The pros and cons of keeping Guinea fowl.
Are Guinea fowl worth it?
For me Guineas are worth having as I have the space and I think the eggs are worth the extra effort.
Guinea fowl tend to divide people into two camps, love them or hate them.
Personally I love mine to bits and would never be without them but I have a few friends that dislike them and the Guineas seem to know it.
Guinea fowl have a real presence and if you live in a rural area with plenty of free ranging space that may not be a problem but close neighbours might not feel the same.
Guinea fowl have some wonderful qualities but check out our pros and cons list to see if they’re the right bird for you.
Cons for keeping Guinea Fowl:
They are noisy:
All the time and from very early in the morning. And they never shut up.
Guinea fowl make lots of noise all the time and are loud. They will create a real ruckus for no apparent reason. And this could be an issue with people who live near you, or even up to a mile away. they can easily be heard a distance away and do a lot of wandering.
Below: Guinea fowl do what they want when they want. Here is a flock roosting in the trees.
Yes, they will warn you if a predator is nearby but they will also warn you that your shoe laced are potentially deadly. They're not exactly reliable because they will also warn you if the wind is blowing or there's a horse in the next field or that they've seen their own reflection.
You can try the shoe lace thing, just put an old trainer on a stick so the laces hang down in the breeze and watch the result.
They hide their eggs and nests, they hide themselves in trees and bushes and they are somewhere between difficult and impossible to catch.
Guinea make a mess:
Of your garden and whatever they fancy. they do not scratch like chickens but will still have a dust bath in your flower border if they fancy it.
Guinea fowl are daft.
They are quite mindless sometimes and will take on anything which can be useful if a bird of prey is about but they will attack the shiny bumper (fender) of a car. If they are panicked they just run and if there is a fence in the way then they will just crash into it.
Male Guineas with competition and Guinea hens with chicks might even fight their own reflections to the death. On the reflections thing it can scare the crap out of you when they bang on your window at half five in the morning because they have seen themselves in the glass.
But then many people actually find this personality quirk extremely endearing but I have had both keets and adult birds kill themselves in madly rushing around.
Guinea fowl love to range.
They have no respect for boundaries, roads, cars or regulations. In the wild they have a territory that they will wander around and the fact they are in a backyard flock makes no difference.
They may roost in your trees, terrorise cats or scratch paint. Or in one case with mine - eat a whole hive of bees.
They fly much better than chickens and do so when they feel like it.
They can be aggressive.
Mine love to bully the chickens and especially the cockerels. They tip their wings up and rush headlong at them honking like their demented. I'm not sure whether they find it fun or not but it seems so.
They don’t make cuddly pets although they will become more sociable and friendly if they’ve been raised with chickens and other animals or handled from very young.
Now we have had the bad stuff, whats the good?
Pros for keeping Guinea Fowl:
Really nice eggs.
I find Guinea fowl eggs to amongst the nicest I have ever eaten. The yolks are bigger and they poach so nicely.
Guinea fowl are easy to keep.
They are hardy birds that survive in most climates and if they can be free ranged then they do not need so much feeding either. With the right equipment and setup they can be left to fend for themselves and they are much happier with this than chickens or ducks.
A flock will potter about all day in a relentless hunt for anything they think is edible. Which is anything they can fit in their beak, mice, frogs, caterpillars. They particularly like a wood louse.
Guinea fowl are generally much easier on your plants than chickens but you can not use pest sprays when you have Guinea fowl as you may poison them.
They will even attack some predators such as rats and snakes. This is more like surround the snakes and annoy it to death. Above a certain size snakes have little to fear from Guineas.
Early warning system.
An everything warning system is more accurate.
Constant chattering and amusing antics make guineas worth watching.