Newly hatched Keets - Do I leave them with momma?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by SpringtownEggLady, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. SpringtownEggLady

    SpringtownEggLady Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2011
    Springtown, Texas
    A few weeks ago we happened upon a missing female guinea. She was sitting on a nest of eggs under an old abandoned rider lawn mower. We built a cage to put over her and the lawn mower. She finally hatched the eggs a little over a week ago. A day or so after they hatched I started making sure there was food and water in there for them, but I am having a terrible time getting water to them. I put a waterer in with them and just about got attacked by momma doing so - not been able to open the door since. I have been trying to pour some water in each day, not having the best of luck with that and irritating momma guinea in the process. Now the male guinea has started staying close and more or less guarding them. I know the momma guinea would like out, but so far she has done a good job taking care of them. What should I do?? Let them all out? Will that risk the lives of the keets? Just not sure how to handle the situation from here. Any help would be appreciated.[​IMG]
  2. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    [​IMG] from Ga. Congratulations. I don't know the answer but someone will answer soon. But please post some pictures.
  3. Okie Amazon

    Okie Amazon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Midwest City
    They are sitting ducks for any predator when so small, if you can catch them up and get them away and put them in a brooder, would be best. Can you get some help to catch momma in a towel and grab up the keets?
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Ooohh boy, tuff situation there, especially if you are intimidated by the parent birds...

    I know a lot of people will just say leave them, but personally, I'd be worried about predators getting them out there in the cage. If that were my Hen... I'd get a helper, throw a blanket or large towel over her as mentioned above but do it at night and quickly grab her up off the keets/nest (be ready for an explosion tho), then have another person gather the scattered keets and move them all to a safe pen or coop (nothing small, she may trample the keets if shes freaking out about the move)... but if you don't have a separate area for them the other Guineas in your flock may possibly kill the keets. You could also just take the keets and raise them in a brooder yourself and then deal with integrating them into your existing flock later on when they are old enough.

    If grabbing her and gathering keets isn't a workable situation for you... then maybe you can use a leaf rake to hold the cranky Momma back so you can safely fill their water every day until they are old enough to fend for themselves a little better and they are ready to be let out. You could also add on to the cage for a little extra elbow room for you to be able to feed and water them without losing any blood, lol. But I'd still worry about predators while they are little and confined to the cage.

    Good luck, don't get beat up by a Tasmanian Guinea She-Devil!
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  5. melroseladi

    melroseladi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Melrose, Florida
    My advice, since I have my baby keets with their mom, is to figure out a way to get the keets away from the mom and put them in a brooder. Mine is in a pen with a dogloo and a pet carrier and still she insists on roosting on the ground with them instead of going into either one which would be safer. I lost one baby when I had the rest of the flock with the mom and babies, the other hen ate my only lavender keet. They are separated now, and I learned a valuable lesson. I just couldn't get into the pen fast enough, and I will admit I was more worried about the males with the keets then I was the other hen.

    I am finding that while Sophia is trying to teach them what they need to know, she is also very rough and they have to scurry to stay out from under her feet or her dust bathing. She is also starting to pace along the divider gate wanting to get back to the flock. I am thinking that I will probably have to separate her and the babies soon. I have also noticed that they are not getting enough of the food that I am giving them since she is either eating it or dumping it and scratching it into the dirt.

    While it has been a great experience and I am glad that I attempted it, the next keets will be in a brooder from the start.
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Aww ladi, I'm so sorry to hear your baby lavender got killed, that's a bummer [​IMG] And yes, a Momma raising her brood is absolutely precious IF it all goes well, but I tend to agree with you as far as brooder raising goes... it just eliminates all the what-ifs the unpredictable Guineas can pull on us!
  7. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    trust me. catch them and put them in the brooder. if you let them out you wont have any babies left. last year one by one my keets were gone. i know its nice seeing momas raise there young but guinea moms are the worst for raising babies out in the open. now a covered run they would do fine
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011

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