keets won't come out from under hen

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by kipoley, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. kipoley

    kipoley Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2010
    BFE Assyria, MI
    I got them friday night and put them under my broody chicken. She took them no prob but they won't come out and eat. I have been dipping there beaks in water like I did with chicks last year. They don't seem to get it. I added a heat lamp to the x-pen they are in. Is there some thing more I can do? They are only a couple days old and inside my pole barn.
    Thanks ahead,
    ~kip
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't do guineas, but I suspect they are like chickens. Chicks absorb the yolk before they hatch and can go several days without food or water. Usually the hen will stay on the nest until the chicks that have hatched tell her by their peeping that they are hungry or thirsty. This is so she can hatch as many of the eggs as she can, but her first duty is to the chicks that have hatched.

    Not all broodies are perfect mothers, but it is amazing how many of them get it right. I expect when they need to come off the nest, she will bring them off.

    You do not need extra heat. The broody hen's heater never goes out, even if the electricity does. When the chicks need to warm up, she will warm them.
     
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Here to learn... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never let a Hen raise her keets before, so I have no experience as to how soon keets being raised by a Hen will start to eat, but I've heard Chicken Hens are great Mommas and will teach the keets to eat, drink and scratch for food without any problems. I agree, the keets can survive on the yolk for a few days... and with the extra warmth you provided they will come out when they're ready. I suggest tossing some feed near the Hen so she gets up and starts pecking at it, the keets should follow. Also have water near, and they will learn by watching the Momma Hen, plus she will be talking/murmuring/peeping to them to come get a drink or to come eat. I wouldn't worry yet, Guineas are very instinctually driven... my freshly hatched keets immediately start pecking at starter crumbles when I move them from the hatcher to the brooder [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  5. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had plenty of keets raised by silkie hens. It's pretty funny too cause the keets get big quick and momma looks so little! [​IMG]
    Anyway, is it warm enough in your coop now? Keets get chilled easily so maybe they don't want to come out because its cold.

    Also...where did you get the keets? If they were shipped, or hatched earlier in the week...that yolk is absorbed by now and they need to eat. If they just hatched, then yes...they have a few days of food in their bellies.
     
  6. kipoley

    kipoley Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2010
    BFE Assyria, MI
    Well I guess they got hungry. I found three dead this a.m. They had full crops but didn't get back in the nest:( Momma and the rest are on the floor nestless now. Hopefully this will get better.
    ~Kip
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Wow... never expected that outcome, sorry for your loss [​IMG] Was the water close? Were the Momma Hen and other keets in a nesting box that they had to hop back into? Maybe the 3 couldn't figure out how to get back in? If so nestless on the floor is a definitely a good idea, with shavings or straw for bedding/warmth?

    Hope you don't lose any more [​IMG]


    Edit: Forgot to add to be sure to put marbles or clean stones in the waterer so the keets can't fall in and drown or get soaked, chilled then die from that [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  8. milo2145

    milo2145 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2010
    huntsville texas
    I had some hatch out yesterday - 12 of them, so cute! I was lucky to find them before my dogs, now they are in a pen.
    The mother sits on them more than my hens do - but if I creep up on them I will catch them out now and again - they are probably coming out, but guineas are much more secretive than chickens, and can hear you coming, she will call the chicks under her almost as soon as she sees me coming.
    I'm sure she is just protecting them, make sure they have an easily accesible waterer and feeder and chick crumbles and I bet they will be fine. Mine are eating chicken crumbles, and drinking, and they are only a day old.

    I just read your update - I would definitely catch them and put them in a box, or a dog pen, I will not allow mine to free range, as guineas tend to lead the keets out where they can't get back from.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  9. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just so you guys know...
    Keets do better on a higher protein game bird, turkey or pheasant starter feed with between 28%-30% protein in it. Sure, they can survive on a lower protein chick starter feed, but little kids can survive on just twinkies too... (see my point?). Keets require more protein than chicks do to develop and grow at the proper rate so they reach their full potential. It's also a good idea that you get a high protein starter feed that's medicated with Amprolium, to help build their immunity to coccidiosis, especially if you already have other poultry.

    Just my 2 cents, based on personal experience. I hatch a lot of keets and raise a lot of Guineas [​IMG]
     

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