If you keep up with all the latest chicken chatter, you’ll know that Guinea Fowl are all the rage right now. When I was younger, nobody wanted these cranky birds around, but all good things take time - and people are finally getting clued in! So, to get you on the Guinea Fowl Express, I’ve dedicated this weekend’s Mother Hen Tips to them.
Just look at how adorable they are when they're babies! Guinea Fowl chicks are called Keets and are as cute as their baby chicken counterparts (some may even say they are cuter!). But like all cutie patootie pets, before long they grow up and when they do, they become an asset to your flock!
First off, what can Guinea Fowl do for you?
Pest control: Sure, your chickens love a bug snack or two, but Guinea Fowl just can’t get enough! They’ll eat and scratch until your garden is absolutely pristine and free of pests. Got a tick problem? Roaches? Grasshoppers? Ants? Not anymore!
Protection for your flock: Guinea Fowl are much more intimidating than your friendly Henny Penny. They’ve been known to scare snakes silly! For larger predators, like foxes, your Guinea Fowl will screech up a fuss, and give you time to run to the rescue.
Eggstra eggs: Guinea Fowl aren’t the greatest layers, at only around 100 eggs a year, but hey, every little bit counts if you’re an avid baker like me. Just don’t give your Guineas any shell-grit, as it’ll make their eggs tough to crack!
Guinea Fowl need a little help adjusting to living with backyard chooks! What can you do for them?
Raise them with your chicks: Guinea Fowl babies (or keets) haven’t yet grown up into their high-strung adult selves, so let your placid chickies rub off on them by raising them together. That way, your Fowl will be just one of the flock!
Give them a friend: A lonely Guinea Fowl will tend to stick to its lonesome, which will make it less sociable and trusting, and more aggressive. Everybody needs somebody to lean on.
Give them some space: Guinea Fowl take a little bit more time to adjust to coop living and you might need to coop them up for as long as a week to get them to call it home. In the interests of keeping the peace, getting a second coop is a great move. I also love having a second coop for when one of my girls gets sick.
And there you have it! Easy peasy, and not much more complicated than having chooks. Why not give it a go? You might find yourself falling head over heels for these kooky personalities - I know I’m already making plans :)