keets free ranging?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by rosawoodsii, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    One of my guinea hens disappeared back in early June. I found her a couple of weeks ago nesting under a plum tree surrounded by tall grass. Today 6 keets have hatched, and the hen abandoned the other 20 or so eggs. One keet couldn't keep up, so I scooped it up and placed it under one of my broody Silkies. Since I have two chickens setting (just started about 3 or 4 days ago), I divided the eggs between them hoping some of them will still hatch.

    1) What are the chances of some of these eggs hatching. The Guinea hen left them only minutes before I got them.

    2) Should I let the keets free range with their mother, or try to get everyone into a coop--a task easier said than done, but I'm sure I could still catch the keets and put them under my Silkie.
  2. cracking up

    cracking up Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    So Cal
    If you leave the keets with her they probably won0't survive. If you take them away she'll throw a fit but they get over it pretty quick. The left over eggs should almost all hatch either in an incubator or under a broody.

    Congratulations on your keets and good luck with the little ones and eggs.
  3. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    The abandoned eggs will most likely hatch. I had a hen abandon her eggs after hatching 3 keets, so I incubated them and most did hatch.

    If you REALLY want the keets don't let the mother raise them. I've had 2 Guinea hens with keets loose every one of them within a week. I have had 100% success with having chickens raise them.

    That said, I do have three Guinea hens with a total of 10 keets right now. I have 35 adults, so I can afford to loose the keets, but so far only two are missing. So maybe it depends on the individual Guinea mother. [​IMG]
  4. livenwpeeps

    livenwpeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    King William
    I agree with the other posts. Take the keets and put them in a brooder. If you leave them with their mother, the chances of them making it will be very small. I also agree with putting the remaining eggs in an incubator or under a broody hen. Guinea hens are famous for getting up after the first few hatch and leave the nest.
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:I think everyone else said it.... What I want is PICTURES..... VBG. please.....
  6. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Aaargh! Hen and keets have disappeared! They were out in the pasture two hours ago, and now I can't find them.

    The cock was with her and now is not, but is chasing everything--the other Guinea hen, all my chickens, even the kid goats (at least, he tries to intimidate them--unsuccessfully).

    It was pretty fascinating watching the pair talking and chirping to the keets. She went after me several times when I came close, but i was concerned that she was going to lose a keet or two. I did see her leave the others and come back after one that was lost in the grass and chirping loudly, so I hope she'll at least keep them together until I can find them all. There are 7 with her, and one that she lost off the bat that's with my Silkie broody hen.

    It was interesting, too, to see that as soon as she left the nest, the cock joined her and abandoned the other hen.
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:In the wild the cock will share raising and protecting the keets even to the point of squatting down to warm them up like a hen would. Unfortunately domestication has changed that some. Though I have seen youtube video of a cock an hen co raising a passle of keets.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  8. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Guinea hen reappeared the next day with all chicks. I got some photos and will post them later today after I resize them. In the meantime, another question.

    My Silkie has hatched two keets, and though she croons at them, she won't get off the nest. Is that because she hatched them within the first week of setting? The keets are running around the coop by themselves peeping their little heads off. I put out food and water, but I'm wondering what to do. Remove the rest of the eggs? Try to give them to the Guinea hen, who apparently has a good mother instinct (she still flies at me if I come too close)? Not sure what to do, if anything.
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    The Guinea Hen may kill them if you try to give them to her, even if you sneak them under her at night, or at the very least reject them. Guinea Hens (and males) are weird about their babies sometimes, Chicken Hens are much easier going about the whole different age/different appearance thing.

    Is the Silkie Hen sitting on more Guinea eggs? If so, maybe put the 2 "orphan keets" in a brooder with a heat lamp, food water and a mirror until she hatches out more keets (or even chicks for that matter), and then put the 2 orphan keets under her at night in the dark and see how it goes.

    IMO, the 2 keets stand a better chance of being accepted by the Silkie Hen than the Guinea Hen [​IMG]
  10. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    It's well over a week now, and I still have the original 7 keets free ranging with the pair of adults. The cock joins the hen in the morning, and leaves her when she settles down for the night. I haven't yet been able to find where that is, but I when I see him ranging by himself--usually coming into the barn late afternoon/early evening--I know she's got her keets hidden away.

    I have an album online so you can see them all. This has been fascinating to watch. Oh--and the other hen has disappeared. I didn't see her for 2 or 3 days, then I saw her, now I haven't seen her again for 3 days. I think the cock may have run her off. Is that possible?

    Here's one photo and the link to the onine album.

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

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