On occasions a guinea fowl keet can hatch out with toes that are curled up into a fist shape. Sometimes they may straighten out on their own in the first day or so but if they don’t you can make a pipe cleaner shoe for the keet to wear which will help to straighten out the toes.
The pipe cleaner needs to be bent into the shape of a keets foot and then attached to the keets foot with a bandaid or elastaplast. Cut three pieces of bandaid to go over all three toes. A larger piece will be needed for the middle toe.
The temporary keet shoe can be kept on for about 8 hours. Remove the shoe and see if the foot has straightened out. If need be the shoe can be refitted to help the keet’s foot get better and allow it to stand properly.
I was recently asked what help could be given to a newly hatched keet with a curled foot.
Gill said that after wearing the keet shoe, “The curled foot is quite good, a little more turned in than the norm but he can now stand properly.”
If you keep guinea fowl and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your guinea fowl then why not join the free farmingfriends guinea fowl forum.
If you are raisingguineafowl from 6/8weeksold then they don’t need to have heat and can go outside. I free range my guineafowl during the day and then put them in a hut to roost at night although guineafowl will naturally roost in trees if you don’t train them to go in a hut. I like mine to go in a hut at night so that they are protected from predators such as the fox and that they are also sheltered from the weather. Sometimes if it is raining hard my guineafowl will choose to stay in the hut. http://www.farmingfriends.com/guinea-fowl-housing-siting-the-hut/
I have read that there can be 15 birds per square metre for intensively reared guineafowl and Jeannette ferguson in her book “Gardening With Guineas” recommends as a general guideline “3 to 4 square feet per guineafowl.” Overcrowding can lead to fighting and featherpicking. http://www.farmingfriends.com/feather-picking-and-cannibalism-in-poultry/
If your guineafowl are not used to being in a hut or are new to your land then keep the guineafowl in the hut for a few days and then let one guinea out at a time . This is because guineafowl are social creatures and if you only let one out they will stay near the hut because they don’t want to go away from the other guineafowl.
If you are incubating guinea fowl eggs then here is some information about rearing guinea fowl keets once the eggs have hatched.
Guinea fowl keets can stay in the incubator for up to 24 hours as they can survive on the yolk sac that was in the egg with them. You can take them out earlier than 24 hours but make sure that their feathers are dry. They need to be placed in a brooder with a heat lamp giving them heat for the first 6-8 weeks after hatching at a temperature starting at about 95-100 degrees fahrenheit (35-38 degrees celsius) for the first 1-2 weeks and then reducing by 5 degrees fahrenheit each week.
Here is a link http://www.farmingfriends.com/brooder-temperature-for-guinea-fowl-keets/
I always feed my guinea fowl keets chick crumbs. When they are a few days old I give them shredded lettuce as a treat and they also like yoghurt and hard boiled egg yolks. I make the chick crumbs their staple diet and supplement this withlettuce as well which they just love. http://www.farmingfriends.com/drinkers-for-guinea-fowl-keets/
The brooder needs a litter on the floor that will stop the keets from hurting their legs. I use corrugated cardboard which I buy from Ascott Smallholder supplies and then I put straw on top. Although saw dust/shavings can be used I think that when the keets are very small they can often mistake the shavings for food. http://www.farmingfriends.com/litter-suitable-for-brooders/
1. I was raised around chickens. Wow what a difference guineas are. I bought 10 from a farm supply and lost 2 right off. Ignorance. We did some research and found they needed a heat lamp. It 90 degrees F. plus temp outside so like I said through ignorance I thought it was warm enough for them. I research as things pop up. I have one little guy of the 8 remaining with splayed leg. They are over 3 weeks old now and research shows I should not be putting them on newspaper which is what they have lived on. So much to know about the little guys. The one with splayed leg is as big as the others and bigger than a couple. He eats well, flies and runs. At this point I probably can’t do anything for him, can I? We are in Arkansas and on rocky hills. We purchased them to take care of the ticks and scorpions we have. Folks around here said they are really good to clear them out. Well thanks for the information provided in your website. It has some in handy, just too late for me. Wish I’d researched before buying.
Comment by sandy — September 29, 2008 @ 2:05 pm
2. Hi Sandy,
Yes guineas are very different but alot of fun to watch. I think you can probably still cure the splayed leg.
You can strap/splint the legs so that they come back into line. This can be done with pipe cleaners, elastic bands or probably best of all an elastaplast bandaid.