So I'm getting Guinea Keets. Go Figure.

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by MysticalMom, May 27, 2010.

  1. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2009
    So this duck person is moving on the Guinea Keets. I'm getting them to help naturally control the tick population around here. It's been really really bad lately and my Gram says Guineas will help. Getting 20 of them as soon as Ideal tells me they have more. ( they say July). I've read around this forum and have learned a lot, but was wondering what you guys think are the most important things for someone knew to Guineas to know?
     
  2. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    Keets get chilled and die very easily so you have to make sure they can't get into their water and play. I lost a bunch of keets last year when my grandson was trying to help by putting a bowl of water in the keets brooder. 7 of them climbed into the bowl and then got out and chilled. All 7 died.

    They're also quick little buggers! I mean super quick! They move a whole heck of alot faster than baby chicks, ducks, and geese. LOL

    While opening the top of my incubator, they were running all over the place! It was hard to catch them!

    Also, their legs are very delicate. If you drop one or they fall, they'll break a leg and more than likely not recover from it. They're delicate little things in the beginning but after about 6 weeks, they get strong and hardy.

    I love my guineas. We call them our Goonie Squad. They come up to the main house every morning to get treats from me. (cause mom spoils them LOL)

    And they are great for tick and other bug control. We have had very few tick incidents this year. I think the number is 2 and we have 35 acres of land. So I'm not complaining.

    Good luck!

    Laurie
     
  3. Finn's Mom

    Finn's Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Put marbles or gravel in a small chick waterer for the first week or so. Paper towels on the bottom of your brooder will give them a nice surface to grip while they are still wobbly. I've also read that people use that rubbery shelf liner that washes up for reuse. The temperature of the brooder is critical in the early weeks. They seem so much more fragile than my chicks did at a very young age, and then much more sturdy and more quickly (than chicks).

    Another major consideration is whether you want to condition them to come home to a coop to roost at night. In my opinion if you can aim to get the guineas to come home in the evening they will last a lot longer! There are lots of variables with guineas (they are not like chickens in so many ways) that make this more challenging from time to time, but it can be done. The websites guineafowl.com or guineafowlinternational.org both have good information on this subject.

    I got nervous about having keets shipped to me so I got mine from a local farm off of Craigslist and they are all healthy and happy. Of course I am the person that once I decide I am going to do something I am going to do it NOW. [​IMG] Just a thought in case you don't want to wait until July! Good luck!
     
  4. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Laurie is right.
    Mine reminded me of waterbugs. They are quick. I had a broody hen raise mine and I did lose two because one got between the chicken wire (I didn't realize how small they are) and plastic and couldn't get back out. One got stuck in a corner between the waterer and board. [​IMG] They are now 8 weeks old, bigger than Mama chicken and STILL try to get under her when it is time to roost for the night. They still stay with Mama which I think is unusual because my other broodys (chickens) left their chicks at 6 weeks. The chicks fended for themselves. My guineas still follow their adopted Mama around. I know she gets annoyed with them from time to time.

    Just make sure your brooder is 'stuck' proof.

    Have fun.
     
  5. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Looo on craigslist or locally or I would find a closer hatchery. Ideal is in Texas and that is a heck of a trip to Maryland! I live in Texas and drive around all day for my job and I look for coops and birds in peoples yards. When I see guineas, I stop and ask if they are laying and if I could buy eggs. Most people will tell you to get all you want! Then I take them home and hatch them. I don't know how it is up there, maybe it's a Texas thing. I have never lost a keet, just keep them warm with fresh water and good food. Aftre 6-8 weeks they do get pretty tough. They don't tame up as easy as chickens but it can be done. All of mine will come up to me but they don't try to get on my shoulder like some of my hens but I don't want them to do that.

    Good luck, they are fun.
     
  6. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all for all the advice. As usual from BYC, it was excellent. [​IMG]

    Ok. If I decided to go with eggs instead of trying to have live birds shipped from Ideal, can I use all the same equipment I use when hatching duck eggs? Taking into account, of course, the marbles in the chick waterer and keeping them from wet and getting chilled. How about the temp/humidity for the incubator and then the brooder?

    I swore I was done hatching eggs and having birds in the brooder this year... I swore! But then... I always do. [​IMG]

    So...anybody got any Guinea hatching eggs for sale?[​IMG]
     
  7. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh wow. I searched craigs list and found i can get 18 eggs for $5 less than an hour from me. I really didn't wanna hatch anymore eggs... ( yeah yeah I keep telling myself that;)) But... one more question.. Whats the average hatch rate like?
     
  8. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    I've always had great hatch rates with guineas! Even with shipped eggs!

    Now I'll tell you something about guineas since you want to go with eggs....you have to watch them hatch. They don't "pip & zip". They "pip & pop"!!

    Chickens, ducks, and geese can take forever to get out of the shell but once guineas pip, watch out! They pop out of their shells really quickly! And no sluggish behaviors. They're ready to RUNNNNNN!!

    I love my guineas and I can't imagine not having them.

    Laurie
     
  9. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Guinea hatch rates are usually very good. I usually get about 95-98%. Do them the same as chicks except it is 28 days. Turn a few times a day if you don't have a turner, keep the humidity about 45% until last 3 days stop turning and raise the humidity to about 60%.

    Good luck
     

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