feeding guineas?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by NancyP1, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. NancyP1

    NancyP1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What should I be feeding my guineas? My keets are eating game bird crumbles with no problem. They are almost 2 weeks old. My 3 adult guineas will only eat cracked corn or bread. I tried scratch feed, they just pick out the corn. With the bread, I tried the heels of whole grain, they won't touch it..they only want white bread! They won't eat veggie peels..they even turned up their beaks at white millet! Any ideas of what they should be eating? The adults are just about a year old. Thanks.
     
  2. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Game bird crumbles are a good choice for the keets, high protein. Adults could perfectly well eat the same, it's funny that yours don't want to. If they're free ranging they may be getting their protein elsewhere? I feed all of my birds Flock Raiser which is fairly high protein, and then they free-range. I have chickens as well so I don't want to pay for chickens to snarf down game bird crumble.

    My guineas turn up their nose at bread, most veggies, etc.

    My adults and keets both love millet and the adults like black oil sunflower seeds, but we use the seed mixes as a treat only.

    Edited: cuz i cant spel
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keets need to be on game bird starter until they are 6-8 weeks old, then weaned over to a grower feed or flock raiser with at least 20% protein, then at 12 weeks old they can be weaned over to any regular 16% protein layer pellet or crumble as their main diet from then on.

    Adult Guineas can't utilize more than 16% protein in their feed, but scratch and corn are both way too low in protein and should be used as a treat only, small amounts. If they are free ranging they are most likely eating seeds and bugs, but if they are cooped/penned full time then the protein level in their diet is alarmingly low and you are risking some major health issues with your adults if they continue on the corn and white bread diet. I would offer them a 16% protein layer pellet or crumble free choice and drastically reduce the corn and bread rations to only treat sized portions 1-2 times a day.

    You might want to shy away from letting your keets become picky eaters and ration their treats to just training purposes only.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  4. NancyP1

    NancyP1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all, I am concerned about the diet of cracked corn. I tried a handful of bird seed in the run today...nope, the adults dont want it. Also tried a handful of the game started that the keets are eating, they want no part of that either. If I take away the corn, and replace it with a layer crumble or pellet, should I just leave it until they get hungry enough to eat it? The adults free range from mid afternoon until evening so I'm sure they are getting plenty to eat, but probably not all healthy stuff. I have 3 adults, 1 male. I have tried to incubate the eggs and this batch of 14 seems to have only one viable egg. Could the diet have something to do with this? I know the male has been busy..all the eggs should have been fertile.
     
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Corn and carbs from the bread = fat, fat Guineas (and fatty liver and other internal organs) = poor nutrition (IMO) and that can equate to low fertility. If they are free ranging all day they are eating seeds and bugs and probably some greens, which is all way better than corn and bread. If they were my finicky Guineas I'd cut the corn and bread completely, provide a layer pellet or layer crumble and oyster shell free choice and let them deal with it. If they do not touch the layer feed and feel thin in the breast area after a week or so, then small amounts of corn would be ok... but they really should be weaned off of that junk IMO.

    How's it feel to be trained by Guineas? 'Sposed to be the other way around lol.
     
  6. NancyP1

    NancyP1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advise Peeps. They do have me trained well. I'm going to get them some layer crumbles today. Would you leave them in the coop/run area until they decide that they will eat the crumbles, or continue to let them out in the afternoon? I am kind of thinking they might not come back if they don't like the new food. I guess I could give them a handful of the corn to get them in the coop in the evening if need be. I am not so worried about the bread, they get a slice a day, and they will come up to the back door for it. If I don't get outside quick enough to suit them, they will come up on the deck and peck the glass in the back door. I never thought I would be a slave to 3 guineas.
     
  7. southern oaks

    southern oaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see where some people just throw out whatever is cheapest and they can eat it or not. From what I have learned from Peeps and others. I start my caged ducks and guineas from the first on 26%game bird started non medicated. Then I switch the 20 game bird feed. everyone that is free range gets 16% because I know they love to forage all day long. I just added two pygmy goats that I got because they were not fed anything but weeds and corn maybe once a week. they kept having kids and the kids would die. They also kept escaping from the fence he had them in. We brought them home, gave them small amounts of goat sweet feed and their normal brush and stuff and they never have attemped to get out of my fence. But why should they. They are actually getting a regular diet. One is def bred the other I am not sure. her belly was fluffy, but the rest of her was skinny when we got her. Heres hoping.
    PEEPS i set another carton of guinea eggs today. I kept taking them away and finally she decided she was done so I left her on 10 eggs. They will have to be taken soon or I might have guinea maddness in my yard.. haha [​IMG] can I say ADDICT.
     
  8. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't think it's necessary to lock them in with their food, (except at night of course), and yah, using the corn and bread to get them to come in is fine... but I'd only give them enough corn to lure them in, for a treat (like 1/2 cup split between all of them)... not a whole feeder full. A slice of bread a day won't hurt them either. In your initial post it sounded like that was ALL they ate, so if they are out free ranging then they are getting a good variety of natural forage, but as I mentioned above too much corn isn't good for them. It's fine for a treat and some extra calories and fat during the cold/wet winter months to help keep them warm tho. Hopefully your birds will start eating the layer feed, your Hens really need the balanced nutrition and extra calcium in their diet and IMO that should help with the egg fertility issues too.

    If you can find small 5lb bags of different layer feeds to try out maybe you will get lucky and find one that they like before having to buy a full size bag. If not, you can always save it for your keets after they are 12 weeks old.

    Good luck!
     
  9. birdboy508

    birdboy508 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mine are eating layer pellet right now but in winter they eat a mix of crack corn and layer pellet.[​IMG]
     
  10. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Wow good save on rescuing those poor goaties! Fattening up malnourished pregnant does can be tricky, there's a fine line between getting the doe healthy and avoiding pregnancy problems at the same time. Hope everything goes fine for them come kidding time, pygmy kids are SO ADORABLE!!! (Even cuter than keets, if you can believe I actually just said that, lol). Goat Drench, Bo-Se, Red Cell, Vit B complex, regular molasses and some probiotics are all good things to keep on hand should the girls start having any issues. Good luck with them!


    LOL yes you are ADDICTED to hatching!!! I love it, lololol [​IMG] I have a extra large hatch going into 2 hatchers tonight 65+ eggs... all of a sudden I got a bump in fertility from the Hens in my breeding pen and was swamped with fertile developing eggs, lol. But... that's ok, just means I'll probably get LOTS of Coral Blue keets YAY! (Like I need any more, I've already hatched 22 that I'm keeping LOL).

    And now I have a Royal Purple Hen disappearing during the day, I think she's got a nest going somewhere (I'm missing about 18 of her eggs so far) but she's still roosting with the others at night at this point. She's being SO sneaky tho, I have been trying for about 2 weeks, calling them all up to the driveway for veggies and wild birdseed treats 2-3 times a day trying to see where she's coming from and going off to lay/sit, but she knows I take their eggs (I have been since January) so she's bound and determined to brood a clutch on the sneak. She lingers around and acts like she's not up to anything while I am watching her then all of a sudden I turn my head and POOF, she's GONE. Dang Hens anyway, lol. So I may have her show up with keets trailing behind her sometime in Sept if she disappears all together in the next week or 2 [​IMG]

    Gotta run, selling 15 pure White pullets and cockerels in a little bit, need to go round them up! Cha-Chingggg $!$!$!
     

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