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New keets... and NO IDEA!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by TinaK, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. TinaK

    TinaK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2010
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    Hi guys!

    I've gone and created myself a wholllleeeee lotta work!! I've got myself 2 new turkeys, 3 new chickens, 6 new guinea fowl keets & 2 new geese in 2 days. Seemed like a good idea at the time! lol. Now after not being able to get the geese to go to bed I'm feeling pretty flat.
    [​IMG]

    I have ran outta steam.. and that is NO way to feel when you have new babies!

    [​IMG]

    There are 6 of them hiding in there! Under their teddy :) Gosh they are SoOOOooOO cute. I may as well enjoy this 'cute' stage.. because from what I read these can be cheeky, testing little creatures at the best of times.

    I have crumbled starter feed for them and are careful that they don't drown in water... what else can I do and really what SHOULD I be feeding them? I'm just not 100% sure!

    I know tomorrow I'll be replacing those wood shavings that they came with! That stuff is MESSY!

    I've never had babies in a brooder before.. and didn't have one set up! So they are in a cardboard box, with the teddy and a desk lamp in my office where it is nice and warm. At least they look comfy! I hope that they are. I'd hate to kill them!
     
  2. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on all your new babies! Sounds like you had a rough night, lol.

    Keets should be raised on high protein Game Bird, Turkey or Pheasant starter crumbles; 28% protein is what you should aim for if possible, and medicated with Amprolium to help prevent/build immunity to Coccidiosis. I keep my keets on the high protein until they turn 6 wks old, then I gradually ween them over to a grower feed of 20-24% protein that they can eat until they are 12 weeks old, then they can eat a layer feed or an all purpose poultry feed after that with a minimum of 16% protein (that's what adults need, minimum). I don't usually bother with treats until they are a couple weeks old... things like small meal worms, millet, greens, etc along with some grit so they can grind it all up. Many feed differently, using lower protein starter feeds, but keets need high protein and thrive on it. They will grow and feather out slower on lower protein feeds and don't always get the nutrition they need as they grow and that can lead to health issues later on.

    They really should not be on shavings for bedding yet, there's a risk they may eat too much of it and get an impaction, plus the tannins can make them sick/kill them as well... clean coarse straw or grassy hay works pretty good, or a brooder with a fine mesh wire floor. Some people use rubberized shelf liner and paper towels. As the keets grow and get more active they will need more room, so it's a good idea to have plans for giving them more room every couple of weeks or so. They can fly out of an open brooder by about a week old, so having a wire or screen top helps.

    It's recommended that the brooder be heated 95 degrees F (just at one end, so they can get away from it if they get too warm) the first week, lowering it 5 degrees each week until they are 6 weeks old or the brooder temp is even with the ambient temps. (You can use a lower wattage bulb or you can raise the lamp up). I measure the temp on the floor of the brooder, laying the thermometer directly under the glow of the lamp. Noisy keets are unhappy keets, if they are peeping loudly they may be too hot or too cold.

    Anyway, that should get you started down the right path with them. There's a ton of helpful info on this forum, but if you have a question you can't find the answer to, just start a new thread, There's lots of helpful people here to answer you. There's a sticky thread Raising Guinea Fowl 101 with lots of info on it also.

    Oh and "cheeky and testing"... is an understatement, lol
     
  3. TinaK

    TinaK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2010
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    Thanks peepsCA for your advice!

    I have made them a brooder that is a bit bigger today out of a cardboard box. I didn't have shelf liner so I have used paper towels over the top of some newspaper! I'm worried about the temperature though. I cant seem to get it up to 95 F. I think that the larger size of brooder may need a while to warm up.

    I only have 2 desk lamps to use at the moment which are both hanging over one end of the box. I have also popped in a large glass jar filled with boiling water & wrapped in a tea towel which I am changing regularly (we lost power this morning too for a few hours so I was boiling water on the stove and keeping warm jars rotating in and out of the brooder for heat). Hopefully this will give them the warmth that they need to stay happy. They have been peeping noisily since I moved them and they are STRESSING ME OUT! lol

    I just went and set up 2 electric oil heaters in the room that they are in! It is warming up now!! But they are STILL sitting under the lamp peeping! argh!

    I actually purchased some game bird starter by accident the other week! So I have that to feed them which is very handy. I have noticed them having a bit to eat here and there but not 'tucking in for a big feed'... Is that what they do? Just nibble a bit here and there?

    Interesting little things! Now I just need to find my camera so I can take some proper pictures of them instead of just using my phone!
     
  4. BritinMO

    BritinMO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2011
    Many congratulations! "Cheeky and testing"......[​IMG] Oh boy - you have no idea............yet.

    I think I've read that newspaper and paper towel is not great for keets either - something about leg development as they tend to slip around on paper? I always use old towels for my babies when they are really young.

    Don't let this stage stress you out - save that for later.........[​IMG]
     
  5. TinaK

    TinaK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi BritinMO! I'd heard that newspaper wasn't good for chick etc.. but it is OK if you put paper towel over it as it stops it being so slippery? In any case they are kicking and scratching feed around the place at such a rapid rate that it wouldn't stay slippery for long no matter what flooring I used! lol!

    [​IMG]

    So cute! My hubby calls them 'Tiger heads' and thinks they look like baby emus!!! I just can't wait for them to grow up!

    Now tell me, why did I set up the brooder in the spare room right next to our bedroom? It seemed like a good idea at the time....
     
  6. BritinMO

    BritinMO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think paper towels were fine, but I'm so not an expert! They are just soooooo cute aren't they, love your photos!

    Yes - what were you thinking setting up the brooder next to your bedroom [​IMG]but then 'everything guinea' seems a good idea at the time! I love the fact that my flock are so tame (which seemed a good idea at the time, lol) but so regret it many times when they spend hours screaming at me through the kitchen window or when they are perched on a stall wall screaming at me in the horse barn....................
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The paper towels are OK as long as they aren't slipping/doing the splits and risking a case of splayed legs or any other leg injuries. The rubber shelf liner usually works best for the 1-3 day olds, when all their bones and joints are still so soft, flexible and easily injured... I see they all have feathers comin' in, so they are probably around 4-5 days old by now and their legs should be less fragile. They look good and healthy, congrats!

    I wouldn't fuss too much over the temp, just get it close, 5 degrees cooler won't hurt them... if they are cold they will be peeping/crying loudly. If they are too hot they will be loud and panting. I've found that covering the brooder with a towel on one half while it warms up helps hold the heat in. I try not to leave the towel on long tho, the keets need the air flow.

    Yikes, power outage... putting boiling jars of water, wrapped in a towel in the brooder was a good idea!

    Great pics! Keep em comin!'
     

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