Another keet question

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by joedie, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    So I put my three 6 weeks old keets in the coop last week with the heat lamp and they have done well with the temp in the 20's at night. They are in an extra large wire dog kennel. I know they need to be in there for about 6 weeks to know where home is but I was wondering....they really seem to want to be with the 5 adult guineas. If I let them out now would they stay with the adults or run off?
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Most likely the adults will not accept them, and could even peck the keets to death, very quickly... are you seeing any aggression from the adults towards the youngsters? If not then you could try letting them loose together, but I'd make sure to be right there with them and ready to step in and separate them if needed.

    Personally I would not trust the adults with keets that young... one major peck to the head can kill a young bird. Plenty of hiding places that the keets can duck behind but not get trapped behind can help the youngsters escape any aggression the adults direct at them.
     
  3. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana

    At what age would the adults accept them ?
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    It depends... how long have they all been housed side by side (but separated by wire) where they can see each other all the time but not get to each other? Sometimes a couple wks works, sometimes up to 6 wks (or even longer) is needed. There's really no magic number for every flock, so the time needed or the certain age the keets will be accepted can all vary. If you see your adult Guineas charging at the babies from their side of the wire then I'd wait until the adults stop doing that before integrating. Some flocks accept babies right away, but not all flocks will. Usually by 12 wks old the keets are pretty much full grown and can fend for themselves, and avoid the aggression from the adults in my flocks (if there is any aggression).
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  5. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    Joedie, I'd like to add my unprofessional, novice opinion. I think 7-8 week old keets are too young to free-range. They are the first target for predators, being an easier catch because they're small. I would follow Peeps' advice and keep them enclosed for at least 6 weeks and let them get more size on them, and also let the adult guineas get used to the little ones. Extra work, but worth it. IMHO? Take the safer route.
     
  6. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    Thanks for the advice. One of the keets got out of the kennel but I had the door closed to the coop and went directly to the adults. One peck from the adults and she was hanging with them until I could catch the keet and put it back. They are fast! I didn't think about the predators and the size of the keets so I guess they stay in the kennel until they are of a good size. I'll never again hatch them so late in the season. These are 3 expensive guineas with all the heat and light on in the basement all day for 6 weeks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  7. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you'll be glad you held off on free-ranging in the end. Small birds are the first to get picked off by the hawks in my experience. I learned the hard way. And, yes, 24 hour heat lamps are VERY expensive!
     

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