chicks and keets


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 14, 2013
Hi everyone,
I am new to the forum and so excited to be here! We just got chickens last spring and have 9 layers and one very sweet rooster.

Today is day 20 in the incubator and we have 9 eggs, with 3 that are pipped externally and about 3 with internal pips. Myself and two daughters are watching with baited breath! No one zipping yet. One pipped on the side, and another pipped on the wrong end, so it could be quite an adventure over the next couple of days.

Anyway, my question is related to keeping keets and chicks in the same brooder. Last weekend I got five guinea hen keets. Three of them are 2 weeks old and two of them are now one week old. I've read that if I raise them with chicks, then they are more likely to stay around the homestead, as the chickens will be considered a part of their social group.

My question is about adding two-day old chicks in with 2 -week old keets. Does anyone have any experience with this? I know temperature regulation will be a challenge, but plan to keep the heat lamp there and the temp at 95 degrees for the new babies. I figure that the older keets will just move farther away from that corner of the brooder until they find a spot that is more comfortable for them. I'll have two chick-safe waterers and feeders so there won't be crowding. The keets are on chick-starter feed, which I've read is fine for them. They may grow more slowly, but since they will be living in the laundry room until fully feathered, that is fine with me.

Does anyone have any experience they can share in this regard and if so, could you let me know of any other potential problems you might foresee with this plan?

Thanks, and wish me luck this weekend with our little eggs. I am trying to prepare myself that they won't all make it, but will cry for sure if any die!! This is so wonderful and heart-wrenching all at the same time!
Welcome to BYC! It's been many years since we last had guineas and our keets were hen-raised, so I'm afraid I can't tell you, but ask in the Guinea section if someone there have done this:

Best of luck with your hatch! Especially the malpositioned ones. If you need any help/advice with them, let us know.
Thanks, I will try the other thread about the guineas. However if anyone has added 2-day old chicks to a group of 2-week old chicks, it might be the same thing. I am thinking that I will set up a mini-box just for them in the corner for the first week to make sure they don't get trampled or crowded out.

As an update on my hatch: it looks like 7 of the 9 will make it. Turns out I am completely in the -it's-okay-to-assist-in-the-hatching camp. Only two of them made it out on their own. Something was very wrong with the hatch and the air cells were waaaay too small. My guess is too high of humidity for the first 2 weeks, as it was summer. Also, I just discovered while reading on-line yesterday that there are holes on the bottom of my still-air incubator. So, many of the chicks were in the wrong position and pipped out of the wrong end or the side of the egg. One that was chirping last night had died by this morning. When I unpeeled him to see if I could help, his beak was on the side and he had no air. :( I cried, but then immediately started to unpeel the last one that hadn't pipped. Thank heavens for great on-line directions about how to do this! That last one was in the same boat: it was peeping, but not into the air pocket, and it was at an angle that it couldn't break the shell on its own. So, that one is resting in the corner, with just a small peep hole in its shell. The membrane wasn't ready, so it's wrapped up in a wet paper towel and we'll see if it's ready to be unpeeled tonight. Another one is half-peeled an she'll come out when she is ready. So, right now we have four healthy fluffy babies, and 3 that are half-born and getting impatient that I am making them wait!

Without assisting, I think we would only have had two of the 9 make it. Thank God for the internet! I suppose it's pretty good for a first time hatch, but I can't help but mourn the one that suffocated in the night. :(

Nevertheless, we learned so much, and the girls are ready to start another batch. Better tell my husband that we'll be needing an addition on the coop!
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss, but it sounds like you are doing a great job with the others!
Also, I just discovered while reading on-line yesterday that there are holes on the bottom of my still-air incubator.

There needs to be holes there... carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen... with having holes at the bottom of an incubator it gives the carbon dioxide a place to escape .. so hopefully (if there is enough air space around the incubator) it will drift out and not kill the hatching chicks..
If the holes are blocked the carbon dioxide will pool at the bottom and if enough builds up it can end up killing the chicks
Luckily, I was reading like a fanatic yesterday while the chicks were hatching and came across it. I put the bato up on two bricks right away. I probably should have had it up on them the whole time for air flow. Live and learn. We have seven fluffy chicks who are in the brooder and doing fine! I decided to keep them in a shoe box in the corner of the brooder for a few days. So far so good.

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