guinea chick need help!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by denovackrs, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. denovackrs

    denovackrs New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2013
    I have rescued a wild guinea fowl chick. No idea how old. 1st day seemed fine and well, 2nd day it was weak, but after a while of free grazing in our garden it rallied enormously. Overnight it was weak again, I figured it was not warm enough. I don't have a lamp, but put it on a puppy heating pad(I breed on occasion and show cockers) It has perked up a lot. I am managing to get it to drink water from a dropper, but not much. I have offered it new chick mash but does not appear to be eating it. It only wants to free range. Today it is too cold to put it out and we are expecting rain. I also worry about birds of prey as we live adjacent to a nature reserve. I live in Cape Town South Africa. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
     
  2. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    Try putting it under a light bulb with a mayonnaise jar lid (for water), in with some room temperature scrambled eggs, finely chopped, along with the chick mash. Put the food on the floor, and use a towel or paper towels on the floor of the box you use. Don't use newspaper or anything slick, or it won't be able to stand easily, and that could damage it's feet/legs.

    I don't know about the heating pad - someone else may be able to advise you about that. But get the keet inside under a lamp and warm it up. It will likely die outside, but may stand a chance inside under a light. If you have a thermometer, it should be at 90 - 95 degrees F.

    Does it have feathers yet or still down? If you could post a picture, that would be great. Hope it makes it!
     
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    I agree, post a pic so we can give you more age specific info/advice.

    Typically keets cannot regulate their own body temp until they are fully feathered at 6 wks old. It probably doesn't need 95 degrees if it's already growing feathers, and the heated puppy-pad should give it enough heat as long as the little guy is resting/snuggling and soaking up the warmth... but ideally heat from a light bulb would warm it from the top and keep both the keet and the ambient temp around it warmer. They go down hill fast when they get chilled, so keep it warm. If you add a small mirror for it, it makes it think it has a buddy and may make it more comfortable.

    Free ranging is all it knows how to do, (that's what it learned from it's Momma, so it's already programmed to get food that way and is going to want to stick to that)... but if you can get it some small meal worms or small crickets it should eat those if you drop a few at a time in it's box/cage (whatever you have it in). If you don't have access to meal worms or crickets then go bug hunting or worm hunting in your yard. It may also need some fine gravel to use as grit, so it can grind up and digest the bugs and worms. If it's been eating grass and seeds in the yard it may have picked some up while free ranging, but I'd still put a little bit (a tablespoon or so) in with it, just in case it needs it.

    Also sprinkling the starter feed and crumbled scrambled egg in front of it may stimulate it to eat (the motion and the noise can help stimulate it/encourage it to peck at it and eat), and tapping your finger in the feed may help too. Keets need high protein to grow/develop at the right rate and thrive, so if it does start eating the chick mash and eggs you should try to find some turkey or game bird starter with around 27% protein.

    To get it to drink you can pick it up and dunk it's beak in the water quickly... it may struggle to get away and complain but if you see it swallow you know it is taking in fluids. I'd try to give it 2 or 3 good drinks every hour or so until you see it going to the water dish and drinking on it's own. If you have any unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with Mother in it you can add some of that to the water with a little sugar... for probiotics, vitamins, minerals and an energy boost. Liquid baby vitamins and a little sugar would help too if you don't have any UP-ACV ... or check your local feed store or even a pet store, they may have some poultry or avian vitamins that have electrolytes in them.

    Good luck, and post a pic if you can...
     
  4. denovackrs

    denovackrs New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Thank you so much for all the advice, I am so sorry I didn't find this forum when I 1st found the chick. He unfortunately died this afternoon. He still had downy feathers so my biggest mistake was not keeping him warm enough. The 1st couple of days he was obviously fine as the weather was hot as hell, then we had this cold front come in and he was just not warm enough. I was also worried he was getting dehydrated, but I was getting him to drink, I just could not get any food down him. I have hand reared many pups in my time, but this was way beyond me. He was such a sweety. Once again thank you!
     
  5. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    Sorry to hear that denovackrs but you gave it your best shot. Sometimes the little ones just don't make it. Bummer.
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Bummer, sorry you lost him. At least if you happen to rescue/find another you will be better prepared next time!
     

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