ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Raising Guinea Fowl

Updated on January 23, 2014

Guinea fowl are an excellent solution if you are tired of ticks invading your farm or have a problem with Japanese beetles or wasps. Guinea fowl happily munch on insects and seeds on your property, and it is a way to deal with these troublesome pests without using chemicals. They are low maintenance during the summer months and can be made comfortable in a barn or enclosed building during the colder months. If you have several acres or more, these birds offer an interesting and colorful solution to your bug and insect problem.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Day old keets (guinea chicks)2-week old guinea keets2-week old guinea keetsRaising guineas is a great project for kids4-week old guinea keets on their "landing pad"
Day old keets (guinea chicks)
Day old keets (guinea chicks) | Source
2-week old guinea keets
2-week old guinea keets | Source
2-week old guinea keets
2-week old guinea keets | Source
Raising guineas is a great project for kids
Raising guineas is a great project for kids | Source
4-week old guinea keets on their "landing pad"
4-week old guinea keets on their "landing pad" | Source

Raising Keets

Depending upon where you live, guinea fowl may be available locally or you may need to purchase them online. You are often given a choice of buying eggs to hatch or receiving day-old birds, which are called keets. (Guinea fowl come in a wide variety of colors- so don't think they only come in the familiar Pearl Gray color!) If you’ve never hatched eggs before, it may be advisable to go with the live keets the first time you attempt raising them.

The keets need a warm and dry place to live when starting out. It should also be a predator-proof enclosure because rats, weasels, cats and other predators find them tasty. I’ve found that hardware cloth is sturdier and more difficult for these predators to get through instead of chicken wire. Once the keets have matured with feathers, they’ll have few, if any, predators to worry about.

Keets need to be given warm water - never cold. You can use a chick waterer, however place marbles or pebbles in the bottom of the waterer, otherwise these little birds (unlike chicks) may drown themselves.

Keats are very active, more so than baby chicks. They need a high protein feed; it should have 24-26 percent protein for their first month. For the second month, the feed should have 18-20 percent protein - chicken feed intended for broilers will usually fit the bill. Finally, from the third month on the guineas can be fed a feed chicken layer mash, which usually has around 16 percent protein in it. Don’t bother feeding guineas pelleted feed or whole grain corn - they’ll usually ignore it. They do, however, enjoy crushed millet if it is available at your feed store.

Sexing Guinea Fowl

Guinea fowl look very similar as keets. One of the easiest ways to find out which are hens, and which are roosters, are to wait until they start making their familiar call. It sounds something like “buckwheat”. Roosters don’t make this call. The roosters are also a little taller than the guinea hens once they’ve feathered out.

Raising Guinea Hens and Roosters

Once your keets have feathered out, they’re ready to strike out on their own on your property. They will stay together in a group and forage wherever the bugs and seeds are plentiful. To get them to stay in a particular area, offer them feed there each evening. They will even go into an enclosure to be locked up for the night if you train them to do so. Otherwise, in the summer months you may find that your birds are wandering all over your property, which may only become a problem if they start visiting neighbors.

Guineas are very fast runners, which helps them to easily outrun many predators. In addition, they are excellent fliers and can fly 400-500 feet at a time. Don’t be surprised if they fly onto the roof of small buildings or your front porch - they may be there looking for wasp insects, which like to make their nests in these areas.

Guinea Eggs and Meat

While guinea hens aren’t usually raised for their eggs, they often are raised for the meat. The eggs they lay are usually hard to find, since the guineas like to lay their eggs in hedgerows and weedy, high-grass areas. Their eggs are small (two guinea eggs approximately equal one chicken egg), and have hard shells. More than one guinea hen may lay her eggs in a nest, and if you have a broody hen, allow her to raise the keets herself. It is much easier than separating them out and raising them yourself.

Some guinea hens and roosters are raised for their meat. They have all dark meat, which has a game bird flavor. Many restaurants offer guinea hens in place of quail or pheasant since they have similar flavors. Since these birds are fast on their feet and quick to fly if even slightly frightened, raise any guinea hens or roosters that you intend to eat in an enclosure, otherwise you may never catch them.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)