OI drove two hours to upstate New York to pick up my three guinea fowl. That’s four hours including the return. I bought the guineas from a wonderful home-farmer named Jessica. In addition to the guineas, she had goats (two Nigerians – which I want also), a variety of egg laying chickens and meat birds (Cornish hens). Here a two short videos of our guinea fowl:
Jessica sold her guineas to me because her neighbor complained about the noise the guineas were making. Guineas’ noise making are one of the four reasons that I want guinea fowl. So why get guinea fowl?
FIVE REASONS FOR HAVING GUINEA FOWL
- Looks. Guinea fowl are really pretty. Guinea fowl are originally from East Africa, and they come in a variety of colors, including: purple, lavender, and pearl just to name a few off the top of my head. To see the variety of different colors, click here. The ones I got are called Pearl Grey. They grow up to be a dark background color with pearly white dots all over. Like chickens, guinea fowl are so cute and fluffy as chicks. I love the striped head color of the chicks which you can see clearly in the second video above. As they grow older, the head colors and shape will turn vulture-like, but the body should become much more beautiful. Here are some pictures of a fully grown Pearl Grey guinea
- Eggs. Guinea hens lay eggs that are slightly smaller than chicken eggs. Three guinea eggs are about the same volume as two chicken eggs. The taste is the same, but the shell is much harder. Apparently, it takes a bit of practice to be able to crack the hard shell with enough force to break the shell, but not too much force that you break the yolk.
- Voracious tick eaters. I live in Connecticut and part of my property is a wetland and a wooded area. Each of our dogs have come home with multiple ticks. Guineas have a voracious appetite for ticks, spiders, mites and other bothersome insects. I understand that guineas do not like bees, which is good because I have three beehives (bees arrive next year).
- Predator Alert. As mentioned in the last paragraph, guinea fowl are pretty loud. They fly and roost in treetops. Whenever they see a predator or danger, they make a distinctive sound which chickens recognize and will cause the chickens to run back to the coop and hide. Jessica tells me that for years of having chickens, she’s had wolves, coyotes, raccoons, bears and other predators attack her chickens. After getting guineas, she never lost a chicken to a predator. I have heard similar stories from other guinea owners. The loudness of guinea fowl make them ideal guardians, but not ideal for city residents, which is why a resident may be able to sneak a chicken into an apartment, but will almost never get away with sneaking in a guinea fowl.
- Meat. A fifth reason, but not relevant to our farm (due to wifey’s NO KILL POLICY), is that guinea meat is supposed to be quite tasty. They call guinea meat a “poor man’s pheasant.” There are restaurants of Asia and Europe that server guinea meat as a delicacy.
Still have your doubts about getting guide fowl? Read this humorous account from this homesteader.
My guinea fowl are slightly younger than my chickens, but today, I placed them in the coop, and everyone is playing nice for the time being. I wanted hens, but I believe that Jessica sold me three straight-run guinea fowl. By “straight run,” I mean that I am getting whatever hatched – a mixture of male and females. I am hoping for at least two females, and hopefully three, but we’ll have to see as they grow up, as sexing guinea fowl is tricky business.
To the right is a photo of the guinea fowl in a cage, being “guarded” by Bella. . . and by “guarded” I mean watched because they look tasty – look at Bella licking her lips!