Guinea fowl are a bit of a double edged sword, in some ways they are easier to keep than chickens and in some ways they are more difficult.
When it comes to the day to day looking after your flock, you will hardly notice you have Guinea fowl. Guineas are independent and active foragers that will happily spend their whole day free ranging.
Guineas are only partially domesticated and can only really be kept if they agree to it, they have a tendency to leave and fly away and to start roosting in trees.
Below: Guinea fowl like to spend all day away from the coop free ranging, regardless of the weather.
Guinea fowl are also aggressive and can kill other birds and should not be near unsupervised children.
Are Guineas easy to keep?
As a rule Guinea fowl are easy to keep if you have plenty of free space.
One of the problems is that Guinea fowl are the dumbest bird I have ever seen. Some of the daft things mine have done include running headlong into a fence, flying over a fence and then rushing up and down scratching their face a wattles till they bleed instead of flying back over.
You will need to make sure your coop and run is safe and secure because if there is a way for a bird to kill itself in your setup, a Guinea fowl fowl will find that way.
They are loud and if you have neighbours close they will get annoyed. The constant noise is about the only complaint I ever hear about my Guinea fowl and mine are nearly half a mile from the nearest houses.
Below: Guinea fowl flock making a noise.
Guineas can be problematic nesters, they change where they nest often, especially if they see their nest being disturbed.
Are Guineas cheap to keep?
Guinea fowl are cheap to keep but they still require feeding, housing and space. If you can free range your Guinea fowl they will be cheaper to keep than chickens.
You need to bear in mind that they lay fewer eggs than chickens do so even though they eat less it doesn't make them cheaper to keep overall. Guinea fowl have a lower feed efficiency than chickens.
Guineas are hardier than chickens and live healthier lives with fewer diseases so can save you money in treatment as well.
Nothing else will clear the ticks and insects like Guineas, but you will need at least 10 or 15 birds for them to do their jobs properly.
How hard is it to keep Guinea fowl?
If you have never kept them before you will probably find Guinea fowl hard to take care of. They are very different to chickens and while the two can live together, it is not always a harmonious relationship.
You should think of your Guinea as workers on your land and not pets. When anything strange appears on their patch, they go nuts and scream like crazy and they sometimes take a real dislike to people or animals.