Guinea Keets

silkie1472

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Dec 28, 2016
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I purchased a couple guinea keets in my last order of chicks, and upon arrival I have been feeding them 22% meatbird crumble. They have done great. The chicks and keets freerange all day and are growing good, but is there anything else that I need to be feeding them/giving them? I’m new to raising keets so I’m just wondering. They were with a broody hen for the first couple weeks.
 

R2elk

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I purchased a couple guinea keets in my last order of chicks, and upon arrival I have been feeding them 22% meatbird crumble. They have done great. The chicks and keets freerange all day and are growing good, but is there anything else that I need to be feeding them/giving them? I’m new to raising keets so I’m just wondering. They were with a broody hen for the first couple weeks.
Meat bird feed does not have the protein, lysine, methionine or niacin content that guinea keets need to do their best. You can help them by mixing vitamin B complex in their water at the rate of 1/2 capsule or tablet in one gallon of water. Make it their only source of water and do not mix anything else in the water. It should be made fresh daily. It will make up for the B vitamins that you are shorting them by giving them an improper feed.

Raising keets with chicks usually turns out badly. Everything can seem to be going great right up until the hormones kick in when the first breeding season comes around. Guineas instinctive rituals they go through during breeding season can cause extreme stress to your chickens as the chases and attacks from behind kick in gear. Guineas delight in attacking from behind and pulling or breaking off feathers.

Guineas are a flock bird and do best in large groups of their own kind.

Read the thread Raising Guinea Fowl 101 and pay particular attention to posts made by @PeepsCA .
 

silkie1472

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Dec 28, 2016
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Thanks for the response! I’ll get their nutrients up to par as soon as possible!

Really I’m just hoping to have a pair of guinea fowl and if they do not get along with the chickens, it will be nothing to get them separated and get them a larger flock.

If you wouldn’t mind me asking, if you are familiar with guinea fowl, do they not do very good free ranging with chickens? I understand they are a bird that has had very little genetic alteration/domestication work done on them, but I would think that allowing them to free range in 80 acres would allow them to “do their own thing”.
 

R2elk

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Thanks for the response! I’ll get their nutrients up to par as soon as possible!

Really I’m just hoping to have a pair of guinea fowl and if they do not get along with the chickens, it will be nothing to get them separated and get them a larger flock.

If you wouldn’t mind me asking, if you are familiar with guinea fowl, do they not do very good free ranging with chickens? I understand they are a bird that has had very little genetic alteration/domestication work done on them, but I would think that allowing them to free range in 80 acres would allow them to “do their own thing”.
I have raised guinea fowl with other poultry and by themselves. The stress that they can cause other poultry when they don't understand that the other poultry are not guineas is real. The people that manage to keep guineas and chickens together typically have much more coop room than most people have for chickens. Guineas require much more personal space than chickens need. Even then they have issues from time to time. Most of them will not admit to the problems or just don't pay close enough attention to what is going on. Occasionally you will see the claim that a particular guinea is causing all the problems and that rehoming the problem guinea solved the problem. Usually the solution is only temporary until the pecking order issues get sorted out. You never hear how the rehomed problem worked out in its new home.

Just because you have 80 acres for them to roam does not mean that they will roam those 80 acres. Guineas are a social bird. If you raise them with chickens and only have a couple of them, they will tend to try to hang out with the chickens even after their hormones kick in and they start terrorizing the chickens.

Guineas attack from behind and pull or break feathers off. Other poultry do not understand this behavior. Other poultry do not know how to show submission in guinea understood ways so the attacks just continue. It certainly seems that once the guineas are successful at terrorizing the other poultry, that they seem to begin to enjoy it and may continue it at any opportunity.

I now raise and coop my guineas separately. My guineas understand that the other poultry are not guineas. I can free range my guineas in the same area and at the same time as my other poultry. The guineas keep to themselves as do the other poultry.

I do not know your reasons for thinking that you need a pair of guinea fowl. Many of the claimed benefits that come from having guinea fowl will not be realized from a pair of guinea fowl. A pair of guinea fowl are not going to make a huge dent in a tick population. A pair of guinea fowl are not going to protect your flock but then a flock of guinea fowl are not going to protect your flock.
 

Unicornlife3316

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Apr 21, 2018
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Bryan, TX
Just to add on to @R2elk

I have 10 chickens and 9 guineas. They each have a separate coop, they were not raised together, never housed together. They now free range together... the male guineas STILL love to chase my chickens. So, even if you don’t raise them with other poultry, house then separately, but they free range together, the male guineas can be real aholes, they even chase the barn cats. Don’t just get two. Get a flock, let them be flock birds, they’ll be happier that way.
 

WallyBirdie

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Aug 2, 2019
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I purchased a couple guinea keets in my last order of chicks, and upon arrival I have been feeding them 22% meatbird crumble. They have done great. The chicks and keets freerange all day and are growing good, but is there anything else that I need to be feeding them/giving them? I’m new to raising keets so I’m just wondering. They were with a broody hen for the first couple weeks.
My peeps and keets were raised together and then penned separately before hitting juvenile age.
Guineas DO need a flock. I had a pair that did alright but they were not happy. They thrive with a flock.
I know guineas and chickens don't always get along, but I free range my older chickens and guineas without a problem.
Usually my chickens are in the back yard... or flowerbeds, and my guineas patrol the yard. But they do fine when they cross paths. Maybe I've just been lucky?
20190703_071616.jpg
 
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silkie1472

Songster
Dec 28, 2016
606
395
171
I have raised guinea fowl with other poultry and by themselves. The stress that they can cause other poultry when they don't understand that the other poultry are not guineas is real. The people that manage to keep guineas and chickens together typically have much more coop room than most people have for chickens. Guineas require much more personal space than chickens need. Even then they have issues from time to time. Most of them will not admit to the problems or just don't pay close enough attention to what is going on. Occasionally you will see the claim that a particular guinea is causing all the problems and that rehoming the problem guinea solved the problem. Usually the solution is only temporary until the pecking order issues get sorted out. You never hear how the rehomed problem worked out in its new home.

Just because you have 80 acres for them to roam does not mean that they will roam those 80 acres. Guineas are a social bird. If you raise them with chickens and only have a couple of them, they will tend to try to hang out with the chickens even after their hormones kick in and they start terrorizing the chickens.

Guineas attack from behind and pull or break feathers off. Other poultry do not understand this behavior. Other poultry do not know how to show submission in guinea understood ways so the attacks just continue. It certainly seems that once the guineas are successful at terrorizing the other poultry, that they seem to begin to enjoy it and may continue it at any opportunity.

I now raise and coop my guineas separately. My guineas understand that the other poultry are not guineas. I can free range my guineas in the same area and at the same time as my other poultry. The guineas keep to themselves as do the other poultry.

I do not know your reasons for thinking that you need a pair of guinea fowl. Many of the claimed benefits that come from having guinea fowl will not be realized from a pair of guinea fowl. A pair of guinea fowl are not going to make a huge dent in a tick population. A pair of guinea fowl are not going to protect your flock but then a flock of guinea fowl are not going to protect your flock.
Perhaps I could answer your question regarding why I would like a pair. There are a couple reasons, actually:

1. They are new to me. I’ve never owned guineas.

2. I want to see, myself, just how the guineas interact with chickens. Regarding the “pair”, I want to see how a male reacts as well as how a female reacts.

They were the last two guinea fowl left at the hatchery, so I felt as if I was called upon to take them, and they were just so fortunate to have chicken companions.

I understand how people are saying they don’t get along, and yes, there may be good reason that we are unaware of; however, this unknown reason leads me to believe that they could possibly, in lack of a better term, live with one another. I’m not trying to be set in my ways, but I observe that we conform to those around us as we grow up, so why would poultry be exempt from that? That’s just a thought I have.
 

WallyBirdie

Crowing
Aug 2, 2019
854
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Perhaps I could answer your question regarding why I would like a pair. There are a couple reasons, actually:

1. They are new to me. I’ve never owned guineas.

2. I want to see, myself, just how the guineas interact with chickens. Regarding the “pair”, I want to see how a male reacts as well as how a female reacts.

They were the last two guinea fowl left at the hatchery, so I felt as if I was called upon to take them, and they were just so fortunate to have chicken companions.

I understand how people are saying they don’t get along, and yes, there may be good reason that we are unaware of; however, this unknown reason leads me to believe that they could possibly, in lack of a better term, live with one another. I’m not trying to be set in my ways, but I observe that we conform to those around us as we grow up, so why would poultry be exempt from that? That’s just a thought I have.
You very well could have success with your little keets.
The same way some roosters fight and others get along fine, I honestly believe that it's possible.
My pair was unhappy because they started with a flock and lost their flockmates. Hence why I brought in new ones later. They have never fought or attacked my other fowl.
They are not much different than raising chickens. Mine get excited for food and treats, and they do well with being herded into their pen at the end of the day.

Enjoy your birds there. Don't worry too much because some people go about their business differently. I almost left this site over an unkind comment, but I'm glad I stuck around.

You simply need to wheedle your way through posts and take whatever advice is useful.

If you care to share in the future, I'd enjoy reading about your birds and how they develop.
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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Perhaps I could answer your question regarding why I would like a pair. There are a couple reasons, actually:

1. They are new to me. I’ve never owned guineas.

2. I want to see, myself, just how the guineas interact with chickens. Regarding the “pair”, I want to see how a male reacts as well as how a female reacts.

They were the last two guinea fowl left at the hatchery, so I felt as if I was called upon to take them, and they were just so fortunate to have chicken companions.

I understand how people are saying they don’t get along, and yes, there may be good reason that we are unaware of; however, this unknown reason leads me to believe that they could possibly, in lack of a better term, live with one another. I’m not trying to be set in my ways, but I observe that we conform to those around us as we grow up, so why would poultry be exempt from that? That’s just a thought I have.
Guineas are not chickens. They do not behave like chickens. They speak an entirely different language than chickens.

You say "they were just so fortunate to have chicken companions." I say they were just so unfortunate to have chicken companions.

Guinea keets are not sold sexed. If you want a pair as a hen and cock, they need to be purchased as sexed adults. Only time will tell if you have a pair of cocks, a pair of hens or one of each.

You will think that everyone is getting along great right up until their hormones kick in.

Read the thread Raising Guinea Fowl 101 and pay particular attention to posts made by @PeepsCA .
 

silkie1472

Songster
Dec 28, 2016
606
395
171
You very well could have success with your little keets.
The same way some roosters fight and others get along fine, I honestly believe that it's possible.
My pair was unhappy because they started with a flock and lost their flockmates. Hence why I brought in new ones later. They have never fought or attacked my other fowl.
They are not much different than raising chickens. Mine get excited for food and treats, and they do well with being herded into their pen at the end of the day.

Enjoy your birds there. Don't worry too much because some people go about their business differently. I almost left this site over an unkind comment, but I'm glad I stuck around.

You simply need to wheedle your way through posts and take whatever advice is useful.

If you care to share in the future, I'd enjoy reading about your birds and how they develop.
I strongly support this advice — not only does it have logic, but support for the situation. For that I thank you.

Also, I, too, have have an unpleasant comment unnerve me before. I addressed it like I will now:
Guineas are not chickens. They do not behave like chickens. They speak an entirely different language than chickens.

You say "they were just so fortunate to have chicken companions." I say they were just so unfortunate to have chicken companions.

Guinea keets are not sold sexed. If you want a pair as a hen and cock, they need to be purchased as sexed adults. Only time will tell if you have a pair of cocks, a pair of hens or one of each.

You will think that everyone is getting along great right up until their hormones kick in.

Read the thread Raising Guinea Fowl 101 and pay particular attention to posts made by @PeepsCA .
R2elk, you did enlighten me on things I could do different, also restating some things I believe you felt strongly about; however, you’re making it seem as if I have no idea what I’m doing, nor anything behind it.

Just to give a bit of background, I am a doctor in ornithology, specializing in poultry science, as well as a licensed psychologist, hence the reason why I like to look into things/investigate them.

The only reason I started using this forum a couple years ago was to aid in my doctorate study, seeking helpful advice for things I am unfamiliar with/would like to know more about.

This forum was built on the hope to let us, experienced bird owners, share our advice/knowledge with those in need/want of it — not to bluntly point out what people do wrong and what they “need” to do.

Concluding, I apologize for any misunderstanding on my part and, if you didn’t mean to come across like this, please disregard my speech. Next time, however, I do ask that you do not take my words, or others, and manipulate them — like you did with my unfortunate guinea fowl, so to speak. This did not settle very well with me with the way it was worded, regardless of how you think things should have happened.

Please feel free to let me know if there is something I did not pick up on! Any ADVICE would be appreciated!
 

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