Sunday, July 17, 2011

A New Home - Guineas Part 6

Chickens and Guineas Share a Home
The keets have outgrown their cardboard brooder box.  At first we taped up the flaps to make the sides taller, at about 10-12 days old.  When that didn't work any longer, we put a lid on the top, weighted with a partially filled gallon milk jug to keep them from jumping out.  I spent one morning searching for over an hour to find one of the better jumpers wandering around the utility room (Violet 1 or 2).

In the meantime, we finished converting the old children's playhouse into a large chicken coop, to give the chickens room to range, and still be able to lock them up for the night, to protect them from predators. Chicken coop built by the Goetz brothers, given the relatively low carpentry skills our household possesses.

Duck Tape - Is there Anything it Can't Do?
But you can't mix adult chickens and young keets (or chicks), without running the risk of a fatal pecking order incident.  Also, according to the book, the keets need to be confined to the place where you want them to roost at night, once they're adults and on free range.  Six weeks is the recommended time frame.  The idea is to give the keets a sense of security with fresh water, food, and occasional treats to make sure they come back every night, and don't start roosting in the wild, with all the inherent risks of predators (owls at night are the #1 worry.)

However, the spaces between the bars of the kennel were too far apart - the keets, at their current size, can easily squeeze between them.  So, we jerry-rigged a screen wrap of the kennel (sounds a lot easier than it turned out to be - taxing my meager abilities in this area to the limit.)

Here they are, happily (I hope) ensconced in their new home.

They Grow So Fast

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