What are the stages--keet to adult

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by foothillsfiber, May 29, 2012.

  1. foothillsfiber

    foothillsfiber Chirping

    Dec 23, 2011
    So this is my first time with guineas. I got keets at a day or two old, and boy do they feather out fast. What are the stages that they will go through at what age. They are about a month old now and flying everywhere in the pen. When do they moult, get the bare head, helmet and the like?
  2. Claireschickens

    Claireschickens Hatching

    Mar 17, 2012
    I also have 1 month old first time guineas and am curious about the same thing also?
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  3. foothillsfiber

    foothillsfiber Chirping

    Dec 23, 2011
    maybe someone will fill us in on the details.
  4. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    I may edit/fine tune this later when I have more time, but here's a quick breakdown off the top of my head pertaining to what I've observed in my hatches/flocks over the years... (the tip jar is over there on the counter!)

    *If raised on high protein game bird, pheasant or turkey starter feed (between 25%-30% protein) until they are at least 6 wks old:

    Their first set of feathers starts coming in at 3-4 days old and their markings and colors change as they lose the down on their body.

    They are covered in baby feathers and lose all of their down within a week and a half or so, but can still keep the fuzz on their heads up until 8 wks or even 10 wks of age.

    Depending on the weather and time of year they were hatched they will typically start losing the down on their necks between 6 wks and 8 wks of age first before they lose it off of their heads (they go thru a very ugly awkward looking stage during this time with tiny pin feathers coming in on their neck, and usually just patches of down missing on their heads... LOL).

    Again, depending on the weather they will molt their first set of baby feathers at around 6 wks to 8 wks of age, and depending on their color, their markings and colors will change again as they start growing in their juvenile feathers. (They are unable to regulate their own body temp and need a heat source for warmth from hatch until 6 wks of age).

    They start growing noticeable wattles and their casque (the bony growth on their head) at around 6 wks to 8 wks of age too. (And this is usually when I gradually wean my keets over to a high protein grower feed with 20%-22% protein).

    Their wattles start turning red between 8 wks and 10 wks (and I've noticed the more greens and bugs they eat and the more sun they get, the faster their wattles turn red)

    I consider my keets to be pullets and cockerels when they are 12 wks of age, but others may have a different opinion on this.

    They typically lose their juvenile feathers and molt again at around 12 wks of age, but by 16 weeks they usually all have their full adult plumage and makings. (They can be gradually weaned over to a 16% protein layer feed starting at 12 wks of age and that can be their regular diet year round from that point on... plus free range time of course).

    They are usually sexually mature and considered adults by 16 wks of age, sometimes a little sooner, sometimes a little later. (And if hatched out early enough in the season the young pullets may lay some eggs before Fall for you. If not, they will lay the next Spring when the daylight hours start to increase).

    *In my opinion and experience with raising keets and Guineas... if they are not not raised on high protein starter feed from hatch up until 6 wks of age and then a high protein grower feed until 12 wks of age all of these different development growth stages and changes happen at a much slower rate, and it is not healthy for your keets. There's a substantial risk of the keets not being able to thrive, live and produce to their full potential. And too much fat and starches in their diet (especially thru their heavy growth stages and molts) has great potential to cause health, reproductive and developmental issues.
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
    SimoneG and confederatemule like this.
  5. chick a dee

    chick a dee In the Brooder

    May 11, 2012
    Thank you so much! I was wondering the same thing...You're such a big help! ( and wealth of info) [​IMG]
  6. daylily

    daylily Chirping

    [​IMG] Chickadee. Welcome. Peeps is awesome! Feel free to ask anything you need or want about guineas. One of us will be there to answer and help.
  7. keeting

    keeting Hatching

    Dec 23, 2013
    Thank you so much for your help with this question. I didn't ask it but have looked for it here. I live in Australia and have 6 keets about 1 week old which have been hatched by my best broody hen. All doing well at present. We have made an area in the chook yard separate for Chook and keets. It is approx. 8ft x 5ft and 6ft high fence of both chicken and dog fence together. It is well into summer here and extremely hot. We are feeding them on turkey crumble (not sure of the ratio of it but was recommended by the place that sells all the food for animals plus other things for the farmer. We have 11 acres but it is a long narrow strip. 100ft wide and whatever long. All the hens in the chook pen that this designated area is put have been watching as if fascinated. Even our 2 roosters have come for a look at times. In total we have 20 hens and 2 roosters. The hens range in age from approximately 8 years (Chook) and down to about 6 months. A lot of the hens are broody at present. We had thought of getting a few more eggs (guinea fowl) where we got this lot from and putting another hen with them. Not sure if this would work out or what. Chook usually gets her chicks to look after themselves somewhere between 6 and 10 weeks. Would the keets be suitable for forage for themselves at this age. WoulId another hen being in the same area on eggs be ok or would the elder keets be a problem, especially once the baby keets arrived. At the earliest they would be say 5 or 6 weeks of age the ones we have now. We were told that we should keep the keets locked up in their own pen for 6-9 weeks so they get accustomed to this area as home and where they eat and sleep. Being our first experience we are not sure. If you could answer asap I would appreciate it. Happy Christmas and New Year to everyone. Be safe.
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    In my limited experience with keets and hens, the keets are going to think of themselves more as chickens at the beginning. Mine hung close to the hens (were not brooded by them just in a separated area of the coop before integrating them in with the rest) for the first month and always followed them back to the coop at night. They roost right along side the hens, eat with them, sunbathe with them... At about 6 weeks they could fly very well. Too well actually. They like to get up in the rafters or the roof of the barn and make as much noise as possible. They are now 6 months old and operate as their own little group. All 9 go in one big clump. They are wilder than the hens but I think tamer than they would be without being raised with hens.

    I worked the keets into the hen group at about 6 weeks, it took them about another 2 weeks to muster up the courage to go outside. Only twice in that time have they not returned to the coop at night (they got stuck in the rafter right above the coop as it got dark so they just stayed there). They return multiple time during the day to the coop just like the hens. I guess what I'm saying is they should be fine if you treat them just like chicks. The hens are the ones they are modeling themselves after. Different age groups of keets is going to be trial and error. I would be more concerned with a non broody hen or rooster than adolescent keets harming newly hatched ones.
  9. westmittengirl

    westmittengirl In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2017
    I’m hoping some of you might have recommendations for me with my guineas. First time raising them. I purchased and have been raising my guineas since the beginning of March. They look good and are currently outside with my chicks. They are in a pen with my younger chicks but separated by a fence from the rest of the main flock and have been for approximately 3weeks just getting to know each other. They have no interest in leaving the coop/fenced in run! We have a big tick issue around our house which is why I wanted to get guineas to help with that. How do I get them to leave? I tried to force them out the other day but that was a chore. Ended up with 2 in and 2 our and the 2 our spent their entire time out trying to get back in instead of exploring and searching for bugs. Do I just wait for them to venture out on their own? I know this seems silly as most are trying to figure out how to keep them home. Maybe they are still too young yet?
  10. SimoneG

    SimoneG Songster

    Sep 25, 2017
    North Dakota
    I was told with mine to not chase them/force them out of an area or they won't come back in. My coop is in the horse barn and the big door is always open (except winter) so I just left the door open and they gradually started to wander in & out. It took about 2 weeks before they were all over the yard & pasture. a couple years ago when I started with adults I chased them out of the barn first thing in the spring and they didn't come back in at all that summer, it was a pain to catch them & put them in for the winter.
    Phoenixxx likes this.

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