If you’re already raising other birds on your homestead or farm, such as chickens or ducks, you may have considered adding guinea fowl to your flock. Their lean, tender dark meat is in high demand, and you feel it would help round out your poultry offerings. Additionally, they are more alert to predators and can control pest populations well. But you must understand how to construct a conducive habitat to be successful at raising guinea fowl.
Guinea fowl generally require more space than an average chicken and, often, more of your time tending to their needs. Additionally, they need to pick fights with more birds more frequently than chickens or ducks, requiring that you create a safe habitat for your current flock and new birds. There’s also the added stress of caring for another animal on your homestead or farm. Are you up for the challenge?
With all that being said, we don’t want to discourage you from choosing to add guinea fowl to your homestead or farm. Rather, we want you to be prepared to give them the right atmosphere necessary to grow strong and prosperous. By following the guidelines in this post, you’ll understand how to create the right environment for your guinea hens, such as supplying clean drinking water, nutritious food sources, and secured living quarters.
Choosing the right baby guinea fowl, also known as guinea keets, is important. There are several varieties to choose from, including:
Whichever one catches your eye, remember that each has its own unique characteristics, so pick carefully when you want to raise guinea fowl. To begin your flock of birds, it’s best to raise them from day-old keets to acclimate them to your homestead or farm and integrate them with your other birds. This way can be more practical and economical for those just starting out.
After you’ve made the decision on which breed to raise, buy from a reputable breeder. Be sure to ask questions about their health and diet and any other information you need to know about their care. Our family of hatcheries sells French guinea keets that you can be sure are healthy and full of personality, making them the perfect addition to your fowl family.
Having chosen your breed, there are several things to keep in mind. Guinea fowl are hearty birds, however, they require attentive care if you want them to stay healthy. Routine medical checkups can assist with the early detection of any potential issues. To maintain the well-being of your guinea fowls, it is also important to provide a clean and hygienic environment. Neglecting to provide a safe and clean habitat could lead to further health complications down the line.
First, you need to have appropriate housing for your birds. You will need a safe and airy shelter that is both sealed from predators and big enough to successfully house the number of birds you have to care for your guinea fowl. Additionally, it is essential to give them space outdoors where they can roam during daylight hours — such as an enclosed run or closed-off area.
A sturdy fence is essential for the well-being of your guinea fowl. It will provide them with safety and security from predators. However, even if they’re not free-ranging, the birds still need proper sheltering, sufficient ventilation, and ample roosting space.
To maintain a healthy, balanced diet for guinea fowls, you should provide them with high-quality chicken feed and supplement it with mealworms and other insects. Additionally, ensure that your feathered friends always have access to fresh water. Learn more about what to feed your chickens.
Early intervention is paramount for common guinea fowl health issues such as mites, lice, respiratory infections, and coccidiosis. Fortunately, numerous remedies are available for these conditions, and your vet can help you decide on the best one tailored specifically for your feathered friends. Taking swift action will stop the spread of any ailment across the rest of your flock.
Raising guinea fowl on your homestead or farm can offer several advantages. These robust birds can adapt to various climates and don’t need much attention after training to return to their home and their keeper. In addition, guinea fowl are exceptional foragers and can consume insects, seeds, and grass, thus reducing your expenses on feed.
Guinea fowl are invaluable to homesteaders and farmers, primarily due to their natural predation of ticks. Guinea fowl will instinctively search for and consume any ticks present in these regions; you can also give them quality feed as a reinforcement to keep them focused on their job!
For those living in tick-prone areas, guinea fowl are a must-have for successful land management. Not only can they destroy already present pests, but their consumption of both adult and larval stages protects your family, pets, and livestock from the diseases that ticks may carry. Incorporating them into your land plan is necessary to safeguard yourself against these pesky critters.
Guinea fowl lay eggs at around 12 weeks old. You can expect an average of 100 eggs per year from each guinea hen. Gathering the guinea eggs each day is essential to maintain freshness; you should store them in a cool, dry area for optimal preservation. When compared to chicken eggs, guinea fowl eggs are much smaller. When you are raising guineas, you should know that two guinea eggs are equal to about one chicken egg.
A guinea hen may not be considered a typical broody hen. However, they still exhibit certain protective behaviors, such as staying close to the guinea fowl eggs until they hatch and being aggressive toward other birds that come close to their nests. This behavior makes them excellent mothers once the baby keets have hatched.
Guinea eggs are often considered a real delicacy. From omelets to frittatas, guinea eggs bring a unique and desirable flavor to any dish. With their savory taste and nutritional benefit of high protein, calcium, iron, and other essential nutrients, you’ll never want your meal without them! Guinea fowl eggs are the perfect way to make any cook look like a master chef!
There are several essential factors to remember when processing guinea fowl for meat. First, you must prepare your birds by withholding food and water for at least 12 hours before processing. This will ensure that their digestive system is empty and reduce the risk of contamination during processing.
Several processing methods are available, including using a commercial processor, processing your birds at home, or using a mobile processing unit. It’s important to choose the method that is best for your needs
If you’re raising guinea fowl for meat, they are ready to harvest at around 14 to 16 weeks of age for small, young, and tender meat or about 20 to 16 weeks for full-grown birds. Processing poultry is a relatively simple process that involves plucking the feathers, removing the head and feet, and gutting the carcass.
Sexing guinea fowl is essential for breeding purposes and flock management while raising guinea fowl. While the differences between male guinea and female guinea can be hard to detect, there are numerous techniques available that you can use to sex your birds. Distinguishing between male and female helmeted guinea fowl can be achieved by observing the size and form of their bony protrusion on top of the head – typically larger in males than in females.
Observe their legs, tail feathers, and wattles for further distinction between male and female birds. Male birds tend to possess larger wattles, longer tail feathers, and thicker legs than the females of the species. Suppose you remain uncertain as to your bird’s sex even after comparison with these indicators. In that case, it is advised that you seek out a professional opinion from either a veterinarian or poultry specialist for clarification.
Raising guinea fowl on your homestead or farm is a rewarding experience with many benefits. Proper care and maintenance allow you to enjoy fresh eggs from your flock and plenty of tasty meat to feed your family. Guinea fowl is an easy-to-care-for poultry breed that can be a fantastic source of nutrition for your homestead or farm.
For homesteaders or commercial farmers interested in starting their french guinea fowl flock, Freedom Ranger Hatchery is a perfect choice. We offer premium quality chicks and come with a wealth of expertise to ensure your birds reach their full potential. Get guinea fowl chicks now and start raising your own flock today!