Mystery death

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by PoultryBird12, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. A couple months ago, I gathered eggs from our guinea hens, and incubated about 30 eggs, and about seven out of those hatched and only five survived out of those seven. Nonetheless, I was proud of what I had accomplished. :) When they had grown their all their feathers in, I put them out into our barn with a heat lamp and a little box they could all gather into. It got about 50 degrees that night. All the keets looked healthy the day before, but when I went out to them in the morning all of them were dead....[​IMG] They had each other, they had a closed in place to be, they had a little box to cuddle up in.... what went wrong????

    If you have any info, I would appreciate it for next time I try to hatch babies[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  2. mommaguinea

    mommaguinea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hard to say- You say they had all their feathers- how old were they? How large was the area you placed them in? If it was too small, they may have overheated, rather than gotten cold.Do you have a thermometer in that area to monitor the temperature? Should be about 95 directly under the light but they should have enough room to move away- then watch behavior- all huddled- they need a bit more warmth- form a doughnut- it is too hot in the middle. What was the bedding you were using? I use rubber shelf liner until they are about 3 weeks- then pine shavings. You should not use any cedar and no shavings until they are a bit older or they eat them and impact the gut. Was the area draft free?

    The other question is about your hatch rate- very low. How long did you hold the eggs before incubating, and did you turn them a few times every day? Were they turned in the incubator and di you monitor the humidity?

    Sorry for all the questions!
  3. No problem! I handled them a little bit with my bare hands... I know that can be bad for the growing chicks.... I turned them carefully two times every day, and candled about every two to three days..... I'm assuming they were about 2 - 2 1/2 weeks old when I put them out in our barn..... I researched a lot about chicks in those weeks and thought they would be ready when they had all their feathers in.... I guess not. The area I put them in was relatively large compared to the chicks..... :| I had the heat lamp suspended about two- three feet above the ground and there was enough room for them to get out of the heat. The bedding was shavings spread all around the floor. We don't have a thermometer in that place. There might have been a little draft.... not much..... and like I said... I had made a wooden box for them to go inside if it was drafty.... About the incubator..... I did monitor the humidity VERY closely. I researched what humidity level Guineas needed and stuck with that. I also monitored the temperature VERY closely and did my very, very best!
  4. GuineaFowling

    GuineaFowling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2013
    Central California
    2 to 2.5 weeks old is still young for keets. I hold them in the house in a big brooder box until they reach 3.5 to 4 weeks old. For keets older than 2 weeks I use hay or straw bedding it keeps them warmer and for coop babies I put the heatlamp over a large box and cut holes onto the sides so the keets can get in and out. Place the food under the heatlamp and the water a distance way (not too far and not close enough that it will heat the water). I always add vitamins in handraised guinea keets water supply.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Okay. :) Does that mean that guinea keets are a lot different that chickens because we put our chickens that we hatched in the barn at age 2-3 weeks old.... [​IMG]I just assumed that keets were the same.
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I don't think keets are more delicate than chicks. Mine have taken about one week longer to be fully feathered (7 weeks). They do require slightly higher heat at the start but I've brooded chicks and keets together with no problems. I just think it was too cold for them. A heat lamp 2-3 feet off the ground does not have much heating left by the time it gets to the ground. You've got to have a thermometer at chick level to know what their temp is. My heat lamps are no more than 15 inches off the ground at 2 weeks inside. Move the lamp up and down to achieve the desired temperature. 5 2 week old keets are not going to generate much heat. It also sounds like you have a draft problem.
  7. There was a slight draft... but I noticed it and put boards of wood around the enclosure to make sure the draft wouldn't be as bad. like I said before I had a box with a hole in it so the keets could get in and out at will to be more protected from the draft.
  8. GuineaFowling

    GuineaFowling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2013
    Central California
    Was the box under the heat lamp? Usually keets will only go in the box if the heat lamp is over it.
  9. The box was RIGHT beside the lamp. Not right under it... but just to the left a little.
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    It's been my experience that keets aren't as cold hardy as other fowl.


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