Raising and Caring for Guinea Fowl
SUPPLIES NEEDED TO RAISE KEETS:
Bedding – clean pine shavings (NOT sawdust), textured shelf liner, hay or straw chopped fine, or artificial turf. Do not use newspaper unless you cover it with paper towel. A smooth surface like newspaper can cause spraddled legs.
Heat Lamp – heating bulb to clip onto box or hang over box
Thermometer – placed on floor of box to monitor temperature
Watering device – Mason jar waterer with metal or plastic base
Feeder – large flat tray in which they can run through to easily find and peck at the feed
Feed – turkey starter, wild game bird starter, or chick starter
WHEN YOUR KEETS ARRIVE:
Have your box prepared with bedding and heat. Guinea keets need to be kept very warm night and day. The temperature in their box should be at 90-95 degrees the first week. The temperature can be dropped about 5 degrees per week until they are 4 weeks old or totally feathered.
Immediately upon arrival give the keets lukewarm water. Sugar can be added to the water for quick energy. In about 30 minutes, after they’ve had water, offer feed.
Provide clean bedding as needed to keep the floor of the box dry.
RELEASING TO FREE RANGE:
When your keets are approximately 4 weeks old, pen them in a cage outside. Guineas can fly, so be sure to have a high enough fence or a ceiling to cover the pen. Guineas are susceptible to predators, so be sure your pen is secure.
When they are about 2 months old, release 2-3 guineas from the pen. They will stay close to the other guineas still in the pen. If possible, pen up the released birds at night to keep them safe. Continue to release more and more of the birds until all are released. To lure them back into the pen at night, offer them food only in the evening in the pen.
Guineas are territorial so they will remain in close proximity to the area in which they were raised. They tend to range well over about 5 acres and prefer open rather than wooded areas.
Feed – Free ranging adults will consume insects and seeds. If you want them to control the insect and tick population, do not feed them too heavily in the summer months. During the winter months, you will need to supplement their diet with a layer feed. Be sure they always have a water supply.
Official website of the Guinea Fowl International Association
Guinea Fowl for the Control of Lyme Carrying Ticks