Dead New Born Keets - Why?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by dixie chicken, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. dixie chicken

    dixie chicken In the Brooder

    I had 12 assorted fancy guinea eggs under a silkie hen in a very secure enclosed room in my barn. Eight had hatched out on schedule as of last night. They all looked healthy but I did notice that a few were already wandering out from under mama last evening which I thought was strange and a little early. I checked on them before I went to bed and all were under the hen and everything was normal. This morning when I checked on them just after day light, 7 had crawled out across the small space I had partitioned off for them and were dead or in the process of dying. They were literally a foot to a foot and a half away from her. I was sick to my stomach! Why did they do this? I have raised a lot of baby birds of all kinds like this and never had this happen. Any ideas?
  2. summerwindsfarm

    summerwindsfarm Songster

    Jun 5, 2008
    Stroud, Oklahoma
    What were they eating? And could they have gotten chilled? Guineas are very fragile for the first 2 weeks. A draft can chill and kill them and so can dew on the grass. If they were wandering out from under the mama hen and got wet and chilled they would die quickly like our describing. We cant let our guineas hatch their own eggs for that reason. They will take the keets out through the damp morning grass and getting wet and chilled kills them fast. After 2 weeks keets are about the toughest bird out there..but they are very fragile those first 2 weeks.
  3. dixie chicken

    dixie chicken In the Brooder

    I am sure they got chilled when they wandered out cause it got a little chilly for a July night in Alabama (upper 60's) and there is no electricity in their room in the barn so they could not see to get back to mama. The room gets fairly good day light and good ventilation. They were not eating yet due to just being born yesterday. I did notice that there were fire ants on them but I think the ants came after the incident and thier mama did not have any ants under or around her. I have another hen, in the same room, who is hatching some of my existing farm Guinea eggs and they are not having this issue. I just sprinkled sevin dust in their area as prevention and to kill any insects. I only let my silkies hatch my guinea eggs because I have heard that guinea hens are not good mothers. I think I am just going to write this off as a learning experience and a freak happening. I am just so upset because they were such pretty babies and were going to be some unusual colors. I am tempted to try to order some more eggs to hatch before the end of summer. I got them from R. Winter at They are a great operation with wonderful customer service who sell guineas and peafowl. I highly reccomend them if anyone is interested. Thanks summerwindsfarm for responding so quickly with some good advice.
  4. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Songster

    Apr 12, 2007
    One other things is that the hen might not have let them back under her. I discovered this spring that sometimes hens wont take other breeds. I had a hen hatch and then peck to death a guinea keet. His whole little head was all bloodied. I used her last year to hatch guineas and she was fine but not this year. If I use a hen to hatch anything non chicken I always watch close and pull the babies right after hatch. They can act like they are going to accept them and then once they start making a lot of noise they will reject them. Now some hens will hatch and mother anything but they really need to be watched close. I am sorry for your loss. Jenn

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