Highly social creatures, guineas get along best with members of their own kind. As members of the Numida family, guinea fowl are more closely related to birds like pheasants, turkeys, and other game fowl species than they are to chickens. Helmeted guineafowl are often domesticated, and it is this species that is sold in Western supermarkets. It is very common for guinea keets to die in the wild. You can raise guineas with birds of other species, like chickens or ducks, but you need to be very careful in doing so – especially in regards to males. Guinea Fowl with Wild Turkey. While you will want to start your guinea keets in a brooder, just as you would with baby chicks, you can later move them out to pasture. There is some sexual dimorphism between females and males – males have larger wattles but keep in mind that not all guineas have wattles, to begin with. All guineafowl are social, and typically live in small groups or large flocks. The helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris) is the best known of the guineafowl bird family, Numididae, and the only member of the genus Numida. A hardy bird in most environments, the guinea fowl does best in warmer weather. How to recognise a Helmeted Guinea-fowl These large, chicken-liked birds can easily be recognised by their relatively large size (53–58 cm), dark grey bodies with white speckles and by their featherless, helmet-like head, which is blue and red in colour. southern France). They move in groups – if one travels, the others are likely to follow. This is a gregarious species, forming flocks outside the breeding season typically of about 25 birds that also roost communally. Finally, guineas can be a challenge to raise in that they are not quiet birds. If you keep bees, make sure you protect the hives. At night they often roost on the roofs of bungalows. If you allow your flock to free-range, you will find that most of their dietary needs are met. You should also avoid feeding medicated feed, as it’s toxic to guinea fowl. This is not necessarily problematic – the birds look quite odd but are otherwise healthy – but does lead to sterile offspring. The serum testosterone level is up to 5.37 ng/ ml during the breeding season. They weigh about 1.3 kilograms (2.9 lb). On the flip size, though, guinea fowl have very few health issues. There are many benefits to raising guinea fowl. They prefer to nest on the ground instead of nesting boxes as chickens do. Male guineas are notoriously territorial and will bully others in the flock. Native to Africa, it prefers a warm, dry, and draft-free environment. ... You could be fined for letting them escape into the wild. Like other guineafowl, this species has an unfeathered head. These unusual birds act as guards, alerting you with lots of noise whenever a human stranger, wild animal, or snake approaches. If you have nearby neighbors or simply don’t want to listen to their constant chattering day and night, these might not be the birds for you. They are excellent at pest control, and can also help guard your flock with their piercing cries. Guinea fowl are a demanding species that require resources and time. Native to Africa, the birds are rampant here, running wild in large flocks. Brought to Europe in the 1400s, the guinea fowl eventually made its way to America on the ships of some of the earliest settlers. Guinea Fowl History. Popular shades and patterns include: Not all of these colors are recognized by official standards, with only the Helmeted Guinea Fowl acknowledged formally in the United States. Wyandotte Chicken Breed Guide: Everything You Should Know, Can Chickens Swim? They usually lay in the morning, so if you can keep your birds contained until then, you’ll have a much easier time finding and collecting the eggs. However, once they’ve reached two years of age, you can easily tell the two apart because they make different noises. Helmeted guineafowl can walk 10 km and more in a day. Keep in mind that guineas can mate with chickens! Know Your Chickens is a free resource dedicated to teaching backyard chicken owners more about their flock. recognized guinea fowl colours, although the most commonly known is the original ‘pearl grey’ – dark grey with white spots all over. If they see you take the eggs they will move the nest. It is native to Africa, mainly south of the Sahara, and has been widely introduced into the West Indies, Brazil, Australia and Europe (e.g. What Are the Best Animals to Keep With Chickens. Their diet consists of a variety of animal and plant food. In Africa, guinea fowl forage for food and eat worms, snails, reptiles, insects, wild … Females make noises that sound like the infamous “buckwheat, buckwheat, buckwheat” call you may have heard that guineas make. In fact, guinea fowl are known for being lean, flavorful, and quite tender. 7. Guinea hens are communal layers, with all hens laying in one nest until there are dozens of eggs. You can eventually train your guinea fowl to come inside the coop at night by enticing them with some fresh water and a mixture of cracked grain and feed.  They make loud harsh calls when disturbed. If you are able to raise your guineas as keets with a group of young chicks at the same time, you may have better results. The nests are extremely hard to find. Believed to have originated around 500 BC, these creatures were brought back to the Romans from the native region of … If a mated hen and cock are divided during feeding, the two will panic until they reunite with each other. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is likewise short. You will need to keep them in the incubator for anywhere between 26 and 28 days. As deduced from its name, the domesticated guinea fowl originated from a species of wild birds located on the Guinea Coast of West Africa. Here’s everything you need to know about raising guinea fowl. After many semi-successful and semi-failed attempts at raising guinea fowl, it became clear that you can raise guinea fowl with moderate success – but you won’t be able to tame them. They aren’t fond of entering dark places, so hanging a light bulb in the coop can help encourage them to come inside, too. Until they are five weeks old, you should feed them a high-protein ration of about 24-28%. You may notice that they have a tendency to roost in trees or other high areas at dusk instead of inside the coop.