This is an update on the guinea keets who hatched Thursday. All keets are still alive and are getting very bouncy. Mama Charlotte, who is being named just "Charlotte" has 7 keets
Bella has 4 keets
Charlotte II, who is being renamed Cheryl, has only 1 keet
And one white leghorn chick hatched under Jade last night.
|All White Keet|
The keets were up and bouncing around within hours after their hatching. They started pecking and eating guinea keet food just a few hours after their birth. They need keet food that has more protein than chick food. They love to jump and boink around, stretching out their tiny wings. They all learned how to drink from the waterer after being shown only once. They still stumble and fall over a lot when they bounce around, but they pick themselves up and continue their jumping around. They like to explore everything, even if it means leaving their mama hen for a while. Then they bounce back to mama hen. I think they are much more active and inquisitive than chicks (as in chicken chicks, not guineas).
|Keets checking things out on Day One, shortly after hatching|
The keets were bouncing so much after they were born that one of them jumped out of the nestbox where Charlotte was sitting with them. We put up a "baby gate" to keep them in the box that first night. The second day the hens were removed from the nest boxes, and separate areas were made for them to walk around the coop, all partitioned off with the mesh fencing. The mother hens attack the other mothers and the other babies, so everyone must be separated while they are inside the coop for now. When they get big enough to go outside then the keets will be more hardy and will be tougher and faster.
|Mesh stapled in front of nest box overnight on night one|
The guinea keet that was pecked almost to death by Lucy right after hatching was given to Bella. Bella has been an exceptional mama, feeding the babies, showing them how to drink, talking to them, spreading her wings to keep them safe. The injured keet wouldn't jump around at all on the night of it's birth. It only screamed bloody murder if it moved at all. It was in pain. It's neck and eyes had been hurt by Lucy. It didn't eat or move that first night, but by the second night it was walking some, and ate and drank. It's not as boisterous as the other keets. One the morning after it's birth both eyes appeared to have dried scabs over them, we put antibiotic eye ointment on them so they could be opened. The other injuries have scabs on them, too. I think the little guy is going to make it. I hope.
|Injured keet on the night of it's birth|
We have 12 keets. I don't think anymore eggs are going to hatch, and so we will remove them from under the hens this morning. We started with 26 guinea eggs, but 3 weeks into the sitting process, 1 egg was cracked and thrown away. That's a less than a 50% success rate on us hatching our own guinea eggs - not really that impressive. If anyone is going to do this, make sure to have double the guinea eggs you really want. We started half the eggs in an incubator and half under broody hens. About a week and a half into the incubation process, 2 more hens went broody, so all the incubator eggs were put under them. I think it's better to use a hen than an incubator machine.
Last night one of Jade's white leghorn chicken eggs hatched. Jade was terrified of the sound of the shell cracking. Jade did not like the chick at all, she was freaking out and pecked it once, but it wasn't a vicious, trying to kill it peck like Lucy did. I stayed with Jade and kept her from pecking the chick, and let it stay under her wing. I rubbed Jade under her chin whenever the baby moved and Jade started to panic - the chin rubbing calms her. Eventually it got dark outside, and so Jade and her baby went to sleep. I checked on her this morning, the baby is fine, Jade has accepted it. The chick is a little yellow puffball. It's much bigger than the keets, but not at all active like the keets.
|Chick hatching under Jade|
|Just the beak is broken out!|