father pecking keets

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by fancyfeathers38, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Australia.
    About three weeks ago my Guinea hen hatched 11 cute little keets.[​IMG]

    This is my first time with keets so please bear with me.

    As soon as they hatched we put Mama, Father and chicks in a large brooder box because it was raining and I didn't want the keets to freeze.

    For the first 24 hours the family was happily scratching about and enjoying themselves in the brooder, and Dad would even help mama by keeping some of the keets warm.

    Well the next morning it seemed like dad had lost interest and was constantly trying to escape. So I let him out of the box and he instantly ran to the rest of the flock ( my flock is small only consisting of 3 males and a female).

    Since them mama has successfully raised the keets on her own. The dad hasn't had any access to them for the last three weeks.

    Well today I decided they could be let out to roam with their Mama as it is a beautiful sunny day.

    Mama happily showed her chicks how to dust bath and forage. Then along came Dad and the other two males.

    Mama was happy to see them and the keets were curious about these new adults. Together they all made their way down the back.
    Then things started to go wrong. The Dad started violently pecking at the chicks and Im afraid that he will hurt them.

    Is this normal behavior? Is it because they have been separated for so long?

    Thanks in advance.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. bemba

    bemba Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mary Valley QLD.
    Well I have had cock birds that are fantastic, and some that are not so good..... Last season one hen came home with 7 keets, she was part of a flock of 7 (including herself) and all bar one were hens..... she walked over to the group making very different sounds than she would usually make, like she was saying to the group these keets are with me and part of our flock now, the other hens immediately started to mother them.... the cock bird on the other hand went feral, and started throwing them over his back!! So I caught him and locked him up, a week later I let him out and he was perfect with them.
     
  3. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Australia.
    So they just have to get used to the chicks?
     
  4. bemba

    bemba Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2010
    Mary Valley QLD.
    Well hard to say, most of my cock birds are doting fathers... calling the keets over whenever he finds a tasty morcel.... but they are all different, so just watch him, he should get over it, and when they are a bit stronger/bigger I think they will be fine.
     
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    I don't let my Hens raise their own keets, too many issues and too many dangers for the keets... some have no problems at all tho. But yes, most likely it is because the father has been separated from them, and now he feels threatened by them. He sees them as strangers that are with HIS Hen, not his babies any more. Chances are he will most likely continue to try to peck and maybe even kill them.... or even continually run them off, to the distance that allows predators to pick them off. Like bemba mentioned locking him up would be a good idea, at least until the keets are older and can fend for themselves better. Where he can see the keets (and they and the rest of the flock can all see him), but where he can't get to the keets to peck them would be best (separated by cage or wire). Seeing each other is usually key when it comes to integration. I would not let him back out with the keets until they are old enough to fend for themselves and dodge his pecking. Just a week or so of being kept separated might change his attitude too tho, especially if the rest of the flock is fine with the keets. But then again you may need to keep him away from the keets until they are 8 weeks old, or older [​IMG] (There's never a sure answer or solution when it comes to Guineas [​IMG] ) Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  6. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Australia.
    Thank you all for your help.[​IMG]

    I have separated Mama and her keets in a specialy made coop. It sits in the middle of the yard and all the other guineas can see the chicks and Mum. Problem solved.
    I also think that the Dad is becoming more parenting towards the keets as he is not pecking them and chases away anything that comes within 10 metres of his chicks pen, even our dogs! [​IMG]
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    That's great news [​IMG] Keeping them safe would have been (will always be) my first choice, but it sounded like the rest of the flock had already allowed them into the flock... so I figured containing the problem (the mean daddy) was the next best thing. Separating Momma and keets would have been my next suggestion, especially if the rest of the flock was not accepting the keets. Hopefully all goes well when you evetually let Momma and babies out [​IMG]

    Also, since the babies are not out and about free ranging for extra bugs and seeds now, it's a good idea to make sure you raise them on a high protein game bird, turkey or pheasant starter feed... that way the keets will grow as fast as they should [​IMG]
     

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