Guinea keets still hate me

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Cowgirl1238, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Cowgirl1238

    Cowgirl1238 Out Of The Brooder

    69
    0
    46
    Sep 28, 2015
    Missouri
    I am at the end of my rope with my Guinea babies. I posted on here a couple weeks ago that they didn't like me and freaked out when I put my hand in their brooder. Someone told me to try treats and hand feed them. The thing is, I still can't even get my hand close enough to them! They freak out and start running everywhere if my hand even gets NEAR the top of their enclosure. Good grief, I can't even take their water out of give them more food without them going nuts! I just bought treats so I'm still going to try that, but I am still clueless. Has anyone else had this problem? They're only a few weeks old.
     
  2. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

    653
    163
    131
    May 13, 2016
    Central New York
    Based on what I've seen with my 6 week old keets - I think it's normal behavior, especially for a flock of them... I don't have much experience, but mine don't like hands coming at them either and if one spooks, they all spook - they even scare each other! I can get them to eat out of my hand by keeping very still and I am able to lean into the crate (dog crate on a table) and just stand and hold my hands down to pet their sides as they move into them while eating.

    I don't think they like things moving overhead because it's some kind of imprinting - fear of predators.

    It seems like the people who have the best luck handling them only have one or two - the more you have, the more flock mentality you will have.

    The more they can associate you with their food source, the better - and I think if you can get a couple to regularly approach you for food, the others will follow, but in general, I don't think they are going ever bond with humans the way other animals do.
     
  3. Cowgirl1238

    Cowgirl1238 Out Of The Brooder

    69
    0
    46
    Sep 28, 2015
    Missouri
    Thanks GlennLee! That makes me feel better, lol! I don't expect them to be cuddly by any means but at least not be bothered by my presence, lol! I only have 4 so hopefully they won't be too hard to mess with.
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,535
    1,056
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    It really won't stop as long as you have a brooder that opens from the top. Guineas are great at looking up and seeing hawks, and your hand coming down at them has a similar effect. This is one of the reason I don't use brooders that are accessed from the top.

    With my original guinea flock of 30 keets, I had a large "brooder" area (my enclosed front porch) so I was able to sit on the ground in the midst of them and get them to come up to my hand for treats. The four remaining adults (now 11 months old) do not run from me but they certainly aren't going to come running up to me and jumping on me, which is okay with me. Those keets are the only birds I tried to befriend with food. I no longer use food as a taming tool because begging birds annoy me, and my recently killed turkey (that was hand raised by people other than me) use to nip at my fingers looking for grapes and treats, which was annoying.

    Starting from day one, I sit with my birds several times throughout the day for a few minutes at a time (5-15 usually). I just watch them and I become part of the scenery, nothing special. Occasionally I pick them up, and as soon as they stop struggling I let go. Very quickly they learn there is no point in struggling because nothing bad is going to happen and they are free to leave when they want.

    So far, I have had the best results with two guineas that I have that hatched and were brooded with two turkeys. They are all a month old at this point, and all will come to me and sit in my lap, especially in the evening as bedtime approaches. With a large group of keets this is near impossible, because they spaz out and get everyone else riled up.

    Anyway, my first recommendation, which will likely have the greatest effect, is to change brooder setups. If you can move them outside, even better. I move them outside by 2 weeks (well, now 2 days since I just finished my outdoor brooder setup).
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mysterious

    Mysterious Out Of The Brooder

    91
    5
    38
    Mar 24, 2016
    Colorado
    The only thing that my guineas understand is that when i come over they get food so they wander to about a foot away. But they still hate me, except the largest one, he lets me catch him.
     
  6. Happy Hatchings

    Happy Hatchings Out Of The Brooder

    5
    0
    22
    Apr 9, 2016
    Louisburg, KS
    Hi, I'm a new Guinea and chicken mom, my Guineas were already 2/3 weeks old when I got them, chicks were 2 days old! Everything that everyone has experienced in this thread is true to mine as well. They are all outside in the chicken coop now and they constantly pick on my hens, pull feathers out of them, but they did warn them about a hawk yesterday, on two occasions! They still eat out of our hands and last night at bed time they flew on top of the coop, which is really high and what a raucous they made, they did however come down and go inside with the chicks, I have 4 Guineas am pretty sure only one is a female, have 19 hens (we bought 21) but 2 are roosters, Fred & Henry!! The Guineas actually let us pet them when they are in the coop at night, they are really hard compared to how soft the chickens are! They are about 9 weeks old now!!
     
  7. Mysterious

    Mysterious Out Of The Brooder

    91
    5
    38
    Mar 24, 2016
    Colorado
    Mine are getting nicer. Especially Tom the male, Lucy my female just follows them. I would suggest running across the yard and having your arms like wings and maybe they will follow telling you that they don't hate u. My guineas understanding of me: Flock leader but still not friend
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

    653
    163
    131
    May 13, 2016
    Central New York
    Just wondering how you are progressing with socializing your guineas....
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by