- Breed We Have
- What They Eat
- Brooding, Incubating & Keets
- Care & Maintenance
- Illness, Problems & Treatments
Breed We Have
The breed we have here is quite common: The Helmeted Guinea Fowl. They have featherless heads and grey plumage adorned with sequin-like patterns. Guineafowl are monogamous birds, meaning they pair for life.
What They Eat
The Guinea Fowl feed mainly on seeds and insects, though they are also known to peck at weeds. Organic farms use them as a form of pest-control – but be aware of your vegetable patches as they will eat that, too.
The Guinea Fowl roost like chickens do. They tend to go up into the trees or huddle beneath one during the night. So far we have not seen any Guinea Fowl use the houses provided.
Brooding, Incubating & Keets
Brooding: Guinea Hens are not like broody Chickens. If you move the eggs and the Hen, she will most likely abandon them and just neurotically pace back and forth in the pen while shouting. If she sits happily and without interference, however, it will last between 26-28 days. Just stay clear of her and make sure she has close access to water and food and the hen will take care of the rest.
Incubating: Put the eggs into the incubator at a temperature of 37.7 degrees celsius and a humidity of 45-55%. The eggs will need turning every 3-4 hours for 24 days. From day 25, up the humidity to 55-65% so they can break from the membrane and shell much easier, and they will hatch between days 26-28.
Keets: The keets (young) will be provided for and protected by the guinea hen, and they will gather beneath her at night to stay warm – so we don’t really have to do much except provide the crumb feed that is easier for them to eat. When we incubate them, they are moved to a brooder-box with a heat lamp which we start at 37 degrees celsius and we reduce it by 5 degrees per week to acclimatize them, providing them with food, water and a draughtless yet well-vented place to stay.
Care & Maintenance
The Guinea Fowl generally sort themselves out. We may have to clip their wings occasionally.
Illnesses, Problems & Treatments
Unlike local chicken varieties, guinea fowls require high amounts of protein and minerals in their feed. On an average each adult guinea bird consumes about 200 gms of grass and weeds a day.
Guinea fowls, though hardy and resistant, are susceptible to viral diseases such as; bacterial infections (E.coli); protozoan diseases (coccidiosis) and verminous infestations (round worms).
Most of their illnesses and problems you will find listed on our other poultry pages, look at the Chickens and Geese pages to find information that coincides with Guinea Fowl problems.