Brooding Chicks and Keets?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by MjsChickens, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. MjsChickens

    MjsChickens In the Brooder

    May 23, 2017
    United States
    My Coop
    I -very- recently made an order to Cackle Hatchery for Rhode Island, Barred Rock, Australorp chicks and 5 random guinea keets. I want to know if I can raise them together, and I have quite a few questions as I have never raised guineas, let alone with other species.
    1. What should I feed them? I assume I would need something that works with both, and with enough protein.
    2. Will the brooder need to be eventually covered? I know that guineas have a reputation of being able to fly long distances...
    3. Should I use temperatures for chicks if they are raised together? I have absolutely no idea what I would do if they required different temperatures, and I guess I would have to build another brooder.
    4. When should I move keets outside? I have a run attached to my coop, but I do need them to free range for my major tick issues. The sooner they are outside the better.
    5. Can they be housed in the same coop with chickens? I really don't want to build a whole new coop for these guys, as I am currently renovating a coop that was abandoned.
    6. Can they be tamed? I have heard that they are extremely skittish, and I am trying to not have high expectations. It would be cool to have a new little buddy though ;)

    Thank you all in advance! I apologize if I have weird formatting, as my goal was to make it easy to read :confused:
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    I never recommend that people start with fewer than 10 keets. They are a flock bird and do better in large groups. I don't recommend imprinting keets on chickens as they have different mannerisms than any other kind of poultry. All of your questions have been answered many times before. If you use the advanced search feature at the top of the page, you can limit your searches to this forum. Read Raising Guinea Fowl 101 and pay particular attention to posts made by @PeepsCA

    1. When I brood chicks, keets and/or poults together, I always feed them what is required by the keets and poults. I feed mine 28% turkey/gamebird starter. It isn't just the protein content but the other added essentials such as niacin and methionine that the keets and turkeys need. The chicks do fine on it. Chicks can actually handle higher percentages of protein than the keets and poults can. The chicks may not need the extra protein but it will not hurt them.

    2. Keets have been said to be able to fly out of their brooders when they are a week old but I currently have one week old keets and they cannot fly. At 2 weeks old they may be able to fly out of a brooder.

    3. The recommended temperature for starting keets is 95°F while that for chicks is 90°F.

    4. I don't recommend housing guineas and chickens together. Everything can seem fine until the guineas reach their first breeding season. If they have been imprinted on chickens, they will treat the chickens the same way that they treat each other and the chickens will not understand and be subject to a lot of stress.

    5. There are people that tame their guineas. Guineas are capable of learning such as coming to a bell or a specific call if trained to do so using treats.
    BoogieBug and MjsChickens like this.
  3. BlueShadow

    BlueShadow Songster

    Jun 13, 2015
    I did raise keets and chicks together successfully, feeding gamebird starter at first and then gradually lowering the protein content as they grew. At about 6 months of age, I began regretting it. Guineas are more aggressive with their social pecking order fighting, and I did not appreciate the chickens getting caught up in that. Then when the breeding season started, it got worse.

    Guineas have very different mannerisms than chickens. A number of their behaviors remind me of the wildness of the pheasants we once raised. They can be entertaining, but it seems that most people find they are more often frustrating.
  4. BoogieBug

    BoogieBug Songster

    Hi MjsChickens, I'm new at raising guineas too, but I'll just share what I've learned so far. =)

    This is what I feed mine thanks to advice learned on this site:
    Dehydrated Meal Worms

    At a week and a half, my keets were already flying out of a large cardboard box!! I had to put bird netting over the top.

    I feel you on the tick (and skeeter and ant and every other imaginable insect) issue! I'm so ready for my keets to get to business, but if you want them to come back to the coop, I've read it's best to keep them contained for eight weeks. That's why we're building a hoop coop tractor so we can move them around until they are ready to free range.

    My keets are still in the nice warm comfort of our RV because the last few nights have gone down to the low 60's. I suppose when they are a few weeks older and the temps are in the 70's at night, I'll let them spend the night outdoors ... OR I'll have to keep a heat lamp or heating pad in the enclosed part of the tractor.

    In an attempt to get my keets comfortable with me, I'm holding them every day and I only feed them their meal worms by hand. I put a handful of worms in my hand and then rest my hand on the bottom of the brooder box. They eat the worms out of my hand and sometimes one will sit on my finger while eating the worms. I figure the more I handle them, the less skittish they will be of me.

    That's all I've got. I hope it helps!
    MjsChickens likes this.

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