Why Raise Guinea Fowl? – The Top 7 Reasons

why raise guinea fowl

In a world where guinea pigs get all the glory, it’s about time people learned a little more about the guinea fowl.  Why raise guinea fowl?  Guineas are the unspoken heroes of the poultry and farming world.  While your chickens, turkeys, fruits, vegetables and whatever else you have are soaking up the sun; the elusive and tireless guinea is always on the prowl.  If you are thinking about joining the thousands of people enjoying the benefits of the guinea fowl, here are 7 reasons why you should:

The top 7 reasons why you should keep and raise guinea fowl.

7. Pest control

Guinea fowl act as a natural pest repellent.  Being arguably the best feature about the guinea fowl, this chemical-free defense system is the gift that just keeps on giving.  Instead of dousing your plants in pesticides or constantly worrying about potential predators, you can have peace of mind in knowing that your guinea fowl are on the case.  These guys can protect against insects, rodents, birds, and even snakes.  They work in packs when it comes to hunting or defending against larger pests.  Guinea fowl aren’t just efficient hunters, but also smart hunters.  They are your garden’s Navy Seals.

guinea fowl

6. They’re easy to maintain

So these birds aren’t going to crawl up to your bed and snuggle you at night.  But you’re trying to maintain a farm or garden, not a bed and breakfast.  Guinea fowl are going to mind their own business most of the time and leave you be.  You guys will wave when you pass each other in the halls but they’re not going to stop and chat you up.  They do not want to be confined and you don’t need to hold their hand.  The guinea fowl have work to do.

5. Guineas are almost completely disease free

Going off our last bullet, guineas don’t take kindly to being confined and they don’t work well in a massive commercial farming operation.  Because of this, they’re yet to be mass-produced or “exploited” in that type of setting.  That means these free-range guineas develop stronger immune systems after potentially being exposed to more minor infections and pathogens.  More genetic diversity in the free-range guinea population (as opposed to a commercially farmed flock of chickens,) provides for greater resistance to possible diseases and infections that could threaten the livelihood your poultry.

4. Adaptability

Guinea Fowl can live and thrive in almost any type of weather environment. Unless you are in the harshest of climates, chances are your guineas are going to adapt to the conditions.  Shelter isn’t even completely necessary for guinea fowl, though some type shelter against larger nighttime predators is never a bad idea.  They only require 7 inches of space per bird for roosting so any type of shelter would be fairly small.

3. They’re a great alarm system

guinea fowlThese guys are vocal little birds.  Their sounds and chirps can do wonders to scare the living daylights out of a potential predator.  Not only can they scare off a predator but they also alert chickens and other rather defenseless birds to any danger that might be near.  Sneaking into a barn unseen or unheard by a guinea fowl is a difficult task.  Trust us we’ve tried.

2. Egg fertility is rarely a problem

Though domestic and wild guinea hens lay seasonally, egg fertility is something you will almost never have to worry about.  Maintaining at least 1 cock under 3 years old per every 4 or 5 hens will ensure that you have an almost 100% fertility rate.  This is something that isn’t quite the same for other types of poultry.  Guinea fowl are not only low maintenance, but they are almost completely self-sustaining if you manage them correctly.

1. Guinea fowl are absolutely delicious

To wrap things up about the wonders of the guinea fowl, let us just discuss how delicious they are.  Guinea fowl meat has often times been compared to pheasant meat.  The guinea fowl’s fewer tendons in the leg and thigh make it a more valuable and cost-effective choice for most chefs.  It’s richer than chicken meat but at the same time contains less fat and fewer calories.  Their smaller bones and larger breasts compared to the chicken make the animal up to 5% more meaty.  As it is with most birds, the meat from the hen is more delicious than that of the guinea cock.  Young guinea is the cream of the crop when it comes to meat.  12-week-old keets provide the most sweet and succulent cuts and can be broiled, roasted, and yes, even fried.  Just butcher and dress your guinea fowl as you would a normal chicken!

guinea fowl

Please visit Mother Earth News for more great information on guinea fowl.  Want to get an order in for some guinea keets (which is what they call the chicks of this bird)?  Check out CackleHatchery.com for awesome guinea availability.

Do you raise guinea fowl?  Why do you do it?  What are the benefits?  Let us know in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Why Raise Guinea Fowl? – The Top 7 Reasons

  1. laurent Triqueneaux says:

    I started with 12 keets a year ago in Temecula, between LA and San diego…We have a lot of coyotes and it has always been hard to maintain any kind of flock. Well, a year later we have 6 guinea fowls, 3 pairs as luck would have it and have not lost one since they are teenagers.
    As of 2 weeks ago we also welcomed our first wild born babies…7 of them. It is a wonder to see them follow their mom around. The cutest thing ever.
    We are also expecting a second batch any day now. Cannot wait…
    They have been a rare treat to watch and enjoy. Their mating and devotion to one another is incredible.
    No rattlesnake so far this year…no bugs…So you go guineas !
    Only draw back…they are quite noisy and late sleepers beware…you do not want any guinea hens in the neighborhood !

  2. Kathy says:

    You forgot to mention how delicious the eggs are! Also, they are fantastic for baking, adding a richness to the batter not unlike duck eggs. Great article! I loved my Guinea hen and am sad she is no longer with us.

  3. Gail says:

    I live on a lake with a couple acres in MI. Almost 3 years ago I was in the basement and saw two things walk across the yard. I went outside and there were two guinea hens in my yard. I’d never seen them around before and no close neighbors knew where they came from but a horse owner said she’d like them for pest control. Since then they roost nightly in a neighbors pine tree and make their rounds somehow avoiding being run over or eaten by a fox family or coyotes. I read that they favor pavement and don’t last long. But these two free range birds have managed to survive and they’re funny to watch.

  4. Gary says:

    The day I let my guineas out half of them promptly flew away and the other half went from the pasture to the front of the farm and down the road and got ran over. Not the smartest birds

  5. Heather says:

    All those other are true and many of the reasons we keep 10-20 guineas at a time; however Your forgot #8 they are a hoot to watch. We love watching them run around!

  6. Paul says:

    Yes, I raise Guineas. They roost right alongside of my chickens and turkeys. They free range during the day and then come into the pen when called with the coaching of throwing scratch out to entice them. When the late comers show up, I just open the gate up and talk to them to get them into the main covered exercise yard before they go into roost.

    The reason I raise them is I sell the Keets. I use life experiences in my sales as I live in the mountains in snake (rattlesnake) country. The first year I moved to where I live, I saw 10 + snakes between my house and the pen and early stepped on half of them. The next year, 2016, my 7 Guineas were finally grown and I only saw 2 all year. This year, I have 29 adults and I’ve only seen 1 out in the pasture of which I give credit to the Guineas. I’ll continue to search and find their eggs, incubate and sell the Keets, especially to people who have snake, insect, tick, fire ants, rats and mice problems. I can’t keep enough Guinea Keets to meet the demand from my customers wanting Keets………….Paul of Squaw Valley, CA

    One thing you forgot to mention in your 7 tips is a male and female will mate for life as long as they stay together. Once the hen hatches her eggs, the male will help look after the little Keets in assisting the hen. He’ll also be a lookout out in the field standing like a sentry guard a few feet away from his mate when she’s laying eggs in the field.

  7. STEVE L SUMMERS says:

    YES I LOVE GUINEAS I HAVE AROUND A 100 ON MY FARM WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT GUINEAS EAT TICK,s AN INSECTS LIKE THEY DO I HAVE NOT BEEN WITH OUT THEM HERE. I TRY TO HATCH 50 OR 60 EVER YEAR. I SALE SOME AN GIVE SOME TO MY FRIENDS PLAN TO HAVE SOME HERE ON THE FARM AS LONG AS AM HERE. THANKS FOR ASKING>>>>>>>> STEVE

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