Keets update. Farming Friends & Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Breeding EventPosted by Fiona Nevile in Guinea Fowl | 8 comments
The keets are nine weeks old. They are the progeny from the Farming Friends & Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Breeding Event. Nurtured by Mrs Boss, five out of the six eggs hatched out and have delighted us for nine weeks now.
The keets are growing rapidly and becoming more and more independent. Mrs.Boss becomes more redundant as each day passes. I went down to the run at dusk to find one keet roosting on the roof of the hen house and the rest indoors. They seem to go to bed much later then the chickens and the more adventurous ones usually hang about in small groups in the pen waiting for action.
I had a peek into the nesting box. Only one keet was snuggled beside Mrs Boss. Apart from the one on the roof, the rest were on the long perch with the other hens. Barbie was settled on the floor in the traditional bottom of the pecking order position. She now seems to have less status then even the keets.
The keets gather with the other hens for the morning treat of wild bird seed. I was worried that they would choke on the deluxe parrot mix that the hens are crazy about so that delicacy was withdrawn when the keets were released into the main pen. Whilst the keets enjoy hoovering up the millet and corn in the wild bird seed and the hens must be wondering what exactly has kyboshed the supply chain. Where is their luxury parrot mix?
One keet doesn’t seem to be as bright as the rest and cannot discriminate between the open door of the hen house and the small gauge netting sides. If it spots that it’s treat time from the confines of the hen house, there is a lot of shrieking and fluttering as it desperately flaps against the netting, searching for release. Finally, it finds the door and shoots out like a rocket to join the rest. Spectacles or radar might be the answer.
The keets have lost their baby fluff. Now they have the same colouring as adult Guinea fowl on their bodies. Although, their heads still look pretty bald and odd.
We are beginning to think about their future. We definitely do not want to eat them. At the moment they are long and slim and can cosy up on the perch with the other chickens. In a few weeks time they will need a lot more space. We can keep two or three max and have been offered a great home for the rest. They are now friends and choosing which ones will go will be hard.
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The keets are great! THey are an inspiration. Full of fun and so inquisitive.
The keets are adorable (and I’ve learned a new word!). It must be great fun to watch the keet on their road to independence.
I think that you are right. Mrs Boss is looking wistful. The keets are very much her gang during the day. It was only when I pepped in the nesting box and saw just one keet with Mrs.B that I realised how independent they had become.
I am leaving the decision about which keets to give away to the last possible moment.
Yes, Mrs Boss has been an excellent mum and for the first time in her life had had a happy summer. I wish that we had done this before.
I would love to keep all the keets. We have a friend who already has a small flock of hens and guinea fowl. She lives on a large estate so they would have a wonderful environment to live in.
I am thinking about extending the run to give the hens and keets more space. We haven’t made a definite decision, either way, as yet.
I am so pleased to hear that the keets are doing so well. I am sorry that you are unable to keep them all. It will be hard to say goodbye I am sure.
Sara from farmingfriends
I meant to say feeling exactly like Celia said (about Mrs Boss) I really must concentrate and have a coffee before I start writing comments!
Ohhhhhh Fiona they have really grown!!!!!!Poor Barbie!! Mrs. Boss has done an excellent job!!
Feeling exactly like Celia but not about chickens! Dog or job?! More importantly some time off for good behaviour then finally get business off the ground.
Don’t envy you deciding which chicks to keep/give away.
Mrs Boss is looking a bit wistful – “my babies have grown, now what will I do with my life….”