When should I introduce younger keets to an established flock?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Jared, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Jared

    Jared In the Brooder

    I have several small batches of keets up and coming. About how many weeks old would anyone suggest I put them in the Guinea coop? With chickens I aim for 6 weeks old. Hoping this would be comparable with Guinea's. All my birds have complete free range.
     
  2. prairie

    prairie Songster

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    When I bought 6 week old guineas I put them in with the adult chickens and never had a problem but I have never raised keets yet. I bought some a couple of weeks ago and they are about 3 weeks old but will keep them separated in the chicken house for about 3-4 weeks more.
     
  3. Jared

    Jared In the Brooder

    Maybe I should make myself more clear.

    I have 2 coops. One is a grain bin converted to coop, which I keep my chickens in. I have another coop my guineas roost in. In the mornings I open the doors and let them out all day. I have some unused rabbit cages I have hung up in the grain bin, which I use to keep keets and chicks in, until they grow up a bit. I release the chicks with the chickens at about 6 weeks old.
    What I would really like to know is how old should the keets be before I haul them over to the Guinea coop? Is 6 weeks old enough? or are guinea keets different?
    Sorry for the confusion.
     
  4. JLeigh

    JLeigh Songster

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    I'll be watching for that answer too, Jared. I'm going to be combining my adult guineas, my pullets, and keets in the not-too-distant future. I think six weeks is fine, but reserve the right to stand corrected by the more experienced.
     
    Zehmazoo likes this.
  5. Darkjeweler

    Darkjeweler Songster

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    In my experience, Guineas are a lot less agressive to youngsters than chickens are, and have been very protective. I have some keets that are maybe 3 weeks old right now. I plan on taking them out to the guinea coop probably later tonight for their first adventure. They will remain in the coop for a while longer till I feel they are ready to free range with the flock. In the past, when I have introduced little ones, the flock has refused to leave the either the coop or the perimeter of the run till the keets where allowed to free-range with them. I have never done this during mating season, so we will see how it goes.
     
    Zehmazoo likes this.
  6. HSMomma3

    HSMomma3 Chirping

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    Can anyone tell me if the same guidelines can be used if I'm introducing young keets to a "flock" of young chicks? (We have no adult birds) Our 18 (assorted) chicks are about 6 weeks now, and have been in the coop and run for about 2 weeks... Our 6 keets are about 3 weeks, and ready to get out of the brooder into the coop - they are trying to fly up at the top covering of our brooder. --- So my question is can I just put them in with the chicks, or do I need to have them separated for some time, to socialize with the chicks first? Thanks for any help!, we're new to the backyard flock game. And Loving it so far! : ) -
     
  7. Darkjeweler

    Darkjeweler Songster

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    Well, 3 and 6 weeks is not a huge difference and I would think they would be ok being put together now. Also, by putting a bunch together at once, it is harder for the older birds to single out one bird to pick on, so while there might be a little pecking order going on, it should not be too bad.

    The first 3 chickens I bought were about 3 months old and were let loose into the aviary with the adult guineas and ducks. The guineas and ducks did not pay them much attention . There was the occational chase the guineas gave them, but nothing severe. About 2 months after that, I introduced (5) 3 week old Russian Orloff chicks into the aviary. I thought everything would be fine, but the 3 older chickens picked on the new chickens. I broke up the first couple of fights and found the new ones a safe place to bed down. After a day or two everyone was getting along fine and there was no missing body parts, just a couple of feathers plucked out. The Guineas have never been very agressive towards the other birds they are with. I don't know if that is just because I raised them well or if it is natural to the breed.
     
  8. HSMomma3

    HSMomma3 Chirping

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    Thanks so much for the quick reply, Darkjeweler! I love this forum, always a great response time.

    So I'm gonna go for it and take them out this afternoon. They seem so eager to get out of this brooder, and since we have kept our brooder in our house, we are also eager for the last of the babies to be outside.! (LOL!) And what you said about the ages being close, is exactly what I was thinking... also since the keets seem to be growing even faster than the chicks did, they are quite close to the same size. To my "inexperienced" eye, they really look fully feathered already. Anyway, Here's hoping for a friendly first-meeting.!

    So thank you for the advice, I'll do my best to remember to post a follow-up and let you know how it goes. :)
     
    Zehmazoo likes this.
  9. JLeigh

    JLeigh Songster

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    HSMomma3, I had to laugh at your "we are egaer for the last of the babies to be outside" comment. I put 22 (!!!!) chicks into 2 large brooders in my front bedroom for 6 weeks (!!!) and by the time I got them out of there, the place had an inch thick coating of bird dust. I had to wash the walls, the linens, the furniture two or three times to get it out. And then the smell...Oh, the joys of inexperience...

    Good luck with the transition, and please do keep us posted. I'm learning from others' posts.
     
  10. Jared

    Jared In the Brooder

    Well I took a gamble. I have an easter egger hen that adopted 13 chicks about 4 weeks old, they are now 7 weeks old. The other day they were off by themselves and she was back in the coop sitting next to another batch of 4 week old chicks, while her adopted young were playing in the pig pen. I released the new batch of 4 week old chicks, along with their 4 week old cousins (guinea keets). She took to them initially, but later ended up back with the older chicks. We kept an eye on them throughout the day, and no hens or guinea's were picking on them, so we left them out. About a week has gone by, and the 4 (now 5 week) old chicks and keets are staying in the coop,(peeking outside occasionally) not being pestered by anything else. Perhaps it is because the coop is fairly large, or the fact they have plenty of hiding places, or perhaps because the older chickens (adult guinea's are in separate coop) are outside most of the day.
    I am presuming that when the keets get to exploring outside, they will hopefully migrate towards the adult guinea's and all will hopefully be well. Crossing my fingers.
     

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