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I'm so sorry, Trillium (General Discussion)

by Barbara, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 17:25 (172 days ago) @ Trillium

First of all, welcome to the forum. I am very sorry to hear of your troubles, but you've certainly come to the right place if you're hoping for some words of encouragement or consolation. Most of us have experienced heartache with our birds, especially those of us who have had them for a long time. It doesn't sound to me as though you did anything wrong with your keets. Sometimes fate steps in to shake us up a bit, I think. After a couple of months, keets can usually be allowed to roam for a couple of hours. They are more vulnerable than they will be when they are older, but guineas are considered prey by so many different predators that they are never truly "safe" and always face the possibility of being harmed.

Here in New Hampshire where I live hawks are constantly around and we always need to be on the look out for them. If you feel concerned about your predator population, you may want to wait until your keets are closer to 3 months old before allowing them to free range. Our guineas (we no longer have any - most died of old age) were always supervised while they were out of their pen after we had a close call when a hawk pinned down one of our hens and started ripping out her back feathers. I saw the attack and rushed out to chase off the hawk. The hen was injured but she grew her lost feathers back in and lived to to be 9 years old.

It's not very uncommon for a guinea to die suddenly for no apparent cause. That happened to one of our girls when she was about 6 years old. We suspected a heart attack or a stroke. Four months is young to die suddenly without any signs of illness, I think, but I certainly wouldn't rule out stress as a factor. They really don't do well alone, and I'm sure your guinea must have experienced some stress when its flock mate was attacked. I wish I had a definitive answer for you, but I can only speculate. Still, I'm sure you did everything right, and your first guineas received very good, loving care while you had them. I am confident your new little ones will receive the same great care.

As long as the weather is warm and dry, you can let your new keets out into their covered pen soon provided the fencing/screening is small enough so they can't escape through the holes. You should have a heat lamp set up in the coop so they can get under it if the nighttime temperatures get too low.

I know it's hard to have lost Bill, but I also know you will find much enjoyment with your new little ones. It's amazing how therapeutic young keets can be when you need something to smile about.

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