Sunday, March 9, 2014

How to tell the sex of Guinea fowl by sound (you need to know!)

As you may know I raise Guinea fowl along with my chickens. I currently have somewhere around 50 Guineas in various colors. One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how to tell the males guineas from the female guineas. I usually respond that the females all have red leg bands on, but I'm pretty sure that's not what they mean! lol 

The only sure way to tell the male Guinea cocks from the female Guinea hens is by the noise they make. The females call is quite distinct, but unless you know what to listen for you might not recognize it. 


tell guineas apart

The female Guinea hen has a unique two syllable call. It sort of sounds like she's yelling "buck-wheat buck-wheat". Some people say it sounds like "come-back, come-back". It's definitely a 2 note call. It's important to note that only the female Guineas can make this call. This is a general call they use at any time. This is not their alert call. 

The guinea hen also has an alert call which is a one syllable call that sounds like "chi, chi, chi". She will use this when startled, when a car pulls into the drive, a squirrel runs by or just for any reason when she gets a little spooked. 

Guineas get spooked a lot! (their not terribly bright) They also have a cute little high pitched trill that they use to communicate with each other in a less ear-splitting fashion.

Now here's where is gets confusing:

As for the male Guinea fowl sounds....the male also makes a one syllable call and it also sounds like "chi, chi, chi". This is their standard call, the one they use all the time although they can do the trill too. You'll hardly ever notice the trill, but you'll know when the "chi, chi, chi" machine goes off! You might want to invest in some earplugs. *sigh*    

Ok, so to recap....the female can make the female call and the male call but the male can only make the male call....got that? It goes like this:

Female: 'buck-wheat, buck wheat' & 'chi, chi, chi'
Male: 'chi, chi, chi'

It confused me at first too, so I've prepared a few video clips for you. 



This second clip here is one I posted a few years back when someone emailed me asking how to tell the males from the females. It's only after I happened to look at how many times it's been viewed that I decided it might be time to post about this and make a new clip. I hope this helps you when sexing your Guineas.


There are several common 'farm wives tales' about sexing guineas, none of which are 100% accurate. I discussed this awhile back in this post: The Guinea Wattle Myth. The only proven sexing method is by their call and unlike most chicken chicks, guineas cannot be sexed at hatch.

~L

10 comments:

  1. too neat! But it is loud :) thanks for the tips!

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  2. Great information! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good to know! I hope to have some one day...right now we have too many picky neighbors! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope you have time to share again today!

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    Replies
    1. Neighbors are funny.....mine don't mind when the guineas visit because they know how much the guineas love ticks. Then again, they don't visit often or it might be a different story! lol

      ~L

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  4. Yes, now we know we have 3 males!! Perfect video!

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  5. lol- we say the 2 syllable sound is them saying," I'm dumb. I'm dumb."

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  6. I cannot view either video on my smartphone. The plugin is not supported (very new phone) it might be flash? (not supported because of vunerabilities)

    Plus your site text is A)VERY TINY on mobile & B) very hard to read against the background graphics

    I really would like to read more & see the video as I have qt loud guineas, thankx.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I cannot view either video on my smartphone. The plugin is not supported (very new phone) it might be flash? (not supported because of vunerabilities)

    Plus your site text is A)VERY TINY on mobile & B) very hard to read against the background graphics

    I really would like to read more & see the video as I have qt loud guineas, thankx.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I actually love the theory,nice one

    ReplyDelete

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