Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wings - Guineas Part 7

The keets are about a month old, and have been in their new home for 2 weeks. 4 or so more weeks to go (around Labor Day), and they'll be released to free range. They'll be roaming the property when the Garden Tour comes around (Sunday, September 18th - save the date).

Lookit Me, I Can Fly

We finished predator-proofing the old children's playhouse by putting up chicken wire over the windows. We then took the lid off the keets' home, and let them explore. Within a few minutes, they each took turns flying up to the roosting bar and checking out their new-found freedom.

Blondie's Getting Bigger
Their food and water will remain inside the dog crate and they can always find refuge by flying back in. They should be able at this stage to avoid any negative encounters with their chicken cousins, but the dog crate will be a safe haven in a pinch. The keets' food is 24% protein, higher than is recommended for chickens.  Chickens can get gout by having too much protein in their diet, so it's a good idea to keep the keets' food away from the chickens.  Once on free range, this will no longer be a problem - the guineas will be eating tons of bugs to get their protein quota, and the food in the coop will be the reduced protein chicken feed, suitable for them and shared by the guineas.  According to the book, guineas will get 90% of their dietic requirements on free range, so the shared source will be fine.


Here's Warren, cock of the roost. Warren is a rescue rooster. He was wandering around a Chambersburg neighborhood near the Butcher Shoppe, when Karen Hack, Penn State Extension 4-H Educator and Franklin County Extension Director collected him and gave him to me for a home. The other two chickens are rescues from the West Nile sentinel chicken program that was discontinued in 2007.

West Nile Sentinel Chicken

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