keet down, legs getting stiff-what to do?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by azpotts, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. azpotts

    azpotts New Egg

    Sep 23, 2016
    We hatched our first keets 9/9/16-9/15/16. All were doing well first 10 days.
    On the 11th day, one down on side kicking around in circles. this is the 15th day, and it is slowing progressing in the wrong direction.
    The keets legs seem to be getting more stiff. If I hold it, work its legs, it can sit for a few seconds, even run quite awkwardly back to the group. When placed in front of water or food, it drinks well and eats well. If peeps and wiggles to get away from me, so he seems well above the legs. I know that we will loose him/her very soon if I don't figure out somelthing..... Please send any suggestion that you might have...
  2. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

    Apr 20, 2007
    Are you feeding them the gamebird starter food? They need the high protein food . I hope he makes it god bless.
  3. tmelber

    tmelber Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2016
    Poteet, TX
    Do you think this could be neurological? The awkward running and walking in circles is what made me think of this. I wonder if there is a vet nearby that would be willing to just talk to you over the phone about what this may be, and at least give some guidance on how to proceed.

    Good luck with your keet- I hope things start looking up for him/her.
  4. nightowl223

    nightowl223 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2011
    United States
    A few things come to mind. First, if everyone was eating and drinking the same thing, and this is the only one showing any symptoms, it's likely not a disease issue. Secondly, you need to watch to make sure the others don't turn on it. Guineas are even worse than chicks about ferreting out weak ones and doing them harm. He needs a little area where he can get away from the rest, at least for awhile every day. If you can fence off a bit of the brooder, where he's safe, but can be seen by the rest, and still get to food, water, and away from/close to the heat as he wishes, that would be preferable. Their ability to see each other is important, though. It will be less stressful on everyone, and will allow him to be reintroduced back into the flock later without difficulties.

    I'd find some vitamins/electrolytes, though, and add to everyone's water, including his. Most people use save-a chick powder, but I use Life-lytes, water soluble tablets that are 1 tablet for 1 gallon. I get more for my money, and it doesn't get rock-hard if you don't use it all after opening it. I use a pill-splitter, and mix up a quart at a time for my chicks/keets/poults; once a week during their first few weeks, and for any of my birds during stressful times (when they're broody, or when they're moved for any reason, or during the first real cold-snap or hot weather of a year), though the larger birds get gallon or larger waterers, of course. They also need at minimum 22% gamebird/meatbird feed, in my opinion. I know others feed theirs chick starter, but even my baby chicken chicks get 22% around here. [​IMG]

    I'd also keep working with his legs, a sort of physical therapy approach - gently, of course. If it's an injury (other than broken bones, which is a different type of thing, altogether), letting it heal without keeping him active will just allow the limbs to atrophy. I've had full-grown hens that I thought were destined for chicken soup due to injuries affecting their ability to walk come back around and heal up just fine with enough time and TLC. Birds are generally pretty hardy, and can come back from many injuries that we think would kill them.

    I've raised several hatches of keets (and babies of many other varieties, too, LOL!), and haven't encountered anything like what you've described, though. Hopefully someone else can give you more advice/direction. I know it's hard having babies that are weak/sick/injured, and not knowing what to do to help them makes it SO much worse!
  5. azpotts

    azpotts New Egg

    Sep 23, 2016
    After further research...
    Placed the keet in own container and feed crushed almonds and crushed boiled eggs with the game starter. Was already giving all keets bottled electrolyte water that I drink.
    Question: Continue using this water or switch to your suggestion????

    Yesterday morning, a neighbor gave me 2 keets that are 8 days younger than my sick one but the same size. The 3 of them....buddies! The ill keet was shaking but not with the higher level heat than the younger keets need. Also, the ill one kept falling into the water, so was most likely ....cold. The larger keets were running over the sick one, so removed him/her 3 days ago, so glad that you confirmed that I did the right thing...thank you.

    As of 5 am, this morning, no longer have to keep cardboard feet supports or keep him between 2, small, rolled wash clothes to eat or drink.It still wobbles, but is upright ...almost all the time. Yes....these little guys/gals sure pull on my heart -strings....especially when they struggle.
    I am so happy that it seems that we are moving in the right direction.

    Wanted to send you a response and 'MUCH thanks' note, and will now study your reply in detail to see what else I should do.
  6. azpotts

    azpotts New Egg

    Sep 23, 2016
    THANK YOU... God does work miracles....

    After further research...added crushed almonds & boiled egg to game starter and giving electrolyte water. It is doing a lot better!
    We have a ways to go, but he/she is such a fighter for life... my heart is all his (-:
  7. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

    Apr 20, 2007
    Good luck I hope he makes a full recovery. [​IMG]
  8. hyelaw

    hyelaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2015
    A little Red Cell (horse vitamin supplement) in their water does wonders. And yes, I'd keep it separate from the others.
  9. GlennLee

    GlennLee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2016
    Central New York
    I did find one of my keets (within the first two weeks that I had them) down on its side and kicking around going backwards in circles. I assumed it had been attacked by an other or others. Once I removed it and only for about 2 days, it recovered and then was returned to the flock. It sounds as though you did all the right things and I hope he has a complete recovery. Good luck!
  10. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    I have two incubator babies that are only two days old. Both of them have been doing the same thing as yours (legs stiff, laying side, kicking in circles) since hatching. They both needed help getting out of the shell. They were well beyond hatching stage and I had to remove them from the egg because one other had died inside the shell long after pipping.

    I assume that mine are crippled from being inside the egg too long? Neither one has been able to sit or stand, walk eat or drink. I don't think mine are going to make it :(
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016

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