9 week old guinea keets ready to be released

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by spingirl, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. spingirl

    spingirl New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2013
    I have several chickens and 10 guinea hens. One guinea hen, who I'd thought had been taken by a predator, showed up with 13 keets probably 2-3 days old 9 weeks ago. We captured them and the hen and put them in a very large screened cage about 1/4 mile away from the pen. They are ready to be released now but I'm not sure how to go about it. Shall I just leave the door open and see if they come back at night for their grain? Will they eventually join the mother hen's group with her? Her mate often comes to see her during the day. Any info would be appreciated greatly.
     
  2. Naunnie

    Naunnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! [​IMG] Welcome to BYC. Is it possible to move the screened cage into the pen? IMO that would be best. The keets need to be introduced to the rest of the flock if you want them to be all together. Guineas prefer to stick together. They would need to stay in the new location, confined for another 6 weeks to realize this is now home. You might have a problem getting them to return to the screened cage if it is not large enough. They most likely will roost in the trees instead.
     
  3. spingirl

    spingirl New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2013
    Hi Naunnie! Thanks for the welcome and that's what I was afraid of. The cage they are in is a big hoop house with a large shelter attached. The hoop part is covered with netting. Moving the entire thing is out of the question. Catching the 10 remaining keets and moving them in a cage to my original coop (the hen's former home) won't work as there is not enough room for a large cage inside. I'm kind of stuck here. [​IMG]
     
  4. Naunnie

    Naunnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! So its sounds like you may wind up having 2 flocks. Is the hoop house large enough to be the keets permanent home? The recommendation is to keep then in the run/coop for at least 6 weeks, then only let a couple out at a time. Put those back and let out a few more. The "free ones" won't leave the flock. This might be easier to accomplish a few hours before dark. After a while, they all will know where home is and come back in to roost at night. I would lock all of them in at night. Night time predators can still get them out of the trees. Guineas cannot see in the dark. If one gets knocked of its roost, it will not figure out to fly back up.

    I'm sorry I don't have experience with 2 separate flocks. Since the male knows where they are, he might lead them to the original coop. The Hen may go back as well. Guineas can be hard headed. They don't like change. It is highly possible she will prefer her former home. She won't come back to the hoop house just to be with her babies. I would think the keets would go where the others birds are, but I just don't know.

    A BYC member "PeepsCA" often responds to the Guinea threads. She knows Guineas and can probably advise much better than me. You can send her a private message.

    I look forward to hearing how this works out and what other members advice is. Best of Luck Spingirl! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  5. spingirl

    spingirl New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2013
    It's great getting so much new information! I lucked out today. After letting the babies and mother bird out this morning I went back to check on them several times but could not find them. Then mid-afternoon they were outside of the chicken coop (the female's home) with the rest of the group. The female's mate was helping her keep the other birds from pestering them. We were able to get them in the coop with some work tonight. I count myself extremely lucky tonight! We'll see what tomorrow brings. Thanks for your help.
     
  6. Naunnie

    Naunnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yay! I just checked in before going to bed.....this is great news. Thanks for posting! [​IMG] Guineas are such extraordinary birds aren't they! One big happy flock would be ideal! I'm excited for ya![​IMG]
     
  7. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now that the keets are in the main coop is there anyway you can keep them locked in there with mom and let the adults out only during the day? I have a screen door on my coop and when new ones are hatched out they are locked in the coop during the day with the mom. The screen door lets them get fresh air and see the other guinea from time to time. Just before dusk I open the door and the rest go in for the night. I do this for about 6-7 weeks and then let them all out.
     
  8. spingirl

    spingirl New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2013
    Hi tomingreeneco! That would be ideal. Unfortunately, I have a BO rooster, 7 buff chickens, 6 rhode island red hens and 3 older hens who use the coop throughout the day for laying. So I'm kinda stuck that way. Thanks for the input though. That's a really good idea. I'm going to have to come up with a better design for next year's breeding season.
     
  9. spingirl

    spingirl New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2013
    Just an update to the above: the first couple nights after the initial night were tough as the older guineas would chase the young ones and split them up. Then they would fly up to the landing ledge of the pen. Getting them in then was a nightmare! They would end up roosting in the trees. Then we just had a lucky night and things went well and it's been fine ever since. Unfortunately I lost 3 babies to some type of predator, probably a hawk.
     

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