New to Guineas :)

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by SunHwaKwon, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi, everyone!

    I finally decided to join BYC after months of lurking and reading through all the information and looking at pics. Since Friday I have been the mama to 30 guinea keets. Hopefully I will sell some and that number will go down! They are from Cackle Hatchery in MO. Right now they are in a XL wire dog crate with wire on the sides and a day and a night heat lamp, although the days are warm right now and they are on an enclosed uninsulated porch so I am still playing with having the temps stay reasonable throughout the day while I am at work. Today I am off so I am doing some fiddling with it so I can have more peace of mind while I am away.

    I just switched them to pine shavings yesterday as now they are a week old. So far, it is working much better than just the puppy pads I was using. They are enjoying kicking it around everywhere, I just hope nobody decides to make a meal out of it. I have been able to get a lot of my questions answered just by searching and reading the boards, and I will continue to do so because I don't want to ask the same questions that others have asked millions of times. For now I will just introduce myself and share some pics :)

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    These pics are from the first 24 hours. I was not expecting them until Saturday and did not have the brooder ready. They showed up at the post office on Friday so my husband had to go get them real quick before heading out of town and throw something together real quick. Luckily they were on the front porch where the dogs and cat couldn't get to them because when I got home that evening only 11 were in the cage and the rest had managed to get out and were hiding in all the junk on the porch!
     
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Wow! They are so gorgeous and adorable! That makes me really want some guinea of my own. [​IMG]

    Welcome to BYC!

    We have bought chicks from Cackle and they were all healthy, hardy birds. I hear guineas love to perch, so some branches added in will make great toys to prevent boredom.

    I look forward to updates! Best of luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Here is an updated picture of the brooder setup from yesterday. Both heat lamps are on top of the cage now as I was able to check temps throughout the day yesterday and figured out they are getting way too hot. The digital temp receiver was not accurate at all so now I have a regular thermometer under the lamps as well. The light on the left is the daytime lamp and the right is a nighttime lamp.

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    They are growing fast, and I am considering enclosing a portion of the porch itself to use as a large brooder/coop. I was planning to move everyone outside the last week of August but we are now going out of town that week and there is no way I am putting them out when I wouldn't be able to check on them! So I am going to turn part of the porch into a coop I think so they can stay in there up until we get back then I will transition them outside. We will have someone checking on them and the cat and goose... or maybe Goose will go with us because I am a crazy paranoid mama lol.

    Here is the dog pen that will be transformed into a coop. I buried concrete from a walkway we just tore up, and it still has a lot more ways to go before it can be a night time home for Goose and the guineas.

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  4. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I love how you set up the heat-lamps! The dog pen will make a very nice run. [​IMG]
     
  5. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Update:

    The guineas quickly outgrew the dog pen and I moved on to this setup up at around 3 1/2 weeks:
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    That, too, was quickly outgrown, and before long the keets had taken over the entire room. At about a month old or so I sold 10 of the, which was nice. I got to live with this setup until last weekend (7 1/2 weeks old).
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    I kept searching craigslist and the internet for an affordable shed or coop large enough for all of my birds. I ended up buying this about a month ago
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    I've been working hard to turn it into a coop / goose house and so far have it looking like this
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    I did not have it bird ready until last week. My neighbor took his 6, which was great, but insisted on my taking 6 chicks
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    I put the chicks in a wire dog kennel inside the coop so that they and the guineas could see each other and I could see how everyone acted. I had been given a barred cockerel that was a total jerk, biting at the guineas any chance he got, so he went back to the neighbors and I brought home the white female you see above. Now everyone was acting fine, so I decided to turn the crate on its side with the though that the chickens would be able to get out and explore but run back inside if they needed to get away from the much larger guineas. I came back to check on them not long after and saw this
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    All the guineas crammed into the dog cage and the chicks were looking at them like they were aliens. Needless to say I pulled the crate out since it was pointless. Everyone has been getting along great.

    Yesterday I finally filled in all the open overhead areas between the tarp and the coop and the tarp and run. I wanted to use chicken wire but was having too much trouble managing it on my own so right now there is a double layer of bird netting. I opened the door to the run and there was some curiosity but no one was brave enough to head out.

    Today I got up and decided to give it another try. I opened the coop door and then began installing the wire skirt around the run. I still didn't have any takers. The chickens were the bravest, going right up to the opening
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    Finally I decided to bribe them by dumping the remainder of some dried mealworms on the platform outside the door.
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    Finally! My population is a bit higher than I planned for right now so I feel so much better knowing they have more square footage to spread out over and explore.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  6. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That is awesome, the guineas are beautiful, the cages and enclosures are set-up really well, and the chicks are so cute![​IMG]
     
  7. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you! I wasn't planning on having chickens but the more time I spend with them the more I like them. I have only named two so far. The guineas do have names but honestly I have a hard time telling one from the other (aside from color). It may get easier once they are older because they are changing so much every week. Right now they look only slightly prettier than mangy vultures lol.
     
  8. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I got my first touch of excitement with the guineas today. I went to go shut everyone in the coop a little after 7:30, the same time I've been going out there since they first went out in the run on Sunday. So far, each night everyone has been inside up on the roosts getting ready for bed.

    Tonight, as I rounded the corner to the garage, I knew something was wrong. I saw 2 or 3 guineas still out in the run. As I walked around to the entrance to the run, I saw why. Two guineas were on top of the run trying to figure out how to get back in, and everyone (guinea-wise) was freaking out. I was afraid they were going to fly up into a tree and then I would have to worry about them all night, especially since it was two of my white ones and they are the only ones that eat out of my hand so far. I had the ladder beside the coop because I put primer on the roof earlier, so I held the bird netting open while my husband grabbed them and tossed them in. I could tell they were relieved. Everyone ran into the coop and I closed it up. Crisis averted. I'll have to fix the netting in the morning before letting everyone out, though.

    In other news, I decided to finally make Goose sleep out in her goose house/the run tonight. She has been sleeping in the house for over two months. I am having separation anxiety. She is a wild goose but has imprinted on us (me) and I would be devastated if anything happened to her. I'm sure I'll go check on her at some point during the night, just to be on the safe side.
     
  9. DeAnzaJig

    DeAnzaJig Out Of The Brooder

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    These guineas like to give us a run for our money!

    How do you think they got out of the run?

    I looked through all your pics and love your coop set-up! It makes me want to stop slacking and paint my coop this weekend. :)
     
  10. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    No kidding! I originally wanted to cover the space between the coop and run with chicken wire but it was not manageable for me by myself so I decided to use a roll of garden (bird) netting instead. There isn't a way to attach it to the tarp that is covering the run, so it is zip tied to the fencing and then stretch up the support that runs the length of the run that creates the peak for the tarp. I'll take some pictures here in a bit. Well, I had decided to use a left over piece of metal roofing to put a roof over the platform that I built between the chicken door and the ramp. My thought is that they were trying to fly up onto that piece of roofing and managed to slip either between the netting and the tarp or the netting and the coop. Since then I wove rope under the tarp to help support it more during rain; the sun is up now so I am about to go out and zip tie the netting to the rope and put some screws into the coop to secure the netting to on that side. Its just a temporary solution so I won't have to worry while I'm gone today. I am thinking about putting a roof over that entire section. The peak in the tarp makes the design logistics sort of hard though!

    My white birds are proving themselves the bravest and most outgoing, which I understand to be a male quality but one of them started buckwheat-ing yesterday. They also have very small wattle development so far, compared to the other birds. However, they were all runts. Like, severely so. I had even emailed the hatchery just to let them know what was going on with them, in case they needed to make changes to their breeding stock. Two of them died in the first week, and the rest developed at about half the rate of the other colors. Now they are pretty much caught up in size, but I'm not sure if the slow wattle development is because of their being runts, or if they are all females, or just normal variation in development.

    Yesterday I was looking at the coop and thinking that perhaps I should paint it red. I was only going to do the main doors red but I have a whole gallon of red paint leftover from another project. I think I'll paint the doors and see what I think and go from there. Paint really does make a big difference though. Just getting my "old" and "new" halves of the coop painted the same color made a big difference to the overall look of the structure.
     

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