How Many Keets?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by fowl farm, May 23, 2012.

  1. fowl farm

    fowl farm Songster

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    We currently have five keets, the youngest being a week and the oldest 2 1/2 weeks. We live on 50 acres and were thinking maybe we should get more? How often do guineas get eaten/ wander off? Is it very likely that by next year we'll have any guineas left? Or should we get more? And if we did get more, would it be okay to put them in with our current keets?
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

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    You definitely need more than 5 Guineas on 50 acres, they do much better in larger numbers. When I was first concerned about tick and snake control I tried to maintain 24-28 on 10 acres. That was a pretty effective number, even tho I lost quite a few to predators each year and had to replenish them each Fall. Each year I'd end up with more Guineas that were gaining some "street smarts" so to speak tho and I'd have more and more left over at the end of the season each year.

    Is your land wooded, or lots of open land? I'd suggest no less than 25 for 50 acres of any type of land... but if I had 50 acres, I'd have 200 of them running around, lol. The bigger the flock, the better they survive, cuz they all watch out for each other. Cooping them up each night so they are safe from predators will also help keep them around.

    If you get some more young keets, I'd keep them separate for a couple weeks until they are good sized before mixing them with your older keets. Young keets are pretty fragile, and the older keets are hyper spazzes, you don't want trampled or overly stressed young ones. Plus the young ones won't have to compete for feed when it's crucial that they get enough to eat.
     
  3. fowl farm

    fowl farm Songster

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    It's all woods. Hmmmm.... 200. Now THAT would be a big coop . I think we'll probably up it to a dozen and then if we have enough survivors ([​IMG]) try and hatch some under a broodie chicken. Hopefully our dog will keep them alive, since she chases pests from the chickens and ducks coops at night.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  4. fowl farm

    fowl farm Songster

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    If we did get 2 dozen, how many do you think would live until the next year?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  5. A lot depends on the predator population and type of predators you have. I started with 20 keets 3 years ago and after the first year I only had 3 left. The ones that are left are "street smart" like Peeps says. My land is mostly wooded also, but the 3 I have stay in the open most of the time. Just had a chicken hatch 6 keets and I hope they all grow up. Chickens are much better mothers than guinea hens. Every nest my guinea hen starts gets destroyed quickly. My place is 23 wooded acres on the side of a low mountain. No mink, or stuff like that, but every other thing you can think of. Good luck to ya.........Pop
     
  6. JLeigh

    JLeigh Songster

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    I recommend bringing them into a pen, or coop, at night. Cuts down on the threat from nocturnal predators.
     
  7. daylily

    daylily Chirping

    Please make sure you bring them in to a coop at night and the treat will be less. I don't even think of letting mine roost in trees. A friend of mine does and she has more chickens and guineas lost than need be. She started out with two "Street Smart" ones and then got 15. Which the group I got mine from last year. Out of that group only 8 survived then she bought more this year. I love my guineas too much to let them just be where ever they want to be. She lost 4 of them to a school bus.

    I originally had 5 but lost two in March due to some bad food. So my three are well looked after by neighbors and myself and I always put them up in the coop before 6:30 now that it is summerish but they are in by 2:30 in the winter when we don't have much light.

    We live in a wooded area as well. Lots of places for owls, hawks and vultures around to swoop down on them. We have had two near misses this spring alone. Good luck with your keets.
     
  8. JLeigh

    JLeigh Songster

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    I think the moral to the story is this: If you let guineas free-range, sooner or later you're going to lose a few. There are things you can do to cut down on losses, like penning/cooping them at night, but even then there is a lot to worry about: hawks, neighbors' dogs, cars...Luckily, I don't have neighborhood dogs running around, and the only day predators I have are small hawks, my biggest daytime worry is the road. My nocturnal predators are the biggest threat. But that's my situation. Everyone should evaluate their own situation to determine what's best.

    But here's how I figure it. I free-range during the day, and there are threats out there for me to worry about, like car accidents, falling off a ladder, your standard 'evil-doer'.....there is no guarantee that I'm going to make it through the day (I don't live in fear LOL), and I coop myself at night, at home in my room to sleep. If I were out all night, my chances of coming to harm increase. I'm happy and have lived to the ripe old age of 55, so it's a system that works for me. I think it works for my guineas, too. They live with risks just like I do, but I don't want to deny them a full and happy guinea life, such as it is. The same goes for my chickens.

    But "stuff" happens, you know? If you really think you would enjoy and benefit from guineas, go for it, and do the best you can for them.
     
  9. fowl farm

    fowl farm Songster

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    My ducks and chickens put themselves away at night and all I have to do is close the door. Will the Guineas do that? I know that they're 'wild', but my ducks are Mallards and they still do it.
     
  10. Jared

    Jared In the Brooder

    My guinea's put themselves away most every night. Occasionally a couple fail to show up. It has been my experience that the Guineas will come to the coop much later then the chickens.
     

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