Sept. 16th and yet another LARGE brood hatches

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by ArkieGirl72638, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. ArkieGirl72638

    ArkieGirl72638 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    25
    Aug 28, 2013
    My Guineas are all free range and allowed to come back into the coop at night if they wish. Nasty weather finds them happy in the coop but nice summer nights find them in the top of my large oak and walnut trees. This morning, while letting the chickens out of the coop I heard a telltale peep sound....I began looking around and found my 3 Guineas leading a brood of about 14 to 20 baby keets around in the grass in my pasture. I am guessing they were nesting under the cedar trees out there...the branches touch the ground around the perimeter making for a cozy, dry spot underneath, with lots of dry leaves and needles. They were all feeding actively, the 2 hens sheperding them along and the male keeping a close eye on the surrounding area. If I decided to take them from the hens and put them in a brooder, it will have to be in the next day or so. How do I catch them? I am worried about stressing them out, scattering the flock and not being able to find them, leaving them to the predators here near the farm. Most predators don't get too close due to the 3 guard dogs that have adopted my place as an extension of their own, but a lone chick wouldn't have a chance. Would it be better to allow the moms a chance to raise them? I have their last brood, now reaching 10 weeks old and just ready to leave the brooder box I was keeping them in. I can't believe they had a brood this late in the year...I don't think they will survive the cold weather that will be here in another 6 or 7 weeks.
    I might be able to herd them into the large barn and keep them there with the hens, or lure them in by putting down chick starter. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Hotcookie

    Hotcookie Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    12
    83
    May 16, 2012
    Congratulations!! Sounds like your mamas are doing an excellent job so far!! If it were me, I would attempt to corral the females and the babies into the barn......and let them stay inside until the babies are around 6 or 7 weeks old. My girls are becoming quite good at raising their babies without my help, but I keep them inside their coop until there is no chance of the babies coming down with pneumonia - a real problem with young keets. Make sure to go inside with them a few times a day so they get accustomed to you. Also remember to make sure they can reach food and water.....if using a standard waterer, place small rocks directly in the water so the babies do not drown - they're not the smartest birds in the world, and sometimes get sleepy and actually fall asleep while drinking. In a couple weeks, they will be old enough to start offering them chopped-up romaine lettuce - a real favorite of mine. Eventually they will get brave enough to start taking food out of your hand!

    Good Luck! Sounds like you're going to have a LOT of babies in your barnyard! [​IMG]
     
  3. ArkieGirl72638

    ArkieGirl72638 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    25
    Aug 28, 2013
    I am getting ready to down load some pictures I was able to get today before they attempted to run me off! As I was backing off one of my cats decided to try and get a closer look and ended up with dad on her head pulling her ear...she must have been the last to learn the lesson cause the other cats keep a wide berth when the flock is out eating.
    I was out earlier when I rain storm hit and I will be keeping any eye out...from the looks of it, the mom brigade got the babies into the barn. More later!
     
  4. Hotcookie

    Hotcookie Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    12
    83
    May 16, 2012
    Be careful about letting those babies get wet. Like I said before, pneumonia can be a real problem with keets that young. I can't wait to see the pictures - they're always so adorable when little!!
     
  5. ArkieGirl72638

    ArkieGirl72638 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    25
    Aug 28, 2013
    Well, I think the hens either herded them off into the barn or under the cedar tree in the pasture when the storm hit. I checked under the cedars last night, despite the hard rain, it was dry under the trees. This morning all the babies appeared to be present and eating well, fluffy and active, following the hens around. I am still going to try and funnel them into the barn. I have put chicken wire around the bottom half of the stall to keep them in, but the hens will be able to easily fly up over the slats and take care of them. I also have a large heat lamp I will put up and plenty of fresh dry Bermuda hay. I will keep a close eye on them. Since they are free range, I prefer not to medicate them unless they are actually showing signs of illness. Sometimes it can't be avoided, especially with things like coccidiosis. It can wipe out an entire flock in short order.
     
  6. ArkieGirl72638

    ArkieGirl72638 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    25
    Aug 28, 2013
    Well, so far, so good. Haven't been able to round the flock up...they are just too wary for me to get close enough to do anything. They are doing well....still have 20 babies and can see they're getting their wing feathers....with binoculars...can't get close enough to them any other way. I found out where mom is nesting and early in the morning I get up and put out a large feeder of chick starter out. I also put out water in a gallon waterer. She know it and that is the first place she takes her brood to in the morning after the sun comes up. The rest of the day they follow her around eating what ever strikes their fancy. She heads back to the nesting area, long before the sun goes down, and everyone gets settled in for the night.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by