When can I put the keets outside?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by joedie, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I have 3 five week old keets and they are in a brooder in my basement. They are getting kind of big for it and I'd like to put them in their coop but it has been getting down in the 30's at night. The coop is actually a run in shed with an open front but the front wall is just hardware cloth so I can't really keep them warm enough with a heat lamp. When do you think they should be feathered out enough to handle the cold?
     
  2. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    PeepsCA can verify this, but I think six weeks is about when they're fully feathered. Peeps?

    Is there a way you can rig the coop area to contain heat for a few weeks? Maybe even with cardboard (kept away from the heat lamp of course) until they're a little older. Plastic sheeting....anything to contain the heat? They won't care if it isn't pretty, and it will begin their confinement to learn where home/roosting is.

    I absolutely KNOW how you feel about keets being too big for the brooder, too small for the great outdoors. It's a problem. Good luck! Let us know how it works out.
     
  3. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    Thanks JLeigh. I was hoping 6 weeks, they look fully feathered until they lift their wings and the body is mostly down except a stripe of feathers down the middle of the back. I sure hope this fills in quickly.
     
  4. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    It should fill in fairly quickly. I'd still try to enclose your pen somehow just temporarily until they get a little hardened off to the weather.
     
  5. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    Will do this weekend. Thanks for the advice. I sure don't want to lose them.
     
  6. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    They should be fine moved out, but confined to a sheltered area of the coop with a brooder lamp for heat (a 60 watt bulb is fine) to use if they choose for a while.

    They can't regulate their own body temps until they are 6 wks old, if they were raised on high protein starter. If raised on lower protein starter feeds it takes longer.
     
  7. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana


    They have been on game bird starter that is 24 % protein. Is that high enough?
     
  8. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    24% protein is a little low for keets (I personally prefer 27-28%) but it's not as low as most chick starters, so it probably didn't slow down their feather development all that much. Just in case, and especially since there's only 3 of them and not a huge brood to keep each other warm I'd be sure to give them a light for a heat source until you see them all sleeping completely away from it at night.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  9. rollyard

    rollyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2010
    I have put mine outside earlier when the weather is warm/mild? Maybe I shouldn't? Maybe I should read here more often [​IMG]
     
  10. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Warm/mild weather is a little more forgiving... but chilled keets grow slower and don't thrive as well, IME. It's winter here... rain, wind, cold temps etc... all that can take the zip right out of keets real fast.

    Hiya rollyard [​IMG], missed ya!
     

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