Can you tame and train Guinea fowl?

Guinea fowl can be trained to some extent and can become tame eventually.

How to tame Guinea fowl:

Trying to tame adult guineas that have had little human interaction can be done but is likely to be a long drawn out process.  Guinea are never going to be really friendly like chickens, turkeys or ducks can be and unless you hatch them yourself the best you can hope for is for them to come to you when they see you.

The first stage of training guinea fowl is to get them used to your presence and you may need to go and sit with them for a few hours over a week or so just so they get used to you.

Feed always helps in this process and earthworms or mealworms are an excellent ice breaker. Mine love sprouted wheat, I grow it in trays until a root and a single leaf blade appears and then feed a handful at a time.

Guineas hate being handled and picking one up will disperse your flock into the trees and set your training back weeks.

I have found that even hand reared keets hate being picked up when they are grown up.

Can you tame Guinea keets?

Yes, you will need food treats and patience. Even armed with meal-worms and the patience of a saint you are unlikely to get them tame enough to sit on your lap and feed from your hand like you could with chickens.

You can however train them to be tame enough to come running to you when they see you and be happy stood around your feet whilst you are out tending to your flock.

It is easiest to tame guineas when starting with day old keets. If keets are handled several times daily for long periods each time and it is kept up until they are full grown, you can produce adult guinea fowl who are just as tame as any chicken.

Guineas do not like being held at all, you can try picking one up to find out yourself but wear sturdy gloves!

Below: Guinea keet being entertained.

Guinea Fowl love the other Guinea sounds on YouTube.  Record it on your phone and play it back to them. They will go to the source so if you want them in the coop play it there.

Guineas have five modes: eating, sleeping, chattering, rushing around and screaming in terror.

What is the best way to tame Guinea fowl?

Raise them with a tame hen. She will hatch them out and they will get used to you and your presence and because she will come running to you when you have treats, the keets will too.

As they are young they will learn much more quickly than the adults.

There's not really a lot to be said about this, just select a suitable hen and slip keets under her or let her hatch eggs. The more friendly and tame the hen, the better the guineas will be.

Training keets yourself, here's what I do:

Handle keets as often as possible beginning the day they hatch. Avoid sudden, fast movements.Use slow movements so as not to frighten young keets. If you panic them once they will always panic when they see you.

Below: Training keets can be done.

First get them used to your voice and pick a specific call to use whenever you feed them.  I  have a particular whistle I use whenever I throw scratch or treats. The words or noise you use as long as you use the same thing every time. Start this as early as you can and from the first time I give treats.

Taming Guinea fowl keets requires:

  1. Lots of time - Frequent and daily contact is needed.
  2. Your voice - Talking to the keets throughout the day.
  3. Handling - keets only, at least 3 times a day.
  4. Feed - Letting the keets eat from the hand.
  5. Treats - Hold a meal worm in your fingers.
  6. Association - Feed, water, treats, toys and amusements in set places.

These things work for adults as well but they take longer and it is less likely to succeed.

I often wondered to myself if genetics has something to do with it, just as chickens were selected over the centuries to be more tame so can Guineas. So selecting tamer parent stock if you breed your own will help.

Do Guinea Fowl like people?

Like is too strong a word, tolerate if you are fulfilling their needs.

Guineas seem to be quite happy around people but only if it suits them.