Keets!

bmcinto01

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
3
0
7
We bought 6 keets March 12th. They were all healthy and active and have been doing well. I put them outside in the new guinea coop after 4 wks. The first week outside, I had 4 fly the coop, when I went to change the water. I did not think they could move that fast yet! Anyhow, I caught one right away and caught another by late afternoon. Found another 2 days later, but he wouldn't come in.

I live out in the middle of the woods. The yard is not very big. The 4 birds I have left will be 7 wks old and are going on 3 weeks outside, by next weekend. They are still pretty jumpy and pile in the corner when I go in the coop to clean and fill bowls. I've been trying to get them to snack on some mealworms while I am close by, but they are just being stubborn. They used to eat mealworms from my hand in the brooder!

I would like to get these guys trained soon. They will be free range. I was going to start putting out one at a time, each day starting after next weekend. (7 wks old, in coop 3 wks) I'm a little concerned though about them minding me, when it's time to go in.

Should I wait it out a little longer? Would trimming the wing feathers help any? Any other ideas or suggestions? Thanks.
 

livenwpeeps

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 6, 2011
129
2
91
King William
7 week old keets are still pretty young. You should wait longer before letting them free range. I keep mine in the coop for 4 weeks (some times longer) and that's after they were in a brooder and then in a grow out pen and finally into the coop. So in other words, mine are a couple of months old before they even go into the coop and then they stay in there for another 4 weeks to learn where home is.

A good way to teach them to go back in to the coop is to get them used to coming to a bell or a certain name you call. To teach them, ring the bell or say the name and throw treats to them. Then walk away. Do it several times a day. Don't push them to get close to you. Don't try to hand feed them. That time is over. Guineas are not like chickens. I have a flock of 40 and when I ring the bell or even just come over to the barn, they come running for treats. They have learn to associate me with treats. I use white millet seeds. They love them. I just throw it on the ground and they swarm around me to eat. I can't touch any of them and I spend a lot of time with each batch getting them use to me while they are young. None will eat out of my hand either. So they are not being stubborn about not eating out of your hand. That's just guineas.

There are a lot of great people here on this forum and I'm sure others will chime in and give you hints and suggestions.
 

bmcinto01

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
3
0
7
Liven's method worked good for me. Thanks. The guineas stayed in the coop for a few more weeks and I stopped by often, threw in some treats and left them alone. They come out, stay close and go back in for me now. They don't freak out when I get within a couple feet like before too.

Unfortunetly, I had two out in the morning yesterday and either a stray dog or hawk got one between 8 and noon. I am now down to three.

I suspect this last mistake probably was due to the guineas trying to avoid the danger by getting into the coop. Like I said two were out, but two were in the coop. I was trying to train the guineas to stay close. I suspect the victim was cornered by the predetor, because he was trying to get inside the coop for protection. The other one ran to the woods and hid, until I came home for lunch. I set up a trail cam to monitor future visitors.

I'm reluctant to let the last 3 out now for free range. I'd be more comfortable maybe if I had more birds (more eyes) on the look out. I might get a few more 5 weekers this weekend.

I will be semi-free ranging turkeys in 100x50 ft pens soon. Would it be better to get those built and just "pasture" the guineas in there?

I also want them to work the front yard for bugs, but I could set up temporary fencing or just have them out when I'm home.

Any thoughts?
 
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