Raising Guinea Fowl 101

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by houndit, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Gingerlilypad

    Gingerlilypad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Central Mississippi
    I am having 25 assorted keets shipped on Wed, (from Ideal Hatchery) should arrive Thurs or Fri. I have read this entire thread and think I may have got enough information, but still have a couple questions. I have successfully raised chicks and ducks, but keets seem a bit different.

    Feed:
    High protein starter feed medicated with Amprolium or high protein Turkey, game, or pheasant feed. Preferably at about 27-30% protein, until 6-10 weeks. Then switched to something at least 20% protein, until 12 weeks, then a min of 16% protein. Put marbles in the waterer so they don't drown (had to do that for the ducks).

    At least 95 degrees, at least two to three weeks, then decrease it gradually. Keep in a pen at least 6 weeks-10 weeks, feed at regular times. Best to feed at night so they will return to the coop and can be locked up at night, if allowed to free-range.

    Question: here in Mississippi at this time of year it is hot and humid during the day, some nights are cooler (upper 70's), do I need to just turn a heat lamp on at night for them? Can it be a regular light bulb (maybe 40-60 watt), or do I need the red light like chicks need? This time of year when I raised chicks, I only turned the light on at night.

    I brood my baby chicks in an old rabbit pen, do 30 keets need about the same amount of room as 30 baby chicks, or more/less? 

    What age can I put them into my chicken pen on the ground. Covered pen no chickens in it now (lost them to a stray dog that died of lead poisoning from my .45). 

    I have 3 adult free ranging semi-wild adult Guineas, will they accept the new keets when they are old enough to turn out, or will they cause my new keets to turn wild or attack them? 

    BTW, I love my Guineas. They do terrorize the cat, the UPS man, and the mail man though. Lol my mail man won't get out of his car when they are around. He tells me he isn't afraid of my dogs, but my Guineas are hazardous to his safety. 

    Think that is it for now, unless someone has something I forgot.
     
  2. Farmergreen

    Farmergreen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2010
    I raise Guineas in Oklahoma. Sounds like you read well enough you answered your own questions. My Guineas actually play with my dogs. I thought I was going to have trouble But Guineas will run by being chased by the dogs (small breeds) they come back the other direction guineas chasing dogs[​IMG]
     
  3. lizzybaxter

    lizzybaxter Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2013
    I had some of the same questions as you, and I ended up putting my 17 keets in the barn in a cage with the red light on them. You can really tell how they are responding to temperature, so just watch them. I ended up only having the light on during the day if it was a rainy (cooler) day (barn door is open so they can see the free-ranging chickens). I moved them to the covered coop outside and had the light on near the ground over in the corner. After awhile they didn't go there at night anymore, preferring to use their little wings to get up on a high perch for the night.

    I sold most of my keets but kept 2 of the females, and just let them free-range last week (6 weeks old). I left their door propped open so they could return for water, but I've made a habit of offering them mealworms in a jar whenever I pass by them, so now they are glued to their little corner of the yard, waiting for me! I noticed they are catching bugs for themselves too, so that's good. Their mom is on eggs again and hasn't bothered with them. Dad ends up walking around with them some, but they don't look real chummy. He hasn't tried to hurt them though.

    A poster here suggested waiting 'til the keets were 1/2 adult size so they can defend themselves from the older guineas. I think I was somewhat early at 6 weeks, but they are all different. Just watch them, and make sure they have a place that is "home", i.e., safe.

    I am very pleased with how friendly and tame my little keets have turned out, maybe because I always pet them while they are eating, and they have gotten used to me. Mom and Dad are not skittish really, but I definitely can't pet them.

    Best wishes to you. I love my guineas!!
     
  4. Farmergreen

    Farmergreen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2010
    Sounds like the Guinea's got it goin on
     
  5. Farmergreen

    Farmergreen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2010
    Well my missing Hen showed up with all her little ones in tow
     
  6. BridgetBarger

    BridgetBarger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2013
    SE Kansas
    I have had a hard time getting my guineas to come home at night I started with 20 and I am now down to 6. They will leave for several days at a time and then when I assume they are dead show back up. My great danes have killed a couple but we are working on that. An ideas how to get 3 month old guineas to come home and stay in the yard? I just got some more I will try the feeding at dusk idea.
     
  7. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    How big is your place? mine always come home and never get off my place they are running 25 acres but we have way more than that that they never go on to my knowledge, all my birds seem to know where my dogs watch and stay in these areas at all times except my peafowl they like to chase stray critters in the safe zone and out if the dogs or I don't see it first.
     
  8. Mmmaddie13

    Mmmaddie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2011
    Fort Collins, CO
    When you moved them to their coop, how long did you keep them locked in? Maybe they just don't know where to come back?
     
  9. Gingerlilypad

    Gingerlilypad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Central Mississippi
    Guineas will wander off and disappear for days it seems. The ones that disappear may be hens with a nest they are sitting.
    When I had a much larger flock of 10, they wandered everywhere, but I had a horn on my scooter (I couldn't walk at the time). I could start beeping that horn and all 10 would come running. Sometimes they took a liitle longer to get to me, but they still all came to be fed. When my health reached a point where my hubby took over feeding and did not use the horn, they were not as likely to come home. We ended up losing seven.
    Since I am now able to again walk and care for my babies (and have 26 new keets), when I feed them, I use a whistle, because I want to train them to come home when I want them to. Even my three semi-wild ones have started to come to the whistle, no matter what time I blow or feed. I decided on the whistle because it can be heard for quite a distance. I have 8 acres, but there is 2,600 acres of timberland behind me.
    Just a suggestion so maybe they can learn to come when they are supposed to come.
     
  10. Farmergreen

    Farmergreen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2010
    I still have mine penned at 3 months. I usually wait until they are about ready to lay or already started. I don't let many roam (10 +or - ). And mine free range south Central Oklahoma. LOL. The ones that stay out go where they like always home before dark. Neighbors like them "really I asked". I will start in the fall Keeping a large number penned. Easier to catch them and get the eggs.
    People wanting Birds and eggs
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013

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