Guinea Fowl are an often overlooked bird, which is quite a shame. These peculiar looking creatures have a well deserved place in any homestead, barnyard or farm. Although they may not be as attractive or mellow as chickens, they are certainly worth consideration. Here are 5 fantastic reasons you should own Guinea Fowl:
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Organic Pest Control
Probably the Guineas best characteristic, they are known to be pest eating machines. A quick look on the internet and you will find several reports of their incredible pest eradication. Guineas can nearly eliminate ticks, grasshoppers, snakes, caterpillars, scorpions, spiders and more. But it gets even better. Guineas will do all of this, without damaging crops as severely as chickens (if at all).
During the summer months, free ranging Guineas often do not need supplemental feed as they are able to fill up on bugs and wild seeds. It’s probably not a bad idea to leave them some food in case their days foraging was less successful. Guinea fowl are also virtually disease free, and able to adapt to nearly every climate so long as they are provided shelter from the elements.
Have you read our blog, “Heroism & Miracles abound at Heritage Acres“? If not, you should. We recently had a coyote attack our flock. How did we know? The Guineas. As events unfolded the chickens remained silent, but the Guinea Fowl let us know there was trouble. We would have lost the chicken if it weren’t for the Guineas (and Patrick’s lightning fast speed!). Not only can they watch over your chickens, but they serve as home security as well. Once they become accustomed to daily activities, they will raise a ruckus if things aren’t quite right.
We couldn’t talk about Guinea Fowl without mentioning their personality. I just love them. They are giant, high strung buffoons. Their antics are incredibly amusing, and it’s fun to watch them run about. My favorite is the little whistly peeps they make. They are also quite beautiful in their own unique way, with their long eyelashes and polka dot feathers.
If you decide you aren’t a fan of your new speckled friends, you won’t be disappointed if you invite them to dinner. Guineas are related to pheasant, thus they are a prized and delicious dark meat. Often sold in high end restaurants, they are known for their rich flavor. Guineas are a healthier alternative to chickens as well, with less fat and calories.
Although Guinea Fowl are not appropriate for everyone, they truly are an asset to the homestead. It would be worthwhile (and highly recommended!) to consider adding them to your farm so you can begin reaping their benefits with the added comic relief. If you are in the Colorado area and would like to order guineas from us, please visit our Guinea Fowl page. Lastly, if you are thinking about raising guineas for the first time, I highly recommend this article and the Guinea Fowl International Association.
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