Really need some advice!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Guineamommy, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Guineamommy

    Guineamommy New Egg

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Hello you all. I became a guinea mom for the first time last Wednesday. It's been rough. We ordered 15 lavenders and are down to 7. I really don't know what is going on. It seems the chicks are just gorging themselves on the food to the point where they are unable to eliminate any waste. They are constantly feeding. They are not drinking enough water so their poop is dry. You can see them straining. The temperature has been just right. Their food crumbles are 18% protein which the hatchery thought was high enough. I thought that maybe it was the wood chip bedding so I took those away on day 2. The chicks will be fine and running around one hour and dead the next, so frustrating! I tried giving them yogurt, they won't eat it. Acidilophus powder helped a little. We put an additional waterer in their area. I called the hatchery and they recommended an antibiotic which we got and began administering in their water last night. My question for you is this... how long do I give them the medicated water for? They are so tiny! The size of meatballs. I don't want to overdo it but I want them to get better. This morning they were all alive and happy. I think it is the first night no one died. I haven't slept since they arrived-- I've set my alarm to check on them every hour. I'm really exhausted. I got an email last Monday night that they had been shipped overnight but didn't get them until first thing Wednesday morning. It didn't appear that there was any food/water in their box when they arrived. It could have just been the stress of shipping and dehydration problems?? It did appear some had pasty butt but even after I cleared the area, got some waste out, and put antibiotic gel on their bottoms to keep it soft they still died. The ones that died had guts that were just heavy with feed. I'm afraid to give them any plant matter because I think the fiber from that would make things worse in their teeny system. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much. I love my little angels!
     
  2. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    If the temperature is at 95 degrees, then that is correct. Lower the temp in the brooder 5 degrees each week until they're at least six weeks old.

    They should be on a higher protein feed - a turkey or game bird starter at a minimum of 26% - higher if you can find it - but the lower protein won't kill them in a few days. I use Purina Game Bird Starter and Grower at 30% protein; non-medicated. I have to order it and drive a little farther to get it, but it's a great feed. Keets need a higher protein because they grow so fast. The person who told you 18% protein is wrong.

    Make sure your feed isn't medicated. I use a non-medicated feed, but if it has any medication other than Amprolium, it can be dangerous. Get some SavAChick at your feed store and put that in their water. Use only Neosporin (or a generic) without pain medication added. There are other things you can do to help I'm sure, but PeepsCA will have to recommend those - I can't remember all the things she's suggested in the forum. She may have ideas about what's happened, and recommendations, from your description of their symptoms. But sometimes you just don't know.

    Sorry for the losses. It's hard, but get some sleep. Unless there's something you can do for them every hour, getting up to check on them won't help them and it just exhausts you, but most of us here understand your sleeplessness and worry. :(.
     
  3. critters

    critters Chillin' With My Peeps

    JLeigh and PeepsCA always have great advice....

    my 2 cents worth...be sure that they also can get out of the heat source,
    that they can move to a cooler spot if they need it....they will move back to
    the heat if they cool down as well...
    2) what bedding do you have in the brooder....I think it best to have a towel
    or what I use the first week or so is that rubbery shelving stuff that keeps things
    from slipping...it's great, just take out and wash in sink w/dawn is what I do...change out at least daily
    ....with chips or whatever they may try eating it not knowing better & cedar ones are harmful
    3) I also put Enfamil's Poly-Vi-Sol (w/out iron) into their water...it's a babies
    multivitamin supplement and won't hurt anyone
    4) maybe some crumbled hard boiled egg yolk....for the extra protein
    5) keep their little butts clean, pasty butt needs to be prevented..

    hopefully someone will address the question of how long to give the antibiotic....
    I use Duramycin-10 for like 2 weeks sometimes on 'sickly' babies but don't go by
    me on this because you may be using a different antibiotic than what I do....

    I have only recently started using a medicated feed w/Amprolium & its 18% protein,
    Purinas Start and Grow from tractor supply....my keets seem to be doing great on it with no problems...
    MANY recommend a higher protein feed for guinea keets but mine have only gotten the 18% and previously 21%
    as that was what was available to me... good luck on the many decisions you have...
    and so sorry for the loss of your keets[​IMG]

    just a foot note....most everything I have had to learn about guinea has come from trial and error
    then I found this site...it's great! and PeepsCA has honestly given me most of the advice I have followed...

    but post your questions and thoughts and many of us will chat with you trying to help with a problem
    or a simple seeming question.... welcome to the world of guineas!![​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much, critters. I appreciate the compliment. BUT (there's always a "but" LOL), I disagree with you on the protein. Feeding 18% protein is fine if you supplement with other very high protein foods (mealworms, eggs to name two) daily. I barely cook for my husband, so I take the easy way out and buy high protein feed.

    I remember Peeps listing the internal issues of a lower protein diet that occur during growth - bones, kidneys (?)....things you can't see. I don't supplement the protein with additional foods, so I use the higher protein feed - good for the keets and easier on me - but that's a personal choice. You do have to order the higher protein game bird starter; I just time the purchase so I don't run out, but I have a store about 45 min away that will have it in two days so it's not too bad for me. That isn't the case for some, though.

    Peeps will come on and help us out as soon as she can. She's definitely the expert on all things keets. If she says it, I can bank on it.

    FYI, I use the rubber shelf liner, too, and I just toss it in the washing machine with a very small amount of bleach, cold water, no detergent, and then let it dry out on the porch. Works great, if you don't mind putting it in the washer, which I don't since there is bleach in there that kills the bacteria. If the liner is really dirty, icky, I soak it in a pail first. Very easy. NOTE: don't put the liner in the dryer...um...just trust my experience :). I have two sets of liner - one in the brooder and one dry and ready to go. At three weeks I put down pine shavings and life regains some sanity!
     
  5. critters

    critters Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with all you have said but (there's that but) I have to go what is available for me...
    I do agree the higher protein is best but some of us are unable to get it....and I do supplement with
    with foods high in protein....boiled egg yolks seems to be standard way of things for me?>>well, for the keets..
    and I'll just chop up the whites and either the other fowls get it or the dogs...the dogs almost expect it each day..

    but anyway, we value you and PeepsCA knowledge! [​IMG]
     
  6. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    critters, you're a better keet mom than I. Increasing the protein through healthy food is probably the best way to go - - but if you knew how I cook, you'd laugh and tell me to drive however many miles it took to stick to the high protein feed LOL. I can't even boil an egg right!

    Thanks again. I'm still learning, and learning a lot. We all help each other.
     
  7. critters

    critters Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]

    thanks! waiting on Peeps to see how long GUINEAMOMMY should give that antibiotic....
     
  8. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Guineamommy, sorry to read you've lost so many keets. Hopefully you are going to be reimbursed for the losses? Shipping stress takes it's toll on keets. If they were dehydrated when they arrived they probably just gorged (and impacted) themselves on the starter feed without getting enough fluids in first or during their initial chow-down. It's possible that they ate some of the shavings that they were on too... were there shavings in the shipping box? If so they had probably already eaten a lot of them before you even got them home, and if so the keets that died were most likely already impacted (besides being dehydrated).

    You can remove their food for a while then give them some finely grated carrots mixed with a little molasses and olive oil to peck at for a while... that should help flush them out if you think you have any more constipated (impacted) keets. Giving them soft juicy veggies like watermelon and cucumbers (with the seeds removed) after they have pecked at the carrots/molasses/olive oil for a while won't hurt them, and it will help hydrate them a little more too.

    I am not sure which hatchery you ordered your keets from, or why they would recommend feeding the keets 18% protein starter feed, but 18% protein starter feed is way way way too low for keets, and especially for shipped stressed keets. I don't even go that low of a protein % in my grower feed, after everybody's already 6 wks old. I'm hoping you can find them a higher protein game bird, pheasant or turkey starter feed.

    I'm not at all of fan of giving antibiotics to my birds, especially to keets that are obviously dying because of the shipping stress and or impaction, so I cannot help out with any advice there, sorry. Isn't there dosage/treatment info on the packaging? if not, call the hatchery back and ask them. Personally I'd have gone the fresh crushed garlic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar w/mother, vitamins and electrolytes in their water route...

    Good luck with the rest of your keets, hope there are no more losses.


    Sigh, critters... your keets are doing fine on 18%? Really? Just shaking my head here, [​IMG]
    If Tractor Supply is selling you the Purina Start and Grow, then they can order the Purina 30% protein Startena Game Bird Starter for you. Feeding a low protein medicated starter feed and then supplementing their diet with extra protein (that is obviously not medicated) just dilutes the % of medication they are consuming, to the point that they are not ingesting enough of it for cocci protection/prevention.
     
  9. critters

    critters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Peeps, I had no idea...guess I will see if I can't get Tractor Supply to order me the 30% protein game bird start then...
    I didn't start giving the medicated feed until recently, maybe last few months or so...I'll get the other then. Thanks for
    addressing that for me.....and guess I have been lucky of no sick younguns' with cocci....how have I not known
    this before? guess it's my mind/memory...really think I am losing it anyway..LOL ! Thank you Peeps, critters
     
  10. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    critters, if you want your birds on medicated feed... unfortunately the 30% proitein Purina Startena is not medicated anymore (at least in my area it's not). But if you have not been using medicated starter feeds for your keets prior to just recently then the Startena should work fine for you/them... my point was just that if you were under the impression that your birds were protected from cocci because they were getting SOME medicated feed, with you giving them other sources of protein they actually aren't getting enough Amprolium in their diet for it to be effective. The low dosage that's in the feed is barely enough to help with preventions/protection as it is, that's why most feeding instructions on the labels say "feed as sole ration", so the birds get enough of the medication in their system for it to do what it's supposed to do. If your Tractor Supply won't order the Startena for you (they SHOULD tho, especially if you buy most or all of your feed there), then see if they carry Dumor brand starter feed, the 24% (most Tractor Supply stores do). It's still not quite high enough protein IMO, but at least it's better than the 18% (might be cheaper too). It's not medicated.

    For a more natural way to protect your birds from getting a cocci overload you can add 2 TBS of Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother in it to 1 gallon of water (you can get it at a healthfood store or in the health food sections of certain grocery stores... I use Braggs brand, and then I also make my own, home made, but it takes a couple months). I also toss in a couple of crushed/smashed cloves of garlic in the waterer too (skin and all, just be sure it's well crushed/smashed). Do not to use this in a galvanized waterer tho, the acid in the vinegar reacts with the galvanized coating and the metal, and can create toxins that are bad for/harmful to the birds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013

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