Songster

    Dec 11, 2010
    Just sent a PM to Peeps. Hang in there.
  5. elevan

    elevan Songster Premium Member

    Quote:Thank you [​IMG]

    I did try electrolytes with the ones that didn't make it...I was using a dropper...tapping the beak to get them to open and then giving them a drop at a time.

    So far no more losses...holding at 11. These 11 seem to be doing well...eating, drinking, running around, then sleeping....and starting it all over again when they wake.

    What a relief to go a couple of hours without losing one... [​IMG]

    I'll look into the Save-A-Chick packets at TSC tomorrow and give them an egg too.
  6. cgmccary

    cgmccary Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    I hatched my first keets last summer under hens. This year I hatched some in the incubator and some under hens. It seems the first few days are very critical for keets. I had to really watch them. If the hen did not cover them frequent enough, some would get cold and never recover. IMHO, they are more fragile than chicks (which I rarely loose any) the first week (especially with a mother hen). I have seen chicks out with a mother hen on Day 1 with it below freezing and all of them make it. With keets, I seem to always lose a few the first days. Nothing I have done seems to save one that goes down hill. The good thing is that once I have gotten through that first week, Guinea keets seem to be pretty tough -- & only get tougher (and all make it).

    With a recent clutch, I noticed on Day 1 the all lavender ones were dying or falling off fast. They were out with a Game hen in a pen; she had 20 keets (and is an excellent mother hen). I collected the living lavender keets (4) and one Pearl that looked small and weak and brought them in. They all made it. The white ones seem more fragile too. My Guinea experience is limited though -- just what I've noticed.
  7. elevan

    elevan Songster Premium Member

    I will say that what I got was a mixed color bunch. The ones that are colored like chipmunks are the only ones left.

  8. elevan

    elevan Songster Premium Member

    We ended up losing another one 1 or 2 days after the first 6 died.

    The remaining 10 seem to being doing well. Now, as long as I don't lose any due to this stupid heat wave I'll be doing ok.
  9. terrilhb

    terrilhb Songster

    Dec 11, 2010
    [​IMG] [​IMG] I am so sorry.

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