How to Raise Guinea Fowl

How to raise guinea fowl, includes basics on types of guinea, fowl enclosures, sex of fowl, egg laying and raising guinea young.

| July/August 1982

  • 076-067-01
    This turkey-like fowl is one of the most efficient natural pest controls imaginable.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 076-067-01

Learn how to raise guinea fowl, including fowl enclosures, basic needs of the bird, egg laying and raising young guineas.  

An Introduction to Guineas: How to Raise Guinea Fowl

If you've ever taken a leisurely evening drive down what you thought was a blissfully deserted country road, only to have your solitude dramatically interrupted by what appeared to be a crazed flock of screaming, tail-less mini-turkeys descending upon your car from out of nowhere, then you may have concluded that you never wish to see (or hear!) a guinea fowl again.

However, if you were to raise your own flock, you'd more likely than not come to adore—rather than detest—these wacky birds. Their caterwauling would soon be music to your ears, since the cacophonous sounds would let you rest secure in the knowledge that your faithful feathered "watchdogs" were hard at work alerting you to any approaching strangers . . . human or animal.

What's more, this turkey-like fowl is one of the most efficient natural pest controls imaginable. If given the freedom of your yard and garden (and, because they're typically somewhat wild, guineas need to be allowed to range), they'll consume mosquitoes, chiggers, grasshoppers, and Japanese beetles . . . to mention only a few of their favorite morsels. Better still, these birds won't scratch up your garden or devour your young greenery, as chickens often do. Your vegetation is quite safe when you put guineas on garden patrol.



Furthermore, besides serving guard and insect-control duty, guinea fowl can supply their owners with food. Their eggs, although small, are quite tasty . . . and (as a final benefit) the birds themselves can be served up in delicious meals.

Guinea Fowl Color Coordinates

Since first being domesticated in Guinea (on the western coast of Africa), the unusual fowl have been bred to produce several different color-determined varieties. The most prevalent of these—in the United States, at least—are pearl grays, white Africans, and lavenders.

debbiekay111
9/26/2017 10:45:43 AM

Hello All, I am thinking of raising my own Guinea. I do thank all of you for your post. I have found a lot of information. I have a couple of things I need advise on. We have 15 acres. An out son have 50 next to us. But we do live in a so called sub division if you could call it that. With a so called home owners association. How would I find out if there is local laws on having Guinea and the noise they make. I have read and been warned that they are very very loud. We have hunting dogs. 20+ and they get loud too. But haven't heard any complaints from them. Just want to cover bases before I hear from any neighbor that might not care for nosie. Any one had trouble with this. Thank you again for all the suggestion on owning Guinea.


palmerboi79
7/9/2017 11:29:10 AM

I have taken interest in raising guineas and have been doing so for 2 years now. I was a beginner to the breed and learned thru experience. My first pair I brought home and introduced to my chickens. They were grown guineas and took well to the hens and roosters. I kept them pinned up for approximately 3.5 weeks with food and water daily. They seemed to be comfortable so I decided to let them roam with the chickens one afternoon, nevertheless soon as the coop was opened, off they went without hesitation. Needless to say, I've not seen them since... I was advised to keep them pinned up for around a month's time to give them time to settle in but it did no justice. So taking the first lesson under consideration and choosing to give it another try, I purchased a dozen keets at 3 days old and raised them under a light. 4 keets died due to drowning, as it is extremely easy for a keet to drown within the first few attempts at drinking water and 1 died from a draft of air. Seemingly (guineas are like gremlins with water) they must not get wet period! At 6 weeks old I put them outside in a pen. They got familiar with the other farm animals and after 2 weeks of confinement I was able to let them out. I now have 5 healthy guineas, 2 hens and 3 roosters. I have 10 keets added to the family and they are all healthy and active. I've found that the hens are noticeably smaller than the roosters and also have a smaller helmet as well.. They tend to walk lower to the ground and are less aggressive. So to offer a little advice, be careful and prepared to care for keets because they require a little more care than chickens, however once they are grown, they are worth the effort! The eggs are delicious and they are prime patrol birds with an never failing screeching alarm! I recommend Guineas for all farm and property owners worldwide! R. Palmer


palmerboi79
7/9/2017 11:28:31 AM

I have taken interest in raising guineas and have been doing so for 2 years now. I was a beginner to the breed and learned thru experience. My first pair I brought home and introduced to my chickens. They were grown guineas and took well to the hens and roosters. I kept them pinned up for approximately 3.5 weeks with food and water daily. They seemed to be comfortable so I decided to let them roam with the chickens one afternoon, nevertheless soon as the coop was opened, off they went without hesitation. Needless to say, I've not seen them since... I was advised to keep them pinned up for around a month's time to give them time to settle in but it did no justice. So taking the first lesson under consideration and choosing to give it another try, I purchased a dozen keets at 3 days old and raised them under a light. 4 keets died due to drowning, as it is extremely easy for a keet to drown within the first few attempts at drinking water and 1 died from a draft of air. Seemingly (guineas are like gremlins with water) they must not get wet period! At 6 weeks old I put them outside in a pen. They got familiar with the other farm animals and after 2 weeks of confinement I was able to let them out. I now have 5 healthy guineas, 2 hens and 3 roosters. I have 10 keets added to the family and they are all healthy and active. I've found that the hens are noticeably smaller than the roosters and also have a smaller helmet as well.. They tend to walk lower to the ground and are less aggressive. So to offer a little advice, be careful and prepared to care for keets because they require a little more care than chickens, however once they are grown, they are worth the effort! The eggs are delicious and they are prime patrol birds with an never failing screeching alarm! I recommend Guineas for all farm and property owners worldwide! R. Palmer







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