THE BROODER

First brooders can be as simple as a cardboard box, with a 40-60 watt light bulb in a metal hooded shade to a store bought brooder for chicks or any home-made fancier wood or welded wire box, perhaps as big as 6' long, 2-3' wide, etc, depending on the number of keets in it, their size, and space required per bird.  The room the brooder is in, whether outdoors or in a house will determine the need for a heat lamp or regular light bulb, combined with the temperature surrounding the brooder and time of the year. Temps need to start at 95 degrees, and drop 5 degrees weekly until the keets are fully feathered.  Beware of temperature increases during the hot hours of the day, or drops overnight and adjust the height of the lamp to maintain the minimum required temps directly under the light at floor level.  Keets that are not raised by a hen need the warmth and safety that a brooder provides, from the time they hatch in the incubator until they are fully feathered, which is at the end of 6 weeks.

Floor space for growing guinea fowl:

  • 1 day to 2 weeks - 1 sq ft
  • 3-5 weeks - 3/4 sq ft
  • 6 weeks - 1 sq ft
  • 7 weeks - 1 1/2 sq ft
  • 8 weeks - 1 3/3 sq ft
  • 9 weeks - 2 1/4 sq ft
  • 10 weeks 2 3/4 sq ft
  • 11 weeks - 3 1/3 sw ft
  • 12 weeks & up - 4 sq ft

 
Use of a regular light bulb under a hooded shade is usually all that is required when a brooder is kept inside a house. This cardboard box will do fine for the 11 keets who will spend their first week in it at 95 degrees. They moved to a much larger and deeper box before week 2, then outdoors to a huge brooder. 
Indoor Brooder for newborns


Easy to clean, just prepare  a new box, move the keets in and toss this box into the trash.
White, Coral Blue, and Lavender keets


This is a picture of my larger brooder, great to use when raising a large number of keets or keets of different ages. Note the wire sides and removable wood panels that are needed in cooler weather to be able to keep the heat inside and drafts out. The top(lid) is divided into two sections, each on hinges.

 

The inside of the large brooder pictured above has a removable wire divider in the center, used to keep keets on one side when young and removed as they grow and need more room. At the time this picture was taken, keets in one side (on the paper towels) are 3 days old. The paper towels are used so that they do not fill up on wood shavings while learning to eat their feed and also learning to eat it from the feeder dish. (they first eat by sprinkling bits of starter feed directly on the paper towels). T

The keets on the side with wood shavings are 2 weeks old. When the dividing wall is removed and keets mingle as one group, the wood bottom can also be removed on one side (weather permitting) so that the brooder is easier to clean (droppings fall through to a wheelbarrow below. The bottom of the brooder is quarter inch welded wire.

Keets move from the brooder to the nursery area or holding pen inside the adult guinea house by the time they are 6 weeks old - sooner, weather conditions permitting. The holding pen has a welded wire divider that is removed after the keets have been "in confinement" for a full 6 weeks.

The following photos were donated by visitors to this website. They are here to provide you with suggested ideas for a brooder of your own.

 


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This round plalstic container is simple to clean and to store equipment in between uses.  No corners for keets to get squished in...
Brenda's Brooder
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Sally shares photos of her first and larger second brooder
cardboard brooder #1 (SallyTN) larger brooder #2
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This aquarium was put to good use, making it possible for easy viewing, (but I would imagine not as easy to clean like a cardboard box.)   Be certain to closely monitor the temperature in a brooder.  In this tightly, enclosed area, especially for brooders kept in a house, a  regular light bulb usually provides enough heat.  This brooder appears to be in a cooler basement.
Jersey Joe's Brooder

 

When spread out, keets are too hot.  When huddled together, they are too cold.  Use a weaker bulb and raise it to decrease the temperature at ground level, lower to increase. Use a thermometer to be certain the temp is correct for the age of the keet.  What do you think?do not copy without permission

Yes, at the moment, the temperatue in this brooder appears to be uneven - too hot directly under the light, but too cool at the other end. Owner confirmed, 95 directly under the light at floor level, but 70 at the other end of the brooder.

Jersey Joe Photos - do not copy without permission

In the photo below, the DONUT EFFECT demonstrates again, too hot in the center

too cool on the edge. The keets are sleeping in the comfort zone,

huddled to keep warm enough without overheating.

 


The keetes below appear to be just right, neither spread out nor huddled- Too many for the size of this Rubbermaid brooder, the keets will most likely be sold the same day, within a few days, or will be moved to a larger brooder.
Brenda's Brooder and Chocolate Keets


The keets that started out in the brooder above were moved into this roomier brooder. Droppings fall through the bottom, which also helps to keep the water cleaner by not using bedding material. Beware of being able to keep the heat in and avoid drafts if using this type of brooder.
Photo donated by Brenda

 


This "bathtub brooder" is holding 40 chicks and 24 keets. - photo by AngelaCA, Sept 2006..
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

As you can see, these keets age 18-20 days got curious as to where the hand that feeds them through this opening came from, and proceeded to investigate outside their brooder opening. Roosting begins early when a place is provided.  The edge of a cardboard box works  too, but is rather flimsy. Time to move!
McBirdnut photos



 
 
 
 
 
 

At 21-22 days, these keets discovered the top of their brooder.  But who or what  is that white thing over there on the right? 
donated photo - McBirdnut

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Next, the brave keets began to explore things near their brooder- notice the keet ON the planter. Time to move out of this brooder.
donated by McBirdnut - do not copy without permission
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In a draft free rom in a house without air conditioning a parrot cage might be put to
good use. The heat source used over the cage is not visible in this photograph.
parrot cage with towels as bedding...
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And, just,when we think
we have seen it all... 

Here is the Office Brooder. 
perfect for the person who
just can't leave home without  'em.
 


 
 
Other Brooder possibilities include using wood, a playpen with mesh sides, a laundry basket. A screen works nicely for a top to keep jumping 2 week old keets inside. (Otherwise, you might find your keets perched on the top edge of their brooder, or walking around in your house, crying, trying to figure out where his siblings went and how to get back to them!)  Keets hatched by a hen, chicken or guinea, can be taken from "Mom" and placed in a safe brooder, OR you might decide to give "Mom" a safe dog kennel or fenced off area indoors, or let nature take its course, and probably lose quite a few keets in the process.

Keets that outgrow the brooder can be moved to a holding area (nursery) inside the building where they are to roost as adults -provided necessary heat will be provided as needed until the keets are fully feathered and outdoor day/night temps match those required in the brooder.

Check back for updates to this page, including photos of my large wooden and quarter inch wire brooder and also of the nursery/holding area.
 

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LARGER BROODER

While smaller brooders do well to start out, keets soon outgrow the space.  When it is too cold to move to a nursery area with heat lamp, this larger brooder (almost identical to my own) is easy on the knees and nice for handling and caring for several keets until they are fully feathered at 6+ wks. 

A removable parttion in the center comes in handy for a small hatch or for separating keets of different ages.

Many thanks to Vickie in TX for sharing.
do not copy thise photos without permission.
Do not copy photos on this page without permission.

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Notice the llama peeking in at the keets in this brooder.
donated by Roy F.
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donated by Robin
 

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