Guinea Fowls What are they?
Basket full of fertile guinea eggs
What is a Guinea Hen?
The guinea fowl, also known as guinea hen, belongs to a family of flightless birds belonging to the same order as pheasants and turkeys. These game birds resemble partridges although with spangled gray plumage coupled with featherless heads. Nowadays, guinea fowls are favorite livestock for homeowners, gardeners and even ranchers because of their many practical uses.
Of course, a flock of guinea fowls are a beautiful thing to watch on a garden. Their impressive plumage darting about the green grass provides a nice contrast of colors while their antics are definitely entertaining to see as well. In fact, the feathers of a single guinea fowl can make for an impressive decorative item on the wall.
But it is their practical benefits that make guinea fowls a great addition to the barnyard of animals, so to speak. Read on and be one of the thousands of these individuals who love raising these game birds.
Great for Insect, Tick and Rodent Control
Depending on whom you ask, guinea fowls perform various functions in keeping away the household pests that plague homes, farms and gardens. If you keep a few of these birds even as pets, you will see them scuttling up and down the lawn, garden and orchard scouring for these pests. Such is the diligence of even a single guinea fowl in its job that you can treat it as an all-in-one insecticide, pesticide and rodenticide.
Livestock farmers keep the birds to ward off predators that eat poultry because of the latter's loud noises. Ranchers love guinea fowls because of their ability to drive away snakes like rattlers and copperheads. Farmers put the game birds to work patrolling the gardens for all kinds of insects including beetles, locusts, spiders, cutworms, snails and grubs.
Country dwellers like how guinea fowls eat ticks that cause diseases like Lyme disease. Gardeners and orchardists love a guinea fowl - or better yet, a whole herd of these birds - to drive away marauding birds. And the great thing is that guinea fowls would rather eat these pests as food instead of nibbling on the cultivated crops.
Guinea fowls may be called the poor man's pheasant because of its similar taste at significantly less cost but this is still one of the best game birds you can serve on the dining table. In fact, you can avoid the high costs of guinea fowl dishes in French restaurants by raising your own herd and then cooking them in your own kitchen. The meat goes well with sautéed mushrooms, tossed salad and steamed spinach as well as with wild rice.
And the meat is healthier, too. Guinea meat contains lesser fat and fewer calories than chicken meat of the same weight. Guinea meat has a richer taste as well as meatier flesh.
Even the guinea eggs are highly-prized ingredients in omelets and other dishes because of their great taste and texture.
All of these benefits can be enjoyed at no great cost. Guinea fowls can forage especially during the summer and whatever supplemental feeds necessary are affordable. Even their shelter is easy to build for as long as it can provide protection from nocturnal predators. In short, guinea fowls give good returns for low investment. So, start your flock today with even just a single guinea fowl. It's a step worth taking.
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