Considering getting guinea fowl? Everything you need to know. The pros and cons of keeping guinea fowl.
Have you have ever been out to a farm or homestead and heard some bird singing loud (and I do mean loud) and proud. When you got a look at it, it looked a little bit alien and you were left wondering what it was.
Well, there is a very good chance that bird was a guinea.
Yes, some people hate, absolutely hate them. Others tolerate them, for all their good qualities. Then some folks really love them.
I am not here to tell you which boat to be in.
I am simply here to share with you the lists of both pros and cons of keeping guinea fowl, so that you can make up your own mind.
what are guineas good for
I have seen many an article talking about how bad guineas are, and how much you will regret getting them.
But I am here to share with you that they are not all bad, unique maybe, but definately not all bad.
Absolutely they are different than chickens if that is what you are used to. If you are open-minded here are a few things guineas are good for.
Guineas are masters at controlling ticks. If where you live is wooded has lots of trees and is known for ticks, guineas just might be the bird for you.
With a handful of guineas running around you may only ever see a few ticks in early spring when they first start to appear, then after that, you will see no more.
If you are keeping guinea fowl can forget harmful chemical sprays to control ticks, guineas do this naturally.
Some say guineas are even great at keeping snakes away I can not attest to this personally, as we don’t have a ton of snakes, and the few I do see all seem to end up in my greenhouse (where guineas can’t get to).
After being around guinea fowl for any amount of time it is easy to see they will alert you to anything hinky going on.
Guinea fowl are known for being loud, maybe even a bit annoying at times, but this much I can assure you they will always let you know if something odd is going on, on your property.
After taking up raising guinea fowl, you wont need to worry about driveway alert systems, or missing the UPS man. Your guineas will always keep you up to date with that sort of stuff.
Even though guineas may not lay quite as many eggs per year as the heavy egg layer types of chickens they do lay quite a bit, especially in the warmer or longer daylight hour days. Guinea hens will lay 6+ eggs a week from spring through fall.
The eggs from guineas are very similar to chickens’ eggs with only a few differences. These eggs can be used the same as a chicken egg and taste similar. Guinea eggs are smaller than the typical chicken egg, with a much harder shell and a more yolk to white ratio.
If letting guineas free-range for pest control you may often have to go hunt for the eggs as they like to lay them in odd places (you know hiding under bushes or in tall weeds). I send the kids for this task, like Easter egg hunting except for no candy, and its all times of the year!
Pros and cons of keeping guinea fowl
If you do any research online about guineas you may find tons of articles about NOT raising guineas. But if you are still inclined here is the go-to list for pros and cons of the guinea fowl.
- good egg layers
- eggs are higher in protein
- great tick control
- guineas make a good warning system
- flighty birds so they make it slightly harder for ground predators to catch them
- guinea meat can be eaten ( I myself have never actually tried it)
- wild-spirited (don’t need to be picked up or handled much)
- may end up laying eggs anywhere but in the coop
- loud (spend a lot of time calling out to their other guinea friends, if you have older windows that don keep out much noise this may get annoying)
- they can be very dominate, and may pick on certain breeds of chickens
- guineas can be a bit untamed (don’t like to be picked up or handled much)
Can guinea fowl live with chickens
The short answer is yes, but there are a few things to understand here.
Guinea fowl can be very dominating. If you feed all your birds together, the guineas are likely to run the chickens around until they get their fill.
In our experience when keeping guinea fowl, they tend to pick on certain breeds or colors of chickens. Typically guineas, though a bit bullyish, get along fairly well with the other chickens. However, guineas being kept with cornish (the very heavy meat-type birds), they can be brutal to the cornish.
Important Note * Keeping guineas away from some different chickens may be necessary!
Where to buy guinea fowl
There are many places online that will ship day-old guinea keets directly to you.
The place we have had the best luck, and highly recommend for all homestead, farm, or backyard poultry is Cackle Hatchery. We have found with their amazing selection and great customer service we have never regretted any bird purchase from Cackle.
If you are considering keeping guinea fowl or adding some to your current flock of birds, knowing the pros and cons can help. Sure these loud-mouthed birds are different than chickens, but thats not all bad. From tick or snake control to egg production guinea fowl are worth considering, that is if you can handle a bit of their noisy ways ♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.