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how to catch a guinea and her keets?

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  • how to catch a guinea and her keets?

    lo an behold mama was not eaten but was nesting and yesterday i found her and her tiny babies hiding in the big garden. they're able to hide really well because no one has been in that space for well over a year and it's head high with out of control thorn berries, sumac and other plants.

    the garden is well fenced and if it weren't for a flock of crows which also live here i wouldn't be concerned.
    but there are six youngsters plus parents so i worry for the guinea and her keets and would like to keep them from becoming crow food.

    it is possible to sneak up on mama at night with a flashlight and capture them that way?
    or is that scenario likely to lead to bedlam, and most importantly perhaps alerting the crows to the fact that mama is hiding her family almost in plain sight of them?

  • #2
    I vote for BEDLAM re: trying the night thing. They're all more than likely to scatter, & the separated keets would be in more danger than if you just left them alone. Out of all commonly kept "domesticated" poultry, Guinea Fowl are definitely one of the least - if not THE least - domesticated.

    I know you're worried (I would be too), but I still think your best bet is to leave mother & brood be. They've managed to keep themselves hidden this long - even from you!

    If you're bent on capturing them, the only thing I can think of is a large crate or cage in which you've placed a scattering of food/tasty tidbits & see if they'll all go in. But that's a huge crap shoot.

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    • #3
      Okay. I've learned another new word today: keet.
      "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PeteyPie View Post
        Okay. I've learned another new word today: keet.
        First it was "spatchcock", now "keet". You & I seem to be enjoying impromptu vocabulary fests right & left - lol!

        I often wonder how folks ever came up with all the different names for animal youngsters. So many of them are unbelievably weird. Who would ever have thought a Guinea Fowl baby would be called a "keet", turkeys' "poults", swans' "cygnets", etc., etc., instead of just "chicks"?

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        • #5
          Our guinea hen hatched out about 12 keets this year. Since they are not known for being the brightest of creatures, nor the best of mothers...we decided to catch them and lock em up. We waited for her to reach the middle of the pasture with the tree line a good distance away. Then stationed people along the woods (the first place they are going to run towards) armed with fishing nets. Then approached mama and keets from different sides, this gives you a few moments to move in since she can't think which way to run first. Have a box ready to put everyone in and if it doesn't close, have someone watching it while everyone is caught because even day old keets can climb!

          That's our method of capture, your results may vary.

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          • #6
            I love the vocabulary - a bevy of quail, a murder of crows, a host of sparrows, a murmuration of starlings. A knot of toads, a bask of crocodiles, a pitying of doves, and exhaltation of larks, an unkindness of ravens.
            My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

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            • #7
              My old housemate swore that guineas are so stupid that they are easy to catch. Put empty tin cans on the driveway or other surface --- the cans with one end on, one end totally off. Then chase them towards the cans. He insisted that the birds would stick their heads into the cans, and then think "I can't see them, they can't see me" --- voila, you could walk up behind them and scoop them up easily.

              Now, I had geese so I never had to use this method, but he swore that it worked and it was what they'd always done when he was growing up.

              Of course, your mileage may vary!

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              • #8
                We had a few (feral) guineas who had babies here last year. If they're not more than a few days old you should be able to just walk up to them and scoop them up one by one. If they're older than a few days I vote for the stationing people along the treeline or fenceline (or wherever they hide) with nets like Anguisette suggested.

                I went the route of "they've hidden themselves well so far, so just let them be." The babies got picked off one by one, presumably by the eagles and owls we've got around here, but who knows....could have been any of the myriad of ground predators we have too. 3 of the babies made it to 6 weeks of age (at which point they're feathered and look full grown but just small). They were roosting in the trees at night with the parents and they got picked off three nights in a row. We also lost the mother guinea, and now we have one male and one female left. I know guineas mate for life, but does anyone know if they'll swap mates when their mate dies? The female that's left isn't the one that went broody (though she did lay a lot of unfertilized eggs last year), and seems to be showing no signs of even thinking about it.

                Anyhow, if you want them around I vote for locking them up until they're older.
                __________________________________
                Flying F Sport Horses
                Horses in the NW

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Donkaloosa View Post
                  My old housemate swore that guineas are so stupid that they are easy to catch. Put empty tin cans on the driveway or other surface --- the cans with one end on, one end totally off. Then chase them towards the cans. He insisted that the birds would stick their heads into the cans, and then think "I can't see them, they can't see me" --- voila, you could walk up behind them and scoop them up easily.

                  Now, I had geese so I never had to use this method, but he swore that it worked and it was what they'd always done when he was growing up.

                  Of course, your mileage may vary!
                  They're fast and I've got an 11 year old guinea that I've only touched 3 times in all of these years - each time was traumatic for both of us. Twice he was injured and once he was locked out of the barn and half froze when I found him so he was easy to catch.....otherwise I doubt SERIOUSLY that a guin would stick it's head anywhere if they were being pursued.

                  I used to use a longe whip to sort of herd them when I wanted them to go somewhere. Not chasing but a gentle encouragement. Timing has to be just right and it helps if you're funneling them into a smaller and smaller area.

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                  • #10
                    All I've got to say is watch out for mama (and daddy!) when you start snatching up chicks. They can be VERY protective.

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                    • #11
                      Will they follow a trail of millet into whatever confined are you have set up for them?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                        First it was "spatchcock", now "keet". You & I seem to be enjoying impromptu vocabulary fests right & left - lol!

                        I often wonder how folks ever came up with all the different names for animal youngsters. So many of them are unbelievably weird. Who would ever have thought a Guinea Fowl baby would be called a "keet", turkeys' "poults", swans' "cygnets", etc., etc., instead of just "chicks"?
                        I think all the guinea folk are the ones coming up with the words. I am still trying to catch my guinea so I can spatchcock it. I have been trying to think of that word all day! You don't even know all the new words I came up with trying think of that word.

                        I vote for sneaking up on it at night. I've done that to mine twice now and had a hold of them but they put up a good fight and yank my arms out of the sockets. They let me get right up to them and grab them and it looks like they are giving me the stink eye but I don't think they can see real well at night.
                        Derby Lyn Farms Website

                        Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!

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                        • #13
                          Hey - don't wait to catch one of your Guineas; practice spatchcocking a chicken first! I rarely grill chicken any other way these days because the crispy-skinned juicy-meat results are so very worth it, & it's so darn easy.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            well mom is a runner. or a meal; either way she's gone and i woke to babies screaming loudly for her.
                            after figuring out an irish knit cooler would help trap them we managed to rehome four into the empty side of the chicken coop.
                            they are smaller than tennis balls, really tiny and really FAST!!
                            one was stepped on by a curious horse and i think there are at least three or five more out there. for now it's silent, and we have no chance of finding them unless they're being loud. they peep so loud and long i think it's how they find each other.
                            i'll hope for the best for them tonight and see what tomorrow brings.
                            meanwhile the four saved were thrilled to see each other--did i mention that there were at least three groups of them scattered over an acre?
                            they've got food and water and each other, i've got legs and arms covered with thorny scratches.
                            hope i hear the others again before dark or in the morning.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                              Hey - don't wait to catch one of your Guineas; practice spatchcocking a chicken first! I rarely grill chicken any other way these days because the crispy-skinned juicy-meat results are so very worth it, & it's so darn easy.
                              Whichever ones I catch first are getting spatchcocked. The roosters start crowing at 4am. The chicken hens are the only ones that are safe.
                              Derby Lyn Farms Website

                              Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!

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