Guinea fowl frequently asked questions (FAQ's). With links.

Everything you wanted to know about Guinea fowl in a short question and answer format

What is a Guinea fowl?

A Guinea fowl is one of 6 species of ground dwelling birds native to Africa, one of which, the helmeted Guinea fowl, is kept domestically around the world. Guinea fowl are not related to chickens or turkeys.

What is the difference between chickens and Guinea fowl?

There are many differences between Guinea fowl and chickens:

Chickens .Guinea fowl.
Chickens fully domesticated.Guineas only partially domesticated.
Chickens are poor flyers.Guineas are good flyers
Commercially available food.Food has to be mixed at home.
Hundreds of varieties of chickens.Only one type of Guinea fowl with few colours.
Easy to keep in large flocks.Flocks of over 30 Guineas are a big problem.
Calm and easy to handle.Aggressive, difficult to catch and hard to handle.
Easy to sex.Difficult to sex accurately.
Good for beginners.Need experience to keep Guinea fowl.
Will scratch up garden and veg plots.Scratch and dig much less.
Can be kept confined in a run.Guinea fowl really need to be free range.
Chickens are easy to find and cheap to buy.Guineas are expensive and more difficult to find.
Chickens cheaper to start with.Guinea coops need to be bigger and taller.
Chickens are quieter.Guineas are noisy.

Guineas and chicken can live together.

Can Guinea fowl fly?

Guinea fowl fly very well and may fly away if they are not happy. You can clip a Guinea fowl wing feathers to keep them grounded.

Can Guinea fowl swim?

Guineas can swim for short distances but will generally stay away from water unless they are drinking. A Guinea finding itself in deep water will panic and thrash around and will soon get water logged feathered and drown.

Can Guinea fowl and chickens or ducks live together?

Guinea fowl can live with chickens, ducks, turkeys and other types of poultry. Guineas are aggressive, especially the males and may fight with other birds. A Guinea hen with young keets may cause a disruption to your flock.

Can Guinea fowl and chickens cross breed?

Guinea fowl will sometimes mate with chickens just a s roosters may sometimes try to mate with Guinea hens. If the resulting eggs are hatched they produce a hybrid called a Guin-hen which is always sterile and may not even lay eggs.

Can you eat Guinea fowl?

You can eat Guinea fowl, it is not only edible but a delicious and versatile bird producing healthy meat that can be cooked in many different ways. Guineas kept for meat are ready in 15 to 22 weeks.

Can you eat Guinea fowl eggs?

Guinea fowl eggs are edible and are really nice. Guineas can lay up to 160 smallish pointed eggs per year in shallow earthen nests. Guinea eggs contain a lot of yolk in relation to the white and are similar in taste to a chickens egg but 15 grams (3/4 ounce) smaller.

Can chickens hatch Guinea fowl eggs?

Chickens can hatch Guinea fowl eggs and raise keets with no problems at all.  This is the preferred way to raise Guinea fowl as chickens are normally more tame and easy to look after.

Below: Young Guinea fowl keets.

Will Guinea fowl kill snakes?

Guinea will kill and eat small snakes and may irritate larger snakes so they leave.

Will Guinea fowl protect chickens?

Guinea fowl can help protect chickens with their alarm call but they won't actively defend chickens.

Will Guinea fowl ruin your grass, scratch up your lawn and eat your vegetable garden?

Guinea do not scratch as much as chickens but they can and will make a mess of gardens and lawns and will think nothing of enjoying a dust bath in your flower beds. See free ranging your Guineas.

Which predators will kill and eat Guinea fowl?

All the common predators that will hunt and eat chickens will catch and kill Guinea fowl, including raccoons, foxes, hawks, Opossums, rats, snakes, cougars, wolves and all the members of the weasel family.

Where do Guinea fowl sleep?

Guinea fowl sleep by roosting in a coop or trees during the hours of darkness. They choose the thinner branches high up and often roost near the trunk of the trees to hide themselves completely. Domestic Guinea fowl need high perches to sleep on.

Where to buy Guinea fowl?

You can buy Guineas from some hatcheries of private breeders. The price depends on the season, the colours you buy and how many you get.

Do Guinea fowl hatch their own eggs?

Some Guinea fowl are good mothers and will hatch their own eggs reliably.

Why keep Guinea fowl?

Guinea Fowl are kept and raised for their meat, eggs, feathers and their ability to clear land of insects.

Should you get Guinea fowl?

Guineas are not for everyone and require a certain level of skill to keep.

Why did my Guinea fowl die?

Guinea get sick and die for many reasons, Viruses, infections, parasites and worms are the main reasons.

How long do Guinea fowl live?

The lifespan of a well cared for Guinea fowl is 10 years. They remain productive for 6 or 7 years and lay fewer eggs every year.

How much space do Guinea fowl need?

Guineas require twice the space of chickens, at least 4 square foot in the coop and 10 square foot in the run. Guineas will range further than chickens. The maximum stocking density for Guinea fowl is 50 per acre.

How many eggs can a Guinea fowl hatch?

Guinea hens often sit on communal nests and can hatch as many as 30 keets in a process that takes 26 to 28 days.

How can you tell the sex of Guinea fowl?

Telling the males from the females is difficult with Guinea fowl. Guineas can be sexed by the noises they make, the shape of their body and the subtle differences in appearance of the sexes.

How far do Guinea fowl roam?

Guinea fowl like to roam and will venture at least twice as far as chickens but will go further given the chance.

How often do Guinea fowl breed?

Guinea fowl breed once a year in the spring and may go on to produce a second clutch if the first one fails or is disturbed.

How often do Guinea fowl eat?

Guinea fowl eat more or less continuously during the daylight hours unless they are laying an egg or having a dust bath.

When are Guinea fowl full grown?

Guineas are considered to be fully grown at 24 weeks of age.

When can Guinea fowl go outside?

If the weather is warm and sunny and conditions are dry then Guinea fowl can be let out as early as 4 weeks but will still need a heat source at night especially if the temperature drops below 15C or 59F. See raising keets successfully. 

What do Guinea fowl eat?

Guinea fowl eat insects, seeds, small mammals and frogs as well as grazing on greens.

Are Guinea fowl friendly?

Guinea fowl are a partly domesticated wild bird and are rarely friendly like chickens or turkeys are. Guineas do not make good pets.