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At what age can keets withstand winter temps?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by kcdef, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. kcdef

    kcdef Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2015
    I have a dozen guinea keets that are going to be 6 weeks old in a few days. I've heard that after 6 weeks (fully feathered), they're extremely hardy. I live in Upstate NY, so the winters here are cold and we have a lot of snow right now. I'm weary of putting them outside anytime soon. They're still in the brooder with a heat lamp. At what age do you think I can put them in the coop outside with no heat lamp?
     
  2. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it is true that Guineas are very hardy. However I doubt that they're ready to handle upstate New York winter temperatures just yet. I would say that they should be at least 10 weeks old, and acclimated properly, in order to handle an out-of-the-wind 30F. Remember that they are from Africa, and have significantly less body mass than most chickens their age.

    I would imagine though that they're starting to wear out their welcome in the house. Is there any way you could set up a heat lamp in the coop? With an extension cord perhaps? With a heat lamp, you could move them out sooner.

    Whatever you decide, I would suggest trying to wean them over to cooler temps as much as possible before moving them outside. Not only to reduce temperature shock and stress, but also because it will cause them to feather in better/denser/faster, so that they're better equipped when you move them outside.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  3. kcdef

    kcdef Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the response Cowgirl71! Yeah, I'm not thinking that they're ready yet either. I'd be bummed out if I were to put them outside and for all of them to die after having them for 6 weeks.
    That's true - I didn't think about how it would cause them to feather better.
     
  4. LehighCounty4-H

    LehighCounty4-H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    im getting year old lavender guineas today do oyu think i can just put them outside i live in southeast PA and we got 3 feet of snow. paths are cut out for the pheasants and chickens that free range. can i put the guineas out also?
     
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Year old guineas can handle being outside in the winter in PA. What you don't mention is whether or not they will have a coop to get protection from the weather or if they are going to be placed in a run.

    Bringing home adult guineas and just turning them loose without a substantial (6 weeks) amount of captivity is a sure fire method to have the new guineas just leave since they do not recognize the new surroundings as home.

    Good luck.
     
  6. LehighCounty4-H

    LehighCounty4-H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i plan on clipping there wings and it only took a day for my red golden male pheasant to learn where home is and he free ranges every day
     
  7. R2elk

    R2elk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guineas are not pheasants so don't try to apply pheasants behavior to guineas. I personally know people who tried turning adult guineas loose without confinement and the guineas almost immediately left and did not return.

    Guineas also have a problem with snow on the ground. I do not let my guineas out when the ground is snow covered. The last time that I did so, the guineas took to the trees and would not come down until I spread hay on the snow to prepare a landing strip for them.
     
  8. LehighCounty4-H

    LehighCounty4-H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i did that i put hay on all the paths so my bantams wouldn't be to cold
     
  9. PinkyLee

    PinkyLee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! Before I let my guniea out the breeder told me after 2 weeks to decrease their temp light 5 degrees a week. I don't remember what it was set at but I'm in sunny California... Below 70 is cold for me! My gunieas are full grown and they stay out of their barn at 20 degrees and I was worried... Mine don't know how good they have it!
     
  10. kcdef

    kcdef Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2015
    Lol! They do have it good! Yeah, I've heard from many places to decrease it 5 degrees each week. I knew this before I even got them. The way my brooder is set up, I can't really accomplish moving the lights to make it exactly 5 degrees cooler each week, because the two heat lamps are actually INSIDE the brooder attached to hooks on the ceiling. So I just recently turned off the one lamp, so they only have the one on them now. I think my best bet is to just start buying lower wattage bulbs.
     

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