Benefits of Raising Guinea Fowl

by Manda H

Published April 24, 2024

Guinea fowl can be an amazing addition to your homestead. Guineas are highly social birds that are relatives of chickens and partridges but with different needs and fulfill a different role on the homestead. Some people will describe them as being loud and obnoxious. Personally, they remind me of helmets running around the yard screaming that the sky is falling. All noise aside, they provide some amazing benefits on the homestead.

Broody Guinea Sitting on a clutch of eggs. Guinea fowl up close Meyer Hatchery

Top Benefit – Pest Control

The first thing to know about Guineas is that Guinea fowl tend to be low-maintenance while providing amazing pest control. Guineas love to patrol the yard looking for beetles, ticks, ants, and more. I love allowing my flock to range through my orchard and pastures. They do not spend their day scratching up the flower beds like your beloved chickens.  When I first moved to my property 5 years ago my Golden Retrievers would constantly find themselves covered in ticks. I haven’t seen a tick in over a year. Guineas and chickens both assist in that, but the great thing about Guineas is that they will travel a little further than chickens. Guineas that know they are guineas will travel upwards of a half mile away, but if you raise them up with baby chicks they can be convinced to stay much closer to home.

Guinea fowl Male in the grass Meyer Hatchery

Predator Evasion

On my farm, the first to notice a predator will be the guinea who then sound the alert for everyone else to become aware of the potential invasion. They will yell as they start zagging through the yard to take cover. Chickens that otherwise might have been lost in a daydream while dust bathing on a warm summer’s day are now thrust back into reality that it is time to run and take cover. This very act can help save the rest of your flock that otherwise may have been lost.

While they will not fly away to migrate, they will take air to evade capture. This helps them immediately if the incoming evader is on foot, but they are no match for a stray dog. If not trained to sleep in a coop, they will also choose to roost in trees which can be great to protect them at night, unless your area has owls. This aspect of them has annoyed me at times, but it does protect them from certain types of predators.

Guinea Fowl Keet day old hatchling Meyer Hatchery

Low Maintenance and Cost Effective

These relatively self-sufficient birds can take great care of themselves. When allowed to free range they will typically make nests in tall grasses and may make the decision to sit on their nests to hatch out new, baby guineas, which are called keets. 

When eggs are regularly collected, the Guinea will lay approximately 100 eggs in a season which tends to run from March or April through September. These eggs will have a thicker shell compared to chickens, but are very edible and can be used for breakfast or in recipes. An interesting fact about guinea eggs is that guinea eggs contain nearly 3 times the protein level of a similar sized chicken egg. This makes them an egg-cellent option for your Homestead with their amazing benefits.

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