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Guinea Fowl


Guinea guano is not as offensive smelling or as plentiful, meaning less coop cleaning ... Guineas can eat chicken mash (not pellets) if they are housed with chickens ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Guinea Fowl

Guinea Fowl
  • By Kimberly Neild

What are Guinea Fowl?
  • Domesticated birds originally from the Central
    African plains
  • Have been used as a source of eggs and poultry
    meat as far back as the ancient Greeks and
  • Most owners today keep them for pest control and
    an additional source of eggs
  • The most common breed of the species is the
    Helmeted Guinea Fowl, named for the bony
    protrusion that looks like a helmet
  • They have many different colors and variations in
    their feathers
  • Common varieties of the Helmeted Guinea Fowl
    include pearl gray, white, and lavender

Males vs. Females
  • Males over 1 year old are called Guinea Cocks
  • Large, cup shaped wattle that hangs from their
    head below their beak.
  • Slightly larger helmet than females
  • Warning call is one syllable Chi-chi-chi-chi-ch
  • Cannot imitate female sound
  • Start to practice sounds at around 8 weeks of
    age, but not necessarily just as an alert call
  • Warning call of mature Guinea Cock means that he
    has spotted something unusual in the area
  • Females over 1 year old are called Guinea Hens
  • Smaller wattles and helmet compared to males
  • Warning call is two syllables Buck-Wheat,
    Buck-Wheat, Buck-Wheat
  • Females can imitate male sound with one syllable
  • Guinea Hens are noisier than Guinea Cocks,
    tending to make their warning call more often
  • Both males and females are a little less prone to
    shrieking after their first birthday

Why get Guineas?
  • Interesting new pet or addition to a small farm
  • Can be kept with chickens
  • Chickens learn that warning call of guineas means
    that a predator is nearby
  • They dont destroy flower and vegetable beds like
  • They can be fed basically the same diet as
    chickens and can be kept in the same coop
  • Guinea guano is not as offensive smelling or as
    plentiful, meaning less coop cleaning
  • Guineas eat most insects and weed seeds without
    damaging plants
  • They act as watch dogs for the yard
  • Very little time and money is necessary for their

Where would I put Guineas?
  • Shelter
  • Protects them from predators at night
  • Keeps them dry and warm during inclement weather
  • Requirements
  • 3-4 square feet of floor space per bird
  • Several perches of varying heights
  • Double-walled but no insulation
  • Some type of bedding such as straw or wood chips
    on floor

How do I care for Guineas?
  • Guineas can eat chicken mash (not pellets) if
    they are housed with chickens
  • If you have guineas alone, they should be fed a
    turkey breeder mix with a protein content of
  • Food should be kept in a poultry feeder that is
    somehow secured to keep it clean
  • During warmer months, guineas will get most of
    their diet from insects and weed seeds
  • Guineas can be offered alfalfa and cracked corn
    on occasion
  • Fresh water should always be available. Keep
    water heater or replenish several times a day
    during winter
  • In the coop, guineas should have access to oyster
    shell and grit at all times. Oyster shell helps
    with egg formation, and grit helps with digestion
  • Use white millet seed for training. Offer as a
    treat, such as incentive for them to come inside
    in the evening

How do I purchase Guineas?
  • Keets (birth-12 weeks) can often be purchased
    locally with a little research
  • Eggs and day old keets can be purchased from a
    hatchery and shipped overnight
  • Older guineas can sometimes be purchased from a
    farmer that wants to thin out her/his flock
  • Try to find a guinea owner in your area. They
    can help with buying guineas, where to get
    supplies, and offer suggestions for housing and

What age is best?
  • Eggs
  • Must be incubated for 28 days in order for keets
    to hatch
  • Keets must then be moved to a brooder, a confined
    area with a heat lamp
  • Young keets
  • Must be kept in a brooder for 6 weeks before
    moving to outside coop
  • Can be trained to trust people if handled several
    times a day from birth
  • Need to be separated from older chickens
    guineas initially
  • Older keets adults
  • Will need to be kept in coop for a minimum of 6
    weeks before letting them roam in the yard
  • Proper floor space in coop is essential for their
    well-being during their confinement
  • Guineas that have not been handled since birth
    may not be tame
  • They will learn to accept members of the family
    that they see frequently, but they will most
    likely not want to be picked up and petted

More Information
  • Read Gardening with Guineas by Jeannette S.
    Ferguson, 1999.
  • Jeannette Ferguson also has a helpful website