Guinea Fowls

Guinea’s Overview

     The Guinea Fowl is a very noisy and energetic bird which is endemic to the continent of Africa. It’s considered an intermediate bird between New World Quails and Peafowls. The Guinea Fowl is known for being a social flighty bird that nests on the ground, and also looks like a very small Turkey.

     There are six species for the Guinea Fowl in the wild, three of them are raised and domesticated especially in North America. The most common and well-known domesticated breed is the Helmeted Guinea Fowl. The others are the Crested Guinea Fowl and the Vulturine Guinea Fowl. While the Plumed Guinea Fowl, the Black Guinea Fowl and the White-Breasted Guinea Fowl are species that haven’t been domesticated.

 

Guinea’s Characteristics

     The male and female Guineas look almost the same but with slight differences. Sexing guineas usually happens when you focus on their voices, only the females have a two syllable call sounds like “buck-wheat”. And usually , the male Guinea will be slightly larger.

     Guineas often lay their eggs out in the fields and hatch their young by themselves. The hens lay plenty of small dark eggs from late spring through early fall and brood as many as 50 Keets (young guineas) at a time. Keets hatch after almost 26 – 28 days of incubation and they are very susceptible to dampness during their first two weeks. They also may die from following the mother through dewy grass. After two weeks of age, they are probably the hardiest of all domestic land fowls.

     Guineas are very useful in different ways as they play a pivotal role in the control of ticks, flies, locusts, scorpions and other invertebrates. That’s why they are used intensively in insect controlling in gardens. Guineas are raised as backyard birds too, as their meat is drier and leaner than Chickens’ meat with a gamey flavor. The birds’s meat has marginally more protein than that of Chickens or turkeys, roughly half the fat of chickens and slightly fewer calories per gram. Guinea’s eggs are also substantially richer than those of chickens.

     Common predators of the Guinea Fowl are Wildcats, Dogs and large reptiles found in their native range such as Snakes and Crocodiles. Although, Guineas lost plenty of their natural habitat areas, they’re available in high numbers except the White-Breasted Guinea Fowl species.

 

Numida_meleagris_-Ngorongoro_Conservation_Area,_Tanzania_-upper_body-8
A Helmeted Guinea Fowl by Bob
Helmeted Guinea Fowls
A flock of Helmeted Guinea Fowls by JeffChristiansen
The Crested Guinea Fowl
The Crested Guinea Fowl
4904960697_f32f4547fe_z
The Vulturine Guinea Fowl by Sergey Yeliseev

 

Breeds