Can keets be introduced to 12-week chickens?

JinE

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2020
10
19
23
Oxford, NC
Hi all,

My husband and I are considering getting some guineas - we have a LOT of ticks and would really appreciate guinea help in diminishing the population. However, we currently have a coop with 7 hens that are 12-weeks old. Are the hens too old to introduce keets? Should we just plan to raise some guineas separately and "integrate" them later? Our chickens currently free range throughout the day and just return to the coop to sleep at night so I don't think there's a chance they will feel like they're right on top of each other.

Thanks for any advice or help in advance!
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
32,918
159,853
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Hi all,

My husband and I are considering getting some guineas - we have a LOT of ticks and would really appreciate guinea help in diminishing the population. However, we currently have a coop with 7 hens that are 12-weeks old. Are the hens too old to introduce keets? Should we just plan to raise some guineas separately and "integrate" them later? Our chickens currently free range throughout the day and just return to the coop to sleep at night so I don't think there's a chance they will feel like they're right on top of each other.

Thanks for any advice or help in advance!
I would brood, raise and house guineas separately from chickens.
 

GretchenM

Songster
9 Years
Mar 7, 2011
69
11
111
JinE, I'm in a similar position. I have 25 9-week-old hens and 7 4-week-old keets. We had to coop the hens up a couple days ago due to a tragic hawk attack. We'll be working on covering the hen yard, but that will take some time. I want to get the keets in with the hens now, while they're all cooped up, so we can start coop-training the guineas. From what I'm seeing in this forum, it sounds like that should work. What did you end up doing, and how did it turn out?
 

JinE

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2020
10
19
23
Oxford, NC
JinE, I'm in a similar position. I have 25 9-week-old hens and 7 4-week-old keets. We had to coop the hens up a couple days ago due to a tragic hawk attack. We'll be working on covering the hen yard, but that will take some time. I want to get the keets in with the hens now, while they're all cooped up, so we can start coop-training the guineas. From what I'm seeing in this forum, it sounds like that should work. What did you end up doing, and how did it turn out?

So our hens have always free-ranged during the day even though they have an attached run to their coop. For the first few days, we kept the keets in a brooder box at night and then put them into the chicken run during the day. However, we also built two tractor runs for meat birds that we ordered so after a week and a half, we've been keeping the keets in one of the tractor runs full-time. This has worked especially since our hens are starting to lay eggs, so we've been wanting them to get used to laying in their nesting boxes and keeping them cooped all day.

Every few hours or so, we'll let out a keet or two to get them used to being out, but they stick by the other keets for the most part and often put themselves back into the tractor run. We've also noticed that at least one of our hens will come over and peck at the keets - probably to establish pecking order. So, they may still be a little young to fully integrate with the hens.

I think in another week or so, we will have to move our meat birds full time to the two tractor runs and at that time, plan to move the keets back into the hen house/run. I'll let you know what happens then!
 

JinE

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2020
10
19
23
Oxford, NC
@GretchenM Wanted to share an update with you. Despite everything I've read about losing guineas, our guineas are institutionalized and refuse to go anywhere besides the chicken tractor. So, they spend their daytime out of the tractor (though not venturing very far from it) and nighttime in one of the tractors with the meat birds. Plus, our hens have a habit of pecking at them so it made better sense to just let them stay in the tractor than to try to put them in the coop/run with the hens.
 

Lovem all

Songster
Jul 29, 2020
999
1,121
161
Raise them up until they are off of grower/finisher but as they are older introduce them to each other by having the guineas in like a pen or something. Then have them be mixed.
 

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