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When to Let Guinea Keets Free Range

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by drdoolittle, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Hi, everyone! I have two adult guineas (1 male, 1 female). About 4 weeks ago I added 10 keets (7 of them are now 10 weeks old, the other 3 are 13 weeks old). My adults did pick on them at first, but they get along great now.
    Every morning I let the two adults out to free range for the day---I don't see much of them, but I know they go into our woods, up to our front yard and even go across the road and into our neighbors' woods and way across their property. They are back each evening, waiting to be let in their pen.
    I've noticed for the past week that the keets get agitated when the two adults leave the pen and keep calling for them throughout the day. I want to let them out too, but the woman I bought them from told me to keep them locked up until they are 3/4 the size of the adults (which they are not). I felt sorry for them this morning and let them out a few minutes after I had let the adults out. The adult female had gone into the woods, but the adult male saw the keets out and came back toward them and when the group scurried up to hem, he started towards the woods and stopped after a few feet, turned around and looked at the keets! I know he was trying to lead them into the woods. I chickened out (the keets looked so SMALL out in the big world) and I herded them back to their pen---at which point they got upset and started calling to the male.
    I just wanted advice as far as whether I should go ahead and let them out or should I wait a couple more weeks. I'm worried that if the keets get split up in the woods, some won't find their way back to the pen by dusk.
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I start free ranging mine around 10-14 days old but that obviously is not the norm. If the parents are good about coming back each night, i would give it a shot. Perhaps just let a few out with the parents to see how they do.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana

    Well, my two adults are not the parents. I already had them and added the keets about 4 weeks ago. They were then 6 and 9 weeks old.
    I did let them out yesterday, and they ran straight over to my two adults. A few hours later I went out and didn't see the adults anywhere, but the keets were all together just a couple feet into the woods. I put them back in the pen a little later, not wanting to search for them at dusk.
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,526
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    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Ah okay. You might try only letting a couple out at a time then. They will come back to be with their siblings/friends.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I've been letting all 10 keets out with the 2 adults each morning and it's going well. The keets stick together, even going into the woods. The first several days the 2 adults would go off on their own, but now all 12 birds seem to stay together. I absolutely love my guineas!
     

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