Brooding Chicks and Keets?

MjsChickens

Chirping
May 23, 2017
35
15
59
United States
My Coop
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:
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,201
161,385
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
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:
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.
 

BlueShadow

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2015
476
368
186
Nebraska
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.
 

BoogieBug

Songster
Jun 3, 2017
125
67
131
Paulding County (NW) GA
My Coop
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.

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

1. What should I feed them? I assume I would need something that works with both, and with enough protein.
This is what I feed mine thanks to advice learned on this site:
Feed
Vitamins
Dehydrated Meal Worms

2. Will the brooder need to be eventually covered? I know that guineas have a reputation of being able to fly long distances...
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.
guineasbox.jpg

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.
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.

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 ;)
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!
 

NashvilleLuLu

Chirping
Oct 15, 2018
79
48
71
Thank you for all these posts, BackyardChickens.com is just THE best! I came here for this information and more.

We are down to a single one year old chicken. I shall spare you the sad details. Dolly is a great, but we think a lonely chicken. She has totally imprinted on us and the dogs. We do let her in the house (and she hasn't pooped in it).

We got chickens for tick control, eggs, and their vibe. We want to try guinea fowl for a more effect for insect control. I haD this vision that she could momma the keets and they could live harmoniously together. R2elk's reply got me re-thinking that vision.

Since we have just one chicken, would any of the problems potentially be less stressful for her? The breeding stress sounds just awful.

Would the guinea fowl remain true to their nature or start acting like a chicken?

Thanks for any additional guidance!
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,201
161,385
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you for all these posts, BackyardChickens.com is just THE best! I came here for this information and more.

We are down to a single one year old chicken. I shall spare you the sad details. Dolly is a great, but we think a lonely chicken. She has totally imprinted on us and the dogs. We do let her in the house (and she hasn't pooped in it).

We got chickens for tick control, eggs, and their vibe. We want to try guinea fowl for a more effect for insect control. I had this vision that she could momma the keets and they could live harmoniously together. R2elk's reply got me re-thinking that vision.

Since we have just one chicken, would any of the problems potentially be less stressful for her? The breeding stress sounds just awful.

Would the guinea fowl remain true to their nature or start acting like a chicken?

Thanks for any additional guidance!
Guineas and chickens do not speak the same language nor do they use the same body expressions to communicate.

If you want company for your chicken, get more chickens.

Guinea fowl will never give up their instinctive behavior. They will be true to their nature. I have raised guineas with and without chickens. Raising them without chickens will allow them to understand that chickens are not just strange looking guineas. The ones that I raised without chickens can now be out in the same area free ranging and will leave the chickens alone. The ones that were raised with chickens were mean to the chickens once the guineas reached their first breeding season.
 

NashvilleLuLu

Chirping
Oct 15, 2018
79
48
71
Guineas and chickens do not speak the same language nor do they use the same body expressions to communicate.

If you want company for your chicken, get more chickens.

Guinea fowl will never give up their instinctive behavior. They will be true to their nature. I have raised guineas with and without chickens. Raising them without chickens will allow them to understand that chickens are not just strange looking guineas. The ones that I raised without chickens can now be out in the same area free ranging and will leave the chickens alone. The ones that were raised with chickens were mean to the chickens once the guineas reached their first breeding season.
I totally understand what you are saying about chickenS and guineas. But my question is about guinea keets being raised with one chicken. Yes I am concerned about their first breeding season and that is why I am asking. Our one chicken may be confused or freaked out at first, but I feel like she would get over it ... or not, hence the question.

We currently have no plans for more chickens. We need guineas for insect control more than we need chickens.
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,201
161,385
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I totally understand what you are saying about chickenS and guineas. But my question is about guinea keets being raised with one chicken. Yes I am concerned about their first breeding season and that is why I am asking. Our one chicken may be confused or freaked out at first, but I feel like she would get over it ... or not, hence the question.

We currently have no plans for more chickens. We need guineas for insect control more than we need chickens.
It does not matter how many chickens the keets are raised with. If they are imprinted by a chicken they lose the ability to understand that chickens are not guineas. It can end badly for the chicken.
 

Marmack

Songster
Dec 18, 2016
107
124
142
Bullock, NC
Our last batch of 15 keets we have raised in the chicken coop. They grow much quicker then chicks and we had to ensure we had an area large enough. Once we let them out of them out they stayed with the lone older male Guineas, left from the original flock, who took them ‘under his wing’. He would keep them in line while free ranging and would bring them back to the run for a rest and at the end of the day to roost. Unfortunately he was killed by a stray dog. They were lost without him for a short time. Guineas will fly sooner than chickens and without a cover on the run will be out and roaming on their own. We went through many nights with Guineas in trees. Those that were low enough to encourage out of the trees were encouraged to go into the coup at night. We now have them going into the coup every night and they have a large nest with eggs under the nesting boxes. If I did it over again we would keep the Guineas separate so they can be released from the run every morning. Oh, and we also have a very bossy Wyandotte who keeps them in line, they will run from her every time. Good luck
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom