Keet Integration Preferences

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by June2013, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. June2013

    June2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my first year year for guinea hen hatches. I am wavering on how to introduce this second batch of of keets that should be hatching in the next 5-6 days. This hen is setting on 12 eggs inside the barn/coop. I am considering letting her raise them in the area where all the adults eat and roost. I will likely only keep 4-5 keets and re-home the rest. With the first hatch this year, I put them in a separate area next to the adults. All has gone well except the "family" bonding is some what lacking. In other words the juveniles are overly shy around the 18 month old adults. There has not been any injury type aggression. Just feared entrance into the inclosed coop. And when they enter the coop, they gather in their brooder space. However, when it comes to roosting for the night, they take their place on the adult roosting pews.

    I am curious if anyone has let the mother hen raise her keets in the adult area of the coop. Largely curious if the keets would be less fearful as they mature as adults. I understand chicks are usually raised with the full flock, but does anyone have experience with the full flock guinea experience.

    Thx for any suggestions
     
  2. gguineasfamily

    gguineasfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Brisbane, QLD Australia
    I've never let my guinea hens raise keets. But I wouldn't put them with the adult guineas because a couple of years ago I hatched a batch of keets and took them to meet their parents. One female and the two males left them alone but the other female plucked feathers out of one week old keet
     
  3. Hotcookie

    Hotcookie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2012
    Yes, I've let my mamas raise their babies for the past couple years. The first year I had guineas, I read where they weren't good mothers, so I hatched out eggs inside the house, and gradually introduced them to the flock. Well, it was a pita keeping the keets locked up on the one side of the coop and the adults on the other. So after that, I left my moms do their own thing, and I was pleasantly surprised. I'm lucky they laid their eggs in the nest boxes inside their coop......so they also started laying there when there was a large enough clutch to hatch. As a matter of fact - I had 5 females laying on 3 nests all at the same time!! When they began to hatch, three of the "moms" left the raising of the keets to the other two.....gradually only one took care of them. I was very careful not to let the mom nor the babies out of the coop until they were about a month or 6 weeks old - I didn't want them to get pneumonia outside. As far as the other adults bothering them while they were inside - mine left them completely alone. Oh, they were curious about them - they would all come over & take a peek at them, but the babies kept pretty close to the mom. At night, they would all huddle underneath her, until they got big enough to start flying up on the perches - where the lucky ones would sleep underneath her wings and the other ones would huddle close to her.

    To this day, the first keets I hatched myself are on the lower caste system within my flock. Oh, they run with the group and sleep with them, but they back off at feeding time and let the others go before them - including the "newer" babies my moms hatched out themselves. Hope this helps!
     
  4. June2013

    June2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2014
    Hotcookie, Thanks for your reply. My very first hatch of keets was this past July. The mother hen had her clutch inside the coop/barn floor. She hatched 17 of18..I re-homed all but four. I did let the mother raise them, but I kept her and her babes in a much smaller run next to the adult flock. To add she was a great mom. Yet it was obvious she was anxious to be with her original flock. As you described, these despite being 3 1/2 months old are act similar to your lower cast group. I currently have a hen setting on 12 eggs and wanted to try what you described with letting the newly hatched keets be in the same area as the adults. I know chicks and adult chickens do well with this method. I'm glad to hear that there is better integration and acceptance when allowed to interact with the full flock. I expect hatching to begin in the next 3-4 days. I plan to keep six and re-home any others that I get from the hatch.

    How did you handle water and feeder stations in the area so close to the adult activity? Look forward to hearing more. Thank you
     
  5. Hotcookie

    Hotcookie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2012
    I put a smaller, "chick" size feeder and waterer in the coop with the flock - close to where the mom had her keets. There was a slight problem when the other adults were inside with them - from all their activity, they would sometimes kick pine shavings (from the coop floor) up into the feeders. I always had to be vigilante about keeping the feeders clear.......but it really wasn't that big of a deal since I let the other adults free-range all day long. Another thing to remember is that you have to put little rocks around the perimeter of the waterer so the keets don't drown. Unfortunately, one of mine died last summer, even though I had rocks in it. Poor little things get sooo tired and fall asleep while drinking!

    Within a week or 10 days, the babies will be running all around....and mine were actually starting to eat from the adult food container.

    Good luck with the babies!! Isn't it exciting when they start hatching?
     

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