Cold baby guinea?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by yinzerchick, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    E.Texas
    Hi all,
    I had a guinea hatch out some babies about a 5-6 weeks ago. They've all done well, but right now we're experiencing an awful cold snap. Colder than usual for this time of year. It's only in the 30's today, and with the wind and clouds feels even colder.

    I'm wondering if I did the right thing. The babies were all doing well, they're getting feathered out well, but their undersides are still kind of fuzzy. Wings are feathered, but not heads. There is one we noticed a day ago that seemed to be straggling behind and cold. Once the sun came out and the momma took them over to the south side of the barn where they could get out of the wind and snuggle in the hay, they all seemed okay again.

    Today, there's no sun, and it's pretty windy. The same chick was straggling behind again, and when I got close, it looked to be trembling. I scooped it up, and brought it inside to warm it up. I gave it some warm water with a little sugar in it. (just a couple beak dips) and have it in a box, with a burlap sack sitting on top of the warm stove top. (I was baking)

    I'm afraid now I've warmed it up and it's going to be really cold if I take it back out. Any ideas?? What would you do, or what should I have do now? I'm not a huge fan of guineas, but I'm still not willing to let any of them suffer.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. GuineaFowling

    GuineaFowling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Central California
    I had a late hatch as well. My keets are two weeks old as of yesterday. I dont allow the parents to take the babies out until they are at least two weeks old in the summer and during the winter I put a heat lamp in the coop and leave them in until the keets have fully feathered. Of course this would be hard if you have lots of guineas who need to go in and out of the coop and only one coop. Is there an area in your barn you could section off and use as your make shift brood coop for the guinea mother and her keets? I would leave the keets in the barn until they have fully feathered, especially if it is getting real cold. I have the lamp on during the day and off at night. Of course my weather is not as cold since I live in central cali.

    In your situation, I would leave the keet in the house and go out and herd the guinea mother and her babies into the barn or coop. Lock them in the barn/coop and place a heatlamp low to the ground where the babies can huddle under if they get cold. I usually have the food near the heatlamp so they go to the warmth to eat. Your momma guineas not gonna like it but it'll keep her babies warm and warm keets are happy keets. After the keets, parents, and heatlamp are all in the barn bring the baby you have in the house and leave it under the lamp. It should do fine. During the night I use a red light so the babies can sleep but if you dont have one just turn the lamp off and the mother will warm all of the babies underneath her.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    361
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    108
    Jun 13, 2011
    E.Texas
    Thank you for the reply. I ended up just taking the keet back outside after about 1/2 hour in the house, and let it join the others. It did fine.
    My guineas were given to me, and I really don't keep them in a coop. I taught them to nest in the barn rafters. The momma guinea built a nest out in the pasture. I put a saw horse over her, to help protect her from predators, and added ply wood over it to make like a teepee, now since it got cold, to keep out of the wind. She takes them there at night, but it's pretty cold during the day right now. Wet too. I didn't worry about the nights, but now with the days this chilly, I'm getting concerned. It's supposed to warm back up to seasonal temps, mid 60's during the day, by next weekend, but I'm worried about the next two cold days.

    I have a brooder in the barn and can take the remaining keets and put them in there with a heat lamp, but coraling the momma would be next to impossible. I have a hard time even figuring out which one is the momma until she's on the nest.

    What do you think? Take the babies into the barn and put them in the brooder without the momma, (I'll get the momma in too if I can) or should I leave them all be if I can't get the momma? Would it be feasible to take the babies into the brooder, and let them back out once it warms up again in a few days?

    Again, thank you so much for the reply!
     
  4. GuineaFowling

    GuineaFowling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Central California
    Do what you think is best. If the mother is hard to put into the brooder then you can leave her out. Guinea keets are really fragile to 'wet' weather. I had a keet last year who was 3 weeks old but died because she was out in the rain with the flock and got pneumonia. The mother usually will go after the keets if she hears them call her, so you can put the keets in the brooder and then wait for the mother to go in and simply lock her in. If thats not an option you could leave her with the rest of the flock. Sometimes if you take keets away from the mother and then reunite them the mother wont 'accept' the keets. You have to keep that in mind.

    Goodluck!
     

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