Keets dying, help, Please!!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by bantyshanty, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    I hatched 6 Guinea keets and 3 Polish Crested (bantam) on the same day & have them in a brooder together. They had a broody hen but I removed her, because the keets were sick.

    Not eating enough or stopping eating,
    have little balance..
    Can stand but sometimes run into walls.
    Weight loss.
    One had serious pasty-butt today
    Fall & get stepped on easily
    Other keets & chicks pecking at earlobes & beak
    Trouble breathing in last stages

    DEATH -- I've lost 3 keets in three days (of 6). A 4th is on its way out.


    Countryside Naturals Organic Chick Starter Feed
    Crumbled hard boild egg yolks,
    Crumbled freeze dried Meal worms
    Yoghurt 1x/day
    Garlic & Sav-A -Chick in water bottle
    Hand eye-dropper of fresh warm water to make sure they're well-hydrated


    THE plastic brooder crate, water bottle, dish, etc. were sterilized with Brinsea disinfectant before placing the brood in.
    They are on clean paper towels daily
    They are in an 85degree bathroom with a heat lamo and many thermo-hygrometers around their area.

    All were happy & perky until today.

    The 3 Polish Crested are partying little butterballs by Day 4, and look healthy as can be. One guinea keet has outgrown the Polish and is happy as can be, along with them. ONe is lagging slightly, one is sleepy & stumbling, one just died in my shirt [​IMG]

    I'm cross-posting this to the Emergencies, Diseases & c. forum

    HELP, Please???? What is this??? Can it contaminate the Polish, as well???
  2. jcatblum

    jcatblum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2010
    Cement, OK
    My keets all get gamebird starter it has a higher protein than chick starter & keets are more sensitive to the cold than chicks are. Sorry those are my 2 best guesses!
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Yikes wish I had an definitive answer for you but I don't, I've never had keet after keet drop like that.

    I only have a few guesses... Maybe the Broody Hen is carrying something that infected the keets, something they have no resistance to.... but what? Who knows, I don't. The symptoms you describe could apply to several things. IMO that's too many losses in such a short time to consider it to be a genetic defect.

    Maybe the grain pieces in your starter feed may be too big for the keets to handle (I read the ingredients list online, I haven't seen the starter feed before to know how big the pieces actually are tho) and the keets may possibly have impacted or sour crops from it. Everything else you're giving them seems like it would have helped nurse them thru sour or impacted crops tho. How do their crops feel? When you gave them eye water with the dropper were they choking or aspirating it?

    The temp in the brooder needs to be 95 degrees for the first week, then lowered 5 degrees each week... and they need to be able to get away from the heat, so the lamp should only be at one end... they aren't over heating are they? The bulb in the lamp doesn't have a safety/shatterproof coating on it does it? It's recently been discovered to be letting off toxic fumes that have killed a lot of birds.

    I just can't think of what else it could be, but I wish I could help you figure it out. Sounds like the 4th keet is on it's way out. I'm sorry for your losses. Hopefully the 4th keet gets better and everybody else does fine [​IMG]
  4. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    Thanks Peeps, for the answer. I did indeed lose number 3 & 4 last night. They did appear to have slightly bloated crops, which I massaged a lot, & I eye-droppered some vinegar water into them. They didn't aspirate it. They didn't act thirsty either. My feed has a little bit of a rougher grind. There are some slightly larger chunks of corn. That could be it.

    My brooder is set up nicely for them in terms of temperature regulation, There is an area under the lamp where it's 95F. The bulb is a Ceramic heat-transmitter reptile + parrot type. $$$ & non-toxic. They aren't too hot or too cold. Everyone was circulating freely throughout the brooder, without panting or huddling together, before the keets got sick.

    Dozens of batches of chicks have done perfectly well in this environment, and the chicks in with the keets look so healthy.

    The thread I came across here which matched the keets symptoms was someone who described her/his keets as suddenly not able to hold their heads up, and lying on their sides, falling down, but able to walk & run just fine if you set them upright. Mine all did the same thing. The person posting said s/he autopsied them and found they'd been eating pine shavings.

    My keets that died may have eaten shavings too. They were under a broody hen with the pine shaving & straw mixture she would normally nest in in the coop. It got changed regularly before hatch, but they still may have eaten wood chips from under the mama when she tried to get them to eat.
    There were also a few pine shavings in the food dish from when it was in the broody's cat carrier in the house.
    They may have eaten from those the days they died. I'm not up to autopsy, but I changed all food, water, bedding, etc. & ground the food up super fine. I still supplement with ground up mealworms, instead of game bird starter.

    I'll post again if I lose the other two. ...
  5. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    I'm posting again before it happens. Now the other two keets look a little droopier & thinner like the two that died yesterday did. THey don't run away from me when I try to pick them up & don't protest when I look at them. They awnat to sleep a lot & seem to have trouble lying down.. Maybe Broody Hen did have something that chicks have resistance to but not keets.

    Any info on transmission of chicken diseases to guineas & vice bversa? Are their genetic similar enough that they all share the same diseases?

    Broody Hen was Marek's vaccinated & is on an organic diet, very healthy.
  6. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    They need grit. You can't give them mealworms and egg without grit.

    If you've ever spilled starter feed in water and tried to clean it'll feel a gritty almost sandy substance in the bottom. The starter feed has just enough fine grit in it to help them digest the feed. It's enough to handle the starter feed, not enough to add other food with out adding more grit. Even if they did eat some pine shavings, grit should help it break up enough to move through.

    That's my best guess.
  7. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    LOL...I just noticed this was you! I'm me if you want.
  8. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Hmm yah, shavings aren't good for young keets (you didn't mention that in your original post, so I just assumed they weren't in the equation at all). Tannins from the shavings have also been known to be toxic to keets as well.

    I fed egg yolk and scrambled eggs to my young keets and peachicks quite a bit last season (without grit) and never had a problem with it (haven't bothered with it this season tho), but I always fed a fine crumble game bird starter along with the eggs. But if the keets were already impacted from the shavings and/or starter feed, anything else they ate would have just made the impaction worse. It may have been an impaction further down than the crop... and in that case the build up of toxins in the keet's body can happen pretty quickly.

    Sorry you lost #4, and sorry to read 5 and 6 are going down hill now too.
  9. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    I would try using ( it may be too late) a medicated starter.
  10. QuailQT

    QuailQT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2009
    NW PA
    Banty, so sorry to hear about your lost keets. That's hard to watch and feel so helpless. [​IMG]

    I don't have any guineas yet, but want to get some at the Clarion TSC swap next week.
    What is best to use instead of flakes/shavings for the brooder, so I can be prepared for next week?

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