Do Keets Hatched By Guinea Hen Need Warmth From A Brooder?

I have been asked by a Incubating & Hatching Guinea Fowl Keets eBook customer if keets hatched by a guinea fowl will still need to go into a brooder for warmth.

Yes, I have 3 guinea fowl. 1 girl and 2 boys. I’ve had them since they were 12 weeks and though fairly skittish, they’re pretty tame.

One question. If she does sit on her nest and manages to hatch a family, do the keets have to be brought in to the warmth or can she be allowed to go on caring for them? From everything I’ve read it seems they need warmth for the first 12 weeks.

Thanks again
Anne

Here is my response:

Hi Anne,

Delighted that you like the eBook. I know what you mean about skittish and tame at the same time. My eldest guinea fowl is about 6 years old. He is now beginning to look elderly and the other younger males are now becoming boss. Mine are free range duting the day and go into a hut at night.

If your guinea sits and hatches her eggs, she may keep the keets with her but some say that guinea fowl will abandon their nest before hatch or abandon looking after their keets.

Once you get to the stage where the eggs are hatching I would have a brooder ready with a lamp and suitable flooring and protection from predators and drafts so that the keets can go into the brooder if they are abandoned by mum. They will eat chikc crumbs and like warm water which I put marbles in the drinker so they don’t get their head in it – the ebook will go into detail about brooding keets and the suitbale flooring and temperatures etc. You are right they do need warmth for the first 12 weeks but if the guinea hen is a good mum she will give them warm.

If she does sit on her nest then she will need to be protected from predators as I have found that the guinea fowl tend to lay in hedgerows without protection however when I try to put a run over the nest they tend to get off it.

If she does sit then I would make sure she is kept separate from the males as they may become jealous of the keets.

Good luck – let me know if you do get her to sit and hatch some eggs.

Just to let you kow I have a free forum with a section on guinea fowl. they forum is popular with lots of friendly members. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/

Kind regards
Sara
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Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale (UK Spring and Summer months).

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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.

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Guinea Fowl Keets Progressing Well With Pekin Bantam Foster Mums!

Just thought I would let you know that I received an email from Gary who recently bought some of my guinea fowl eggs for hatching.

He emailed a few weeks ago to let me know that the guinea fowl eggs had hatched and he had 4 keets.

Hi there farming friends, once again thanks for the Guinea fowl eggs the eggs were put under my broody bantam, and exactly 28 days after a good result 4 eggs out of the 6 hatched I am very pleased, the keets are doing well, once again many thanks.
Gary

He has just emailed through some photos.

Gary's Four Guinea Fowl Keets And Pekin Bantams

Gary's Four Guinea Fowl Keets And Pekin Bantams

Gary's Four Guinea Fowl Keets And Pekin Bantams

Gary's Four Guinea Fowl Keets And Pekin Bantams

“Hi there, it’s Gary here, my little keets are doing well and are running about the hen coop with their two bantam mums, I am enclosing a pic taken last week, they are enjoying the sun and surprised me by flying onto the perches like budgies lol, I am pleased to bits with the 2 bantams which hatched them, and I can say I am getting a lot of pleasure watching their antics, thanks for the prompt delivery of the eggs, and very pleased with the hatch, now I am sitting back enjoying them. Cheers, Gary. PS My partner was waiting for them to darken lol”

It’s always great to hear from customers who are have had a successful hatch and are enjoying their keets.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale (UK Spring and Summer months).

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What Causes Curled Toes In Poultry?

I have been asked what cause curled toes in poultry and waterfowl chicks.

Curled toes is when the chick, keet or duckling is born with toes or feet that are curled up.

This can be caused by a number of things:

  • Curled feet can be genetic and due to inbreeding. It’s only safe to breed ducks down by three generations, thne new stock needs to be introduced.
  • It can be due to poor nutrition and a vitamin (riboflavin) defiency in the breeding stock.
  • It can also be due to infra red light in the brooder.
  • Conditions in the incubator can also lead to problems – bacteria in the incubator can lead to hatching problems and if bacteria has gone through the shell then it can effect the keet, duckling or chick.

A useful book for a poultry, game and waterfowl keepers is the book Poultry & Waterfowl Problems By Michael Roberts.

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Tips If You Have Splayed Legged Chicks

I received a couple of tips if your chicks have splayed legs that I thought would be useful to share.

  • “Its my opinion from many years of hatching, that getting the splayed (spraddled) legged chick on 1/8 inch wire as soon as possible will correct most chicks with this defect. Keith”
  • “My wife has cured splayed legs in quail and chicken by tying the legs together with soft yarn. Like a pair of handcuffs a loop arond each leg just above the feet then joined in the middle. Tie the legs so they are parallel to each other.Not an easy task, but worth the effort.  We have had good results after only five days. The sooner you do this after the hatch the quicker the result. Trevor”
  • “Easiest thing to use is elastoplast. The normal finger ones with the lint in the centre are best. Just trim into thin strips and shorten a bit then apply between the hock and the feet. The centre lint is just the right length. You should only need to leave this on for a couple of days. Sallie” http://farmingfriends.com/splayed-legs-in-guinea-fowl-keets/
  • “If the method from poultryhelp.com is used to correct this problem using bandaids, rubber bands or pipe cleaners as a type of brace, the splayed legged chick should be quarantined to prevent other healthy chicks from pecking the brace. Keith”
  • “Always make sure new chicks have a non slip surface to stand on. Newspaper is too slippery. Towelling is ideal. Trevor” http://farmingfriends.com/litter-suitable-for-brooders/
  • “Splayed legs are typically caused by staying a little too long in the egg at hatching although other incubation problems can cause this to occur. Keith”

If you keep poultry or are interested in keeping poultry then visit the farmingfriends forum for the latest chat.

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Brooder Litter For Chicks, Ducklings and Keets

I have received this tip and advice about litter for a brooder.

“The safest, most comfortable ,most hygienic, most chick friendly and cheapest litter for a brooder is clean chopped straw. All you need is a small bale of straw and your lawnmower (with it’s collection bag on if possible). Lay straw on a clean,dry floor and just mow it with up .It could not be easier ,by the way store in a dry bag / place. One square bale of straw will give you and the chicks a lotta pleasure. If you do’nt have a mower, get out the scissors ( get help from a adult please), you will chop a lot of straw in 4/5 minutes. For easier and quicker cleaning of brooder etc ,lay a few sheets of newspaper or cardboard on the bare floor followed by about a half inch of your chopped straw, add some more straw to this every few days,making sure that the chicks feet are always clean.Just roll up and replace when as required. Also for the first 3 to 4 days the chicks are in the brooder place a long single strip of cardboard 6 inches high around the inside of the brooder,rounding the corners, it stops them bunching and smothering.”

Thanks Stephen for this tip.

A litter material is placed on the floor in the brooder to help insulate the floor for the birds comfort and to absorb moisture. Litter also helps control disease and can prevent splayed legs which chicks and keets can easily suffer from if the correct flooring is not provided.

Suitable litter materials include;

  • Wood shavings.
  • ground corncobs.
  • Sawdust.
  • Sugarcane.
  • Rice hulls.
  • Finely chopped straw.
  • Wheat straw.

Whichever litter material is chosen it must be clean, fresh, not mouldy and 2-8 inches or 5-20cms deep.

Unsuitable litter materials include;

  • Newspaper.
  • Paper.
  • Metal.
  • Plastic.
  • Lino.
  • Wood.
  • Ordinary cardboard.
  • Any slippery surface.

Cloth, carpet or corrugated cardboard may be used as a flooring in a small homemade brooder as these surfaces can provide traction for the keets to get a grip on and not slip.

I have successfully reared guinea fowl keets, ducklings and quail chicks on carpet and straw.

If you keep poultry or are interested in keeping poultry then visit the farmingfriends forum for the latest chat.

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Splayed Legs In Guinea Fowl Keets

Splayed legs are when a guinea fowl keets legs are not in line correctly but splayed out making movement and standing difficult.

Splayed legs can be the result of the newly hatched keets not being able to get a grip on the floor of the incubator or brooder and as a result the legs will spread out. It can also be caused when their is a good litter on the ground but the keet just struggles to stand due to being weak or because the feet are curled in.

If caught early the splayed legs can be cured by strapping or splinting 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. A good resource to show this can be found by clicking this link http://www.poultryhelp.com/spraddle.html

In future you can prevent splayed legs by making sure that the litter you are using in your brooder has good traction. I tend to use chopped up straw to start with so that the guinea fowl don’t think that it is food like they do with sawdust.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale (UK Spring and Summer months).

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If you would like to receive regular information about guinea fowl and poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Curled Toes On Guinea Fowl Keets

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

Guinea Fowl Keets eBook Only

If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale during the Spring and Summer months.

MeliaMary’s Guinea Fowl Keets Try To Free Range

I love it when I strike up a farmingfriends friendship and get to correspond with a fellow guinea fowl enthusiast as MeliaMary is.

Guinea Fowl Keets Perching

Guinea Fowl Keets PerchingAdult Guinea Fowl Keets

It is also interesting to hear about guinea fowl in different countries and MeliaMary is over in Australia, so lets find out how MeliaMary’s guinea fowl keets are progressing……

Hi Sara  

MeliaMary's Guinea Fowl Keets Perching In New Run

MeliaMary's Guinea Fowl Keets Perching In New Run

Today is the day I am allowing the keets to free range. The gate is open but so far they are not inclined to venture out.

Guinea Fowl Keets Eating Lettuce In New Run

Guinea Fowl Keets Eating Lettuce In New Run

The temperature here is mid to high 20s during the day so I am comfortable letting them out and I feel sure they are ready.

Three Guinea Fowl Keets Leave Run But Want Back In ASAP

Three Guinea Fowl Keets Leave Run But Want Back In ASAP

I have written a report on the forum.  

How interesting it is to read about Mary-Jayne’s keets in South Africa.  

And also hearing about the smallholding in Cyprus is fascinating. I have English friends who have bought a property in Cyprus. I wonder if they are neighbours!  

My fingers are nearly better now. Have dressing on only one of them so I am able to type again.

Mary's Beloved Hand Reared Lamb Called Lambchop

Mary's Beloved Hand Reared Lamb Called Lambchop

Mary's Beloved Hand Reared Lamb Called Rosie

Mary's Beloved Hand Reared Lamb Called Rosie

And I have just about got over the deaths of Lambchop and Rosie but I have to confess that I went into a deep decline after that happened and it took me a good few tearful days to get back to near normal.  

All the best  

Mary

It is great to read and view the photos of the guinea fowl keets progress. More information and photos about MeliaMary’s Guinea Fowl Keets can be found on the farmingfriends forum.

MeliaMary’s Guinea Fowl Keets Venture Out

MeliaMary is a regular reader and farmingfriends forum member from Australia who has recently got some guinea  fowl. Here is Melia Mary’s update from last week.

Guinea Fowl Keets Venture Out

Guinea Fowl Keets Venture Out

I have now had my keets for 18 days. They have grown beyond my expectations and have outgrown the lovely little hutch I made for them. Today we spent four hours creating a new enclosure for them and they have just moved in.

Converted Porch For Guinea Fowl Keets

Converted Porch For Guinea Fowl Keets

There is room for them to fly and it is outdoors (but covered). I am keeping their original hutch in the enclosure with the light on so that they have somewhere to go to keep warm should they need to.

Guinea Fowl Keets Move Out

Guinea Fowl Keets Move Out

They were so amusing when I moved them out – I just left the door of the hutch open and left them to decide for themselves whether to come out or not. It took them about 20 minutes … they peeped out and then retreated again and again. So sweet.

" Dare we go out?" chirped the guinea fowl keets.

" Dare we go out?" chirped the guinea fowl keets.

Now they are in and out quite confidently. They have a big feed hopper and water dispenser and I have given them chopped lettuce and apple on the ground (they LOVE that and I have been giving it to them three times a day).

Guinea Fowl Keets Going To Eat Chopped Apple And Lettuce

Guinea Fowl Keets Going To Eat Chopped Apple And Lettuce

The base of the new enclosure is concrete but there is a drainage channel running across it which I have covered with door mats because it has a grille which I think their little feet could get trapped in. It will be easy to sweep and hose down the floor when required.

Covering Drainage Grill

Covering Drainage Grill

I will continue with the towels as bedding in the hutch and intend to shut them up at night. I am also intending to chop grass for them now – I would rather they were in a grass based enclosure but that is not possible at the moment.

They are a joy.

Guinea Fowl Keets Venture Out, Well Almost!

Guinea Fowl Keets Venture Out, Well Almost!

MeliaMary sent me some photos to go with the update. I hope that you have enjoyed catching up with MeliaMary’s guinea fowl keets.

Guinea Fowl Keets

Since Sunday 15 guinea fowl keets have successfully hatched out. I generally leave the keets in the incubator for 24 hours so that their feathers can dry out and they can fluff up. It is ok to leave them in the incubator for this length of time as they get their food from the sac. After about 24 hours I transfer the keets to a brooder where they have heat, chick crumbs and water. I usually put marbles in the drinker so that the keets don’t drown in the water. The floor of the brooder has corrugated cardboard and straw on it. This helps the keets to move about the brooder safely and the non-slip flooring stops the keets from getting splayed legs.