Guinea Keet & Baby Chick Care

First Day Instructions:


  • Be sure to have your brooder area set up and heating source tested so that the birds can go straight into the brooder as soon as they arrive to their new home 
  • Refrain from handling or playing with the birds the first 24 hours.

We recommend for the first day to have the drinking water at 98 degrees (or very warm) because the birds are small with little weight to them on arrival. They will drink a lot of water, which if too cool, can rapidly decrease their body temperature and put them into shock or make them sick

Heating Instructions:

WARNING! Teflon Coated Light Bulb fumes can be toxic to birds. Be sure you Do Not use any teflon coated light bulbs!


Always use brand new bulbs. We have found that using a drop light with reflector shield is a good source of heat.

  • Use a 75, 100, or 150 watt bulb. 
  • A guide is one brooder lamp per 25 chicks. 
  • The bottom of the bulb should start out about 18 inches above the  floor. Hang a reflector light from something secure to insure that it  idoes not fall and hurt the birds or burn anything. The wattage of the  bulb you are using will factor in how high or low you hang it. 
  • Make sure to use a thermometer at floor level under the light to be accurate. 
  • Again, make sure there is plenty of room for the chicks to walk away from the heat source.

From days 3 through 7, the temperature in the brooder should be 95°F  at floor level. Then you will reduce it 5 degrees per week until the  temperature reaches 70°-75°F.



Use the basic instructions for chicks; however, watch them more  carefully for pilling up. The temperature may need to be slightly higher  for the smaller bodied birds. Usually 99°- 100°F for the first week,  then lower it 5 degrees per week until about 70°F. The temperature must  be closely monitored.

A thermometer is highly recommended. Special game bird water founts  can be purchased. If you are using regular chick founts, add clean  gravel or marbles to take up space so they do not drown or get chilled.  You should use a colored bulb to help control cannibalism. We do not  recommend wire flooring at a young age because it is a good possibility  that their legs will get caught in the wire.


  • Use a chick starter/grower feed.
  • Sprinkle feed on the paper towel. The chicks find the feed easier in this way at the start.

Do this for the first day. Then put the feed in troughs low enough so  that the chicks can see and reach it easily. Use one foot of trough  feeder or one round feeder for every 25 chicks. Never let the chicks run  out of feed.

We  do not recommend adding grit because the chick starter/grower feed is  formulated for what the chicks need to digest the food. Chicks should  stay on a full feed ration of chick starter/grower until they lay their  first egg.



Start with a 1 gallon low profile chick waterer for each group of  25-50 chicks. Do not medicate water with anything on the first day.

The first water given to newly arrived chicks should be very warm at  98°F. The next 2 days the water should be warm and by the 3rd day it can  be room temperature.

 Most baby chick loss is caused by the chick not starting to eat or drink  due to them being too cold to move. Never let your chicks run out of  water. 



Large pine shavings make a good litter. Rice hulls, dry straw, or hay  can also make good bedding. Do not use small shavings or sawdust  because baby chicks that are learning to eat will eat it and possibly  die. Do not use sand because it can also be eaten by the birds and can  cause their craw to have impaction, which may cause health problems  and/or death.

Put the litter all over the floor at least 1 to 2 inches thick. On  concrete floors, use 3-5 inches of bedding. Do not use cedar or cypress  shavings as they are highly toxic to poultry.

After 4 Weeks


  • Increase floor area to 3-4 square feet per bird.
  • Increase feeders to provide 2 ½ to 3 inches of space per bird.
  • Increase waterers to one 5-gallon fount per 100 chicks or install a nipple system.
  • Install roosts at back of brooder area. Start roost poles low and gradually raise from floor.
  • Allow 4 inches width per bird and 6 inches apart.
  • Open windows during the day. Leave only partly open at night.
  • Prevent water puddles around founts.
  • Place founts on low wire platform. Move founts periodically to new  locations to keep area dry so you can prevent bacteria from forming.
  • Birds can range outside on warm, sunny days but only if a clean range is available.


Safe handling of poultry

 Live animals and pets can be a source of potentially harmful  microorganisms (germs including salmonella and bacteria). Therefore,  precautions must be taken when handling and caring for them to prevent  fecal/oral transmission among people. Children should be supervised as  they handle animals and pets to make sure they do not put their hands or  fingers in their mouth. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water  after handling animals. 

 For information and free materials, contact “United States Department of  Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” at