Guinea Fowl are great but I wouldn't get any

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Mark, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    A neighbour up the road keeps guinea fowl. The first time I saw them I had a guess they might be guineas but I really wasn't sure until I looked them up.

    We often see them by the edge of the road and outside of their property boundary roaming along the nature strip clucking to each other. They can move quite fast and are definitely quicker than a chicken - speaking of which, they're about the same size as a hen too.

    People keep them for pest control and to eat, apparently they taste like a gamey chicken/turkey; I haven't tried them but they don't look too appetising to me and they don't look to have much meat on them.

    People also say they can be noisy and are good for scaring away snakes! They don't dig or scratch too much so this makes them good for orchards or gardens and they roost in trees.

    Personally, I'm not really sold on them but obviously my neighbour is and it's nice to see them around (without having to care for them myself). :D

    guinea fowl in flock.jpg two guinea fowl.jpg guinea fowl up.jpg
     
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  2. CoolBlueDude

    CoolBlueDude The coolest blue dude you will ever know. Premium Member

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    We raised some and though I've never eaten one, I would. They are just like any other farm raised bird you can eat. We kept ours in a pin (don't worry it was a very large pin). They are quite territorial (meaning they don't stray far from home). You can let them run around all day long and they will pretty much take care of themselves. I would suggest using a 4 wheeler and net to catch them...lol- kidding. They are fast but if you raise them and spend more time around them they are docile and don't mind you getting close (enough to net them if you like).

    I don't see how you could go wrong with them. I would suggest doing your research first and talk with your neighbor about it and ask him/her if they wouldn't mind sharing some of the meat with you to let you try it. Offer some eggs/veggies as barter and maybe they can help convince you with a more educated decision. If looks were a determining factor then most of us wouldn't be married or getting married in my case. HAHA...:hysterical: I'm out!!
     
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  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Maybe I could hang a net out my window as I drive past the neighbours place and get one :p Sometimes we have to stop because they walk across the road but yes they are fast and I reckon you'd have to be pretty quick to net one! Guinea fowl is not readily sold anywhere I know of and it's especially not as popular as other game birds like turkey, quail, or ducks; nevertheless, some people do like them (according to a quick Google I did). I've probably got enough poultry to deal with ATM so I think I'll leave this species to the neighbours...
     
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  4. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    Great photos Mark, but yer, not the sexiest creature :ROFL:
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Sexy and guinea fowl definitely should NOT be used in the same sentence :D
     
  6. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi Mark, thanks for sharing. Interesting. I was speaking to someone on the weekend who had them and chooks. I was telling him about the snakes we have had issues with and the maggies that are swooping the chooks and he suggested I get some. I've done some googling and yes they are everything you have mentioned, make a racket when something is up. Apparently they can keep foxes away, snakes, etc. I do wonder if they make too much of a racket. I was wondering how they would go in with the chooks say just 2 guinea fowl. Or have a couple some place else and let them roam during the day since they aren't destructive like chickens.

    Any thoughts. Has anyone else had any experiences with them?

    And Mark Heritage Hatching and Hens sell them.
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Heritage Hatching and Hens are a top poultry breeder!

    I don't know much about guinea fowl only from what I see down the road and when I go for a jog past they carry on like pork chops. I can't imagine they would hurt chickens or fight with them though? Keeping away snakes is a very appealing trait - I have another python in my pen today :rolleyes:

    No, they certainly aren't destructive... I haven't seen them dig or scratch at all so I agree they are good in that respect.
     
  8. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The guinea fowl might also help with the rat/mouse problem. They might not eat the rats but they might help keep them away :)
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    My dog is a good ratter too. Generally, with the snakes, dog, and me we all help to keep the rodents under control - it's not much of an issue really. A friend once gave me all his chickens and ducks because his wife couldn't handle seeing the occasional rat the poultry attracted but as long as they are kept out of the feeders and aren't too numerous rodents aren't a problem. I can't imagine guinea fowl being the answer to rodent management though, because the birds would be perched sleeping at night when the rodents are active. I'd say guinea fowl are probably best used to keep garden insect pests down - they roam all day and quite a long way from the pen if allowed so they're perfect for an orchard.
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    From a YouTube mate (Ben) who has kept Guinea fowl
     
  11. Ben Jamin

    Ben Jamin Active Member Premium Member

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    I bought 6keets about 5 years ago. 1 developed a gamma leg and died. When they were big enough to survive outside I moved them into a chicken tractor with 2 adult geese. They were fine in there until one morning I came out and couldn't see the keets. A python had slithered under the tractor where the ground was uneven and ate every single one in the dark. It left the geese alone and went to sleep. I bought 6 more keets and managed to get them to adulthood in the chook pen where they were fine with the chickens. The chickens tended to dominate the guinea fowl and they would scatter quick enough. We later let them out when with the chickens and they were fine going back in for a while. They then decided to roost in the tree above the coop and occasionally would feed in the coop but more often than not fly into the neighbours coop and eat their grain. They roamed the properties around me (at the time was a long 2 acres) but in general didn't get up to mischief. They are exceedingly noisy though (imo more than a rooster) and when we bought a place had a hard time catching them in the coop at night to relocate them. They are incredibly dumb birds when you watch them and they freak out when the group is separated at all. Very fast but the next door neighbours dog at my new house picked them all off one by one. My old neighbour said when we left that he was getting some because the tick numbers had never been that low before (I'm not sure how accurate this is). They are not destructive but are incredibly hard to control or handle, which is a requirement if you want to eat them (at least once anyway).
     
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  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Excellent... Someone who has actually kept guinea fowl and knows what they're talking about :)

    Noisier than a rooster WOW that would be annoying then. Since my rooster died the other day it has been so quiet around here.

    I have heard this before also! There probably is some truth to it...

    Well, you have confirmed it for me Ben - no guinea fowl for me :D
     
  13. Ben Jamin

    Ben Jamin Active Member Premium Member

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    I didn't mind the machine gun call too much it was their "buck wheat" screeching that got on my nerves. Particularly as I knew they were roaming about. My rooster is in the chicken run and have grown quite accustomed to his proclamation to the world. I barely hear it unless I'm working from home and on the phone. I was going to grow them as a meat bird because I felt no attachment to them but eventually I got too irritated by their stupidity. I watched one run up and down our fence for about an hour trying to get to the other side. This is a bird that can shoot 20m in the air vertically if surprised and a fence that's 4 ft high. Maybe ours were exceptionally dopey. I'm keen for some muscoveys though I'd need to sort them some suitable accomodation.
     
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  14. Lois

    Lois Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The Guinea Fowl at our place are 1st lot of 10 dwindled to 4 males which roost in the tree over the chicken coop. If feed them some grain when I feed the 6 chooks, 1 rooster (I think), 12 four month old Guinea Fowl 8 of which have been sold, and the 7 Silver keets about 3 weeks old.

    They are great bug eaters, fruit fly none this season, ticks zero and fleas less plus they eat the grape munching caterpillars, so we had black and green grapes this year. And our snake problem browns and red belly blacks was a terrible thing before the Guinea's. I didn't see any in the house yard this year.

    We don't eat the Guinea Fowl. I am hoping to breed and sell to make a little more than the cost of feed. Farmers seem to like them.

    Tried a homemade incubator only got 1 out of 24 eggs. I think I opened it too early to put some extra water in.

    I love watching them in the yard and paddocks. They are noisy at times and will fly up on the house roof and have to be chased off as it is our rain water collector.

    I will write more about them and put in some photos.
    Regards Lois Langley
     
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  15. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Are they very noisy? I have considered them as another form of pest control in the garden, as I have read that they don't destroy the plants like chickens. Is this true too?
     
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  16. Lois

    Lois Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    They can be noisy especially if there is a lot of movement around them. They are a fairly skittish bird. They dom't dig plants out and they eat the bugs that chooks don't.

    We live on a station so the noise isn't a problem and I know they are scaring of any unwanted visitors like snakes.

    They do roam into paddocks around the property they come home just before dusk. I see them and the Ibis in the paddocks. They aren't worried by the cattle either.
     
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  17. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    They're the weirdest looking things. I figure with a head (brain) that small and a body that big, survival must be based on sheer volume of reproduction. You'd think they'd be a perfect target for any carnivore! Maybe that's why they're so annoying!!
     
  18. Lois

    Lois Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yep you could be right. The noise is worth it for the job they do on bugs and snakes.
     
  19. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    They are fine if their camp is way out in the paddock & they just browse through the home yard garden daily then are gone again.
    But when they make your house yard & garden their prime territory & want to chase away everything that moves within that space including yourself, they become a real problem bird.
    The noise can be deafening if they take a dislike to you going about your own business in your own garden if it falls within their desired territory particularly when they have keets.
    As a young jillaroo out mustering or fencing on various properties that I worked on, I would find them miles away from the home run.
    They take off to range far & wide.
    They seem to be successful at breeding to large numbers I think because they are so noisy & disturbing to their usual predators.
    Being fearless, they will chase any sized animal that they think is poaching on their space or preying on their keets.
     
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  20. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Wow, the avian version of a guard dog, only fluffier. Great info, these birds are plentiful in Africa, and they do breed them for alternatives to chickens for food. I suppose their traits make them less attractive in the urban/small acreage setting.
     

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