WK #3

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Sydney65, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Sydney65

    Sydney65 Chirping

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    Indiana
    Have been reading voraciously here & elsewhere. Like others starting off, I need advice, knowledge,ideas, encouragement- and I like the idea of keeping a journal of sorts. I guess I should see if that's allowed before I bog up anyone's feed, but I think you can block me if I get annoying. But since I get a dead-eyed stare from ppl when I start talking birds, I appreciate you all!
    So this is week #3. In total, I've received 2 batches of 12 guinea keets. From batch #1, I have 2 left, from batch #2, 4 left. Any newbies reading, these survived w/the help I've received here, so by all means, bookmark this space. If you ended up w/guineas for tick control, forewarning, they'll become far more than a natural insecticide to you, and quickly.
    1. The nonslip shelf-liner in the brooder topped with papertowel was a good idea, until we had a bout of the runs. Then you learn how absorbant your papertowel is or isn't. I remembered that I still had some lg pads left from my husband's surgery- the kind hospitals use for incontinence or wound drainage? I put one of those in the pool this a.m. for breakfast (explain in a sec), and quickly decided I would be getting more of these. 23x36 50 ct @ amazon 13.00. I'd throw in a box of gloves for yourself, but that may just be me.
    2. Take note of what you see most suggested in threads, and stock up before you need it, because chances are, you're gonna need it - and chances are when you need it, nobody in your area sells it,even when you're surrounded by cornfields:barnie. So my order this a.m. included 1st aid supplies that I realize now that I may need at some point, or in fact, needed last night:
    Like Blue Kote for my poor lil avatar keet who gets pecked at by the only one in the crew who has a name- Lil Peckerhead.
    And Nutri-Drench that I was told to get in the beginning but couldn't find locally. Getting it now incase moving to coop eventually is stressful (if we get to that point after my struggles, losing anyone then will crush me).
    Other things I ordered that ya'll can cheer or critic are Hen Healer Ointment, which looking again, appears to be a variation of Blu-Kote so oops or you can never have enough. Whichever. Vet Rx, which I look forward to hearing those cheers or jeers on, bc :idunno. And Manna Pro Poultry Protector for mites,lice & fleas,which seems an anomaly for bug eaters, but - I don't want them. I probably didn't need to order all of this online, but some of it I did,and it's pouring today, so -one stop shopping it is.
    The pool- our set up outside will have a hardcloth floor, so I got the smallest baby pool for their dustbath. In the meantime, it's their dining rm. I have it clean & set up in advance,move them there to eat while I clean out the brooder & then just sit back & watch them for awhile, bc seriously, :love. The 2 older ones are supposed to only be 2 weeks old. They've begun short flight, right out of the pool, but run to me. I put a screen over the far end of it to discourage this. I'm beginning to have my doubts abt "day old keets shipped" bc of the size diff between batch 1 and batch 2 and between those in batch 2.
    QUESTION-dustbath- all DE or mixed, w/what & ratio?How deep shld it be, how often does it get changed? Do they still need mite spray w/DE?
    Dire warnings I've read is that being wet is hazardous to keets. Apparently, nobody ever told THEM that, as they were hopping into waterer and splashing it everywhere- and then the contamination issue. Waterer pitched. I got those cups used in coops & put 2 in a lemonade jug, using Gorilla vinyl waterproof contact adhesive. It was a learning curve - don't used superglue. The cups will still work but your plastic jug will leak due to superglue eating hole in it. Feeder pitched as well. I'll have to come up w/a plan for outside, but for now they're having fun pecking in the pool. - pictures in my album.
    The next part I hesitate to mention bc :old:rant:mad:. When the runs began, I was:he. Didn't know why it was happening, didn't see blood or worms, but - did I mention I have grandkids? Worms are def an ah hail NO situation. So I got the Strike whatever & was promptly told that was a waste. Corid, cornfields, chickens....not sold locally. Yes, I could order it, but this was not something I felt I could wait on. So...I got them a 5 lb bag of medicated chicken starter. (Ducking- let me know when you're done throwing tomatoes & I'll continue).:oops:
    So, this is day #3 eating that instead of gamebird starter (do I even need to mention I can't find medicated gamebird starter, even though everything suggests that it DOES exist?). I can tell it's helped both by their appearance and their droppings. Someone is still having issues, so not ready to stop it just yet, but definitely a crisis averted.
    QUESTION: If I'd gone w/the Corid, the tx period was 5 days, wasn't it? So should I stop this at 5 days? Since it seems to have helped, should I tx w/this monthly? I think that's what the Corid said to do? Obvi I'm not going to cont using this all the time, wrong protein % and I have 50# of gamefowl starter to get through. I'm skeptical of mixing the 2 because #5 vs #50 would be a lopsided & uncontrolled ratio.
    QUESTION: When they go in the coop, with the hardcloth floor- should there be an area of it with something soft so they aren't always on wire, or are the roosts sufficient? It seems like shavings or straw/hay would fall through w/o something solid under it?
    I think that covers everything for now. One of the older 2 roosted on my arm today for the first time. I took the heating pad out and put the warming plate back in now that it's time to ⤵ temp. to give them more room to run around.
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    I have no idea what caused the runs but suspect that it is due to something that you fed the keets. It can also be caused by the keets drinking too much water because they are too hot. Corid is amprolium and is used to treat coccidiosis. Medicated starter contains amprolium to protect against coccidiosis and nothing else. The runs are not a sign of coccidiosis.

    Medicated turkey or gamebird starter is available but is not widespread. There is none available my area. But it is available online. Personally I use non-medicated turkey or gamebird starter without any problems.
    Never mix a medicated feed with a non medicated feed. The medication is mixed into the feed at a rate for it to be effective. Diluting it with a non-medicated feed causes it to fall below the effective level and may risk coccidiosis becoming immune to it.
    I am assuming that you have a hardware cloth floor because you believed all the stories about it being necessary to protect against predators. If the size of the mesh is big enough for wood shavings to fall through, then it is big enough for vermin to get in.

    I live on a sand dune, the floor of my coop is the ground (sand). I do not have hardware cloth on the floor. It is possible that a predator could dig its way in but after around 7 years with this coop the only intruders have bee a few voles and mice. The guineas said they were delicious.
     
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  3. Sydney65

    Sydney65 Chirping

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    I'm surprised to hear that, bc everything I've read says diarrhea is main S/S of coccidiosis. Since there weren't any other obvious S/S, that was my guess. The only thing they'd ever had to eat was Purina Gamebird Startena. There seemed to be controversy w/keets & treats,so we just haven't gone there yet. I think you were the one that said the Strike was a waste,so I didn't start it d/t it being contraindicated w/amprolium.
    Drinking too much - well, I did mention them making a mess w/their water, so mb? I wondered about heat, despite checking temp frequently, so have took out the heating pad and put the heatplate back in so that I cld raise it. Odd thing- I've read that supposedly they bunch up when cold and spread out when comfy or hot? This crew is always bunched up.
    Hardcloth floor-16 g 1" . It's a truck style on "sleigh skids" about 4" off of the ground,per a design we opted to follow. Theory is sleigh skids make it easier to move, having a floor prevents tragedies as recently posted when moving, and hardcloth so droppings can go through but rats, raccoons & oppossums cannot. I imagine a mouse or small rat can get through.
    We're on clay; for whatever reason, our little piece of property has become favored by wildlife recently whereas it used to keep it's distance. In the decades that we've been here, we never had squirrels. Folks said it was bc we had the wrong kind of trees. Now we have one who apparently overcame the tree issue by way of birdfeeders. We had 2 coyote stalking abt 6' from property line until someone shot them,& a raccoon until I took away his meal (birdfeeders). So, yes, concern for their safety.
     
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    I don't even know what Strike is so it was definitely not me that said anything about it.
     
  5. Sydney65

    Sydney65 Chirping

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    Week #4- I can't tell you how much I enjoy these little guys. Spending time w/them is no hardship. They are at very different stages of development, though. That's to be expected w/two batches a week apart, but the 4 in the second batch seem like 2 batches on their own.
    The 2 oldest ones (batch 1) are about the size of doves, if not a little bigger. Their heads / necks are still fuzzy but the belly fuzz is giving way to feathers now. They'd love for me to let loose so they can fly, & have mastered perching The middle sized ones are standing next to the bigger in picture above. The 2 middle ones-they remind me of killdeer the way they rock back on their feet & straighten their neck to see more. They're just beginning to attempt perching, hop up on the branch & wobble a bit before hopping off. Their bellies are still fuzzy.
    The 2 little ones are more the size of sparrows. They tend to keep to the perimeter, avoiding flapping wings & big feet. They're the 1st to hop on my hand, because they've figured out 1st in hand =1st in pool to eat. They're getting their wing feathers in, otherwise still very much downy little birds. Everyone recognizes the hand & feeds from it w/o hesitation. One benefit of being tiny, while everyone else is jostling for a spot, they just jump on. The toe pecking has stopped. I'd read various theories abt it & tried them all, so who knows what worked. One was re attention seeking & boredom, so I spend extra time holding that one, rubbing "his" neck & belly. Tried adding toys but that theory didn't fly w/any of them. "He" is the one who started a "game" - their brooder is a clear tote so they can see out of it. He'd peck @ the side of it until I tap my fingernail on it & so on. Now they all line up and do it. Likewise there's a mirror on the other side that they strut in front of & peck at. "He's" the one rocking back looking in mirror in 1st pic.
    Using the juice jug w/the cups inserted has worked really well. It isn't as messy, stays clean, & I have a better idea of how much they are drinking. 20190817_090130.jpg
    I'm still using the pads in the brooder & pool but upgraded to ultra absorbant 36×36 bc I was having to use 2 of the other per area x2 a day. These stay dryer longer and fill both areas. I found them on ebay. It may seem extreme, but I was going through a lot of papertowels,don't have to worry about having the shelf lining underneath, clean up is a breeze, & only has to be changed once a day instead of twice or more.
    I'm hoping we finish wiring in the run this weekend,then it will be done. But as you can see, I have a mixed bag re who wld be ready to go out there. It seems like separating them to send the older two on out wld cause more issues than it's worth, re splitting them up, letting a hierarchy be established via who got in 1st, so will hold off until everyone is ready or I have no choice. Thankfully the older 2 are docile so there haven't been issues re biggest vs littlest.
     
  6. Sydney65

    Sydney65 Chirping

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    Aug 2, 2019
    Indiana
    * wiring in run* - actually meant fencing. I'd forgotten abt the windows he insisted on ordering instead of just making them w/hardcloth. They just got here. I admit, they are cute.
    Am also curious how true the theory is that the guineas who scrape their beak sideways on the ground are typically male. If true, then I have 3 of them, one ea size. Cld I really be that lucky? -I assume that'd be lucky...
    Not really hearing differentials in tweets, but I do have a couple that trill while eating. I guess they really enjoy the crumble!
     
  7. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    I have never heard this one but am very confident that it is BS. I have seen all birds of all sexes and species scrape their beaks sideways whether on the ground, a branch or whatever is handy. It is their way of keeping their beaks in shape since the beaks are continually growing. Think of it as the same as you clipping your fingernails.
     
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  8. Sydney65

    Sydney65 Chirping

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    Indiana
    Thanks! That's kind of what I figured. I honestly hadn't ever seen a bird do that before so was curious. If you ever get bored, you shld write a real book (not a pamphlet) on raising guineas, do this, don't do that, etc. There's little out there, & what one will tell you another will contradict. One will tell you that bc of the failure to domesticate them fully, they're hardy birds not affected by much, another will list off immunizations one MUST get for their birds (& then note that there aren't many guinea vets).
     
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  9. Sydney65

    Sydney65 Chirping

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    Aug 2, 2019
    Indiana
    I come bearing more pictures & questions. We've talked abt bedding, drafts feet- the runners prevent any draft from the sides (N/S but in the back you can see there's a bit of a gap at the bottom E/W). The ribbed steel roof will allow ventilation, so should I go ahead & ask himselfvto close the bottom gap or will it not matter w/bedding? We talked about wood chips for bedding, I'd asked if they'd fall through the 1" hardcloth floor. To some it sounds silly to ask, to me, w/o tearing open a bag @ the store, I don't know what to expect. My only perspective is a hamster's cedar chips, which would fall through, I would think. And finally, if we agree on wood chips, how deep?
    2019-08-31 12.21.55.jpg 2019-08-31 12.57.36.jpg 2019-08-31 12.57.08.jpg 2019-08-31 13.02.07.jpg We're not done yet- he's the run to finish,& putting siding on the coop.

    Somehow I thought determining a keet's adult's coloring would be obvious. Turns out that "obvious" seems to mean without likeness. Via the belly feathers coming in now, I can see that my 3 brown ones are indeed going to be pearl grey, & Nugget (per Grandson, "feelin' like a chicken Nugget in a chicken coop") is lavender. The other two I'm thinking are to be purple? But the rust on the back of the neck kind of throws me off. Thanks for your help.
    20190831_120220.jpg
     

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  10. sadie10023

    sadie10023 Chirping

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    Hi - Ive just dropped in here, as I have some hatching keets - first time ever. Had guineas for years but no one ever hatched eggs. I'm a little rusty on care since Ive just had a flock of 4 for a while. Got 4 new ones from a guy and they are more natural than my fatties. We raise quail so not to different.
    But, I would say you need to not have any openings for access in your coop. I apparently do and have entertained a couple Western Rat Snakes in the last months. I trapped and released but they obviously came in between roof and sides under the eaves. We are built on perimeter hard cloth barriers around the coop and run, and pavers. Where there is a will there is a way. My birds didn't chase them out. They let him sit around eating eggs and bathing in the waterer.
    My guineas live on pine chips, not shavings, inside the house and a dirt base run. In the beginning I learned to leave the chips in the coop and not change. The environment controls the smells and other stuff. I used to remove it every two weeks and respread chips because of waste. Not doing anything solved that.
    You likely know, but we used use "cedar chips" on my hamsters cage as a kid. That is a big no no for the birds. Just an FYI.
    I am also trying to figure out same stuff you are. I am/was not prepared for these keets to show up and need re-schooling - medicated stuff, mites etc.
    Following...
     
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