13 Reasons why you should raise Guineas

Guinea Fowl aren't for everyone, that's just the straight truth. They are loud, annoying, funny looking and dumber then you can believe. However they have several redeeming qualities that make farmers and backyard poultry keepers alike big fans of this silly looking bird.

I started raising Guinea fowl a few years back because of our tick problem but since have found a whole bunch of reasons why I think everyone should get a few Guineas.

Guinea fowl dustbathing on a urban farm

Why you should raise guinea fowl:


1) Tick control: Yes, chickens will eat ticks that are in your yard and so will Guinea fowl. Guineas though, will forgo personal safety and enter the brush and woods to hunt out these minute pests which will help keep your kids and pets safer from tick borne illness like Lyme disease.

2) Watchdog: Ever hear a flock of Guineas "go off"? It's like someone tripped the alarm system! It's pretty darn loud but it's a good indication that someone drove down the driveway, the neighbors dog is in the yard, a hawk is overhead etc etc. When you start to hear really loud Guinea fowl sounds, it's time to look out the window because something is up.

3) Predator alert. Your chickens will learn pretty fast that when the Guineas see a hawk and freak out, it's time to run for cover.

4) Guineas hate snakes! They will actually kill small snakes. The guinea fowl will start hollering and alert you to the presence of larger snakes.

5) Other Bug control. They also like to eat bugs like fire ants, earwigs, grasshoppers, Japanese beetles and yes, guinea fowl eat stinkbugs. They'll eat pretty much everything but ladybugs and adult tent worms. They are kinder to your garden then chickens are. They don't scratch as deeply and are usually more interested in searching for bugs then snacking on your zinnias. Usually.

6) Guinea fowl eggs. Their tasty little eggs are triangular shaped and very hard shelled. They break like porcelain when you crack them. Backpackers like to pack Guinea eggs since they're so much harder to crack then chicken eggs. Plus, guinea eggs have twice as much protein than chicken eggs!

7) They leave those lovely spotted feathers everywhere! Plus, guineas come in about 30 different colors.

spotted guinea hen feathers

8) Amusement value. Guineas are absolutely hilarious! They are like tiny little roadrunners when they get started and the male guinea fowl will chase each other for hours. They'll also run from one side of your yard to the other chasing a moth. Plus they are pretty funny looking. Kinda like miniature little helmet shaped clowns.

9) Cold hardy. For a bird that is originally from Africa, Guinea fowl are surprisingly cold hardy and can tolerate winter better then some chicken breeds.

10) They don't need much feed spring through fall. They would much rather eat the bugs they catch.

11) Dinner! Guinea fowl meat is very yummy roasted. Guinea tastes exactly like chicken only a bit gamey.

12) Disease hardy. Guineas get sick far less often than chickens. In my 5 years of raising guineas I've never had 1 case of illness other then the occasional mites dropped by a wild bird. (they love dust bathing and DE and wood ash in their dust tub solves that real quick!)

13) Guinea keets are about the cutest thing you will ever raise! With their bright orange beaks and feet they almost look too cute to be real!

cute guinea keets and 12 other reasons you should raise guineas


Keeping guinea fowl is about the same amount of work as chickens are. They require the same type of housing and care. They can even eat the same feed. I have to admit that of the 3,000 or so keets I sell every season the most common thing I hear is that they want guineas because either a family member or pet has contracted Lyme's disease.

This isn't as big an issue in certain other parts of the country, but here in the mountains of western Pennsylvania it's a pretty big problem. Thankfully, solving that problem is a guineas favorite thing.

If you're looking to order some guinea keets, I've bought most of mine from Ideal hatchery. Now that you know why you should raise guineas...I'm going to confuse you even more with 14 Reasons you should not raise guinea fowl. Enjoy!

Want to know more about raising Guineas? Click here for Guineas 101, everything you want to know about guinea fowl!


~L

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why, Guinea fowl

15 comments:

  1. I love your info on Guineas....great reading...Wish I could have livestock here in suburbia....alas...it isn't legal...
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks. the Guineas would probably drive the neighbors nuts with their hollering! lol Thanks for stopping by!

      ~L

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    2. How easy or difficult is it to integrate guineas with adult chickens?

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  2. Interesting! What do the eggs taste like?

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    1. They taste just like regular farm fresh chicken eggs. Much better then store bought!

      ~L

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  3. I have memories of chasing the guineas as a kid on my grandparents' property. They are such fun to watch. I didn't know they were such great bug hunters.

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    1. Chasing? I bet you never caught one....lol, those things are fast! They are excellent tick eaters, that's the main reason people order them from us!

      ~L

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  4. Great reasons to have guineas! I'm working on my husband to maybe let us have some on our farm. ;) Thanks for sharing over at the Homeacre Hop. Please join us again this week!
    Mary :)
    www.homegrownonthehill.com

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    1. You should get a few! Everyone needs a living alarm system!

      ~L

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  5. Lyme is the reason we bought our guineas. I'm hoping they devour every last tick in our yard! Two of my sons have had Lyme (one of them twice) plus our dog, too!

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  6. How are guineas around honey bees? My husband raises bees - over the hill from the house - and I am concerned they will take up residence by his beehives. I am interested in raising them for the ticks and the garden bugs. Anyway to keep them from hubbie's honeybees?

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    1. From all my research guineas will eat bees unless you make it that the guineas can't get near the hives! I personally have no experience but that is what I have read elsewhere! Good luck!

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  7. Please correct the spelling of Lymes Disease! It is LYME disease not Lymes or Lyme's disease!! Many people get this wrong. Lyme is named after a town (Old Lyme, CT) not a person! I am battling chronic Lyme Disease and multiple co-infections: Bartonella, Mycoplasma and Babesia from a tick bite as a small child. I been symptomatic since I was 8 years old but it took over a decade of False negatives on the Lyme tests and a serious ankle injury led to me to finally test positive for Lyme. Tick borne infections are very serious life changing illnesses. If not treated properly and fast enough it can and will kill you over time. I recommend you post a link to International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) since they train doctors to be Lyme literate (and other tick borne infections). They know how to treat and care for those who get infected and do not get well under the CDC's inadequate guidelines. If bitten or you suspect you have been bitten / have symptoms and don't remember a bite you should seek immediate medical attention. You need a minimum of 2 months of high dose Doxycycline or Amoxicillin or Ceftin to prevent chronic Lyme. Do not waste time on getting blood work since the test is highly insensitive. I am living proof of this.... I been symptomatic since I was 8 but had false negatives for over a decade growing up so my doctor refused to treat me..... When I was 18 I had a serious injury which brought out the subdued Lyme and Co-Infections causing major havoc. I am completely disabled, unable to walk, cannot attend school or work. I have serious nervous system damage, organ problems particular in my brain and heart, joint and spine damage thanks to being infected so long. Awareness and Prevention are key to staying healthy!! If bitten please get treatment right away. Chronic Lyme is not something you want to deal with! My family and I got some guinea keets over a month ago. The guineas are just over 6 weeks old now! They are doing well and we hope to be able to let them out soon to forage for ticks! My family had 20 ticks on us in 2 weeks this April 2015!! 12 out of those 20 were bites!! All of those ticks were deer ticks.

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    1. Dear Paige
      This is about the benefit of a bird. Lyme is bad. It's not carried by deer so much as the Deermouse tick, not a Deer Tick, but no one looks at the study on how they trapped the ticks. They trapped mice not deer to collect the ticks. So if your going to act like a know it all, get all the facts straight. If I want an English lesson, I'll go home.

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  8. I was given 9 guineas about 7 weeks ago. I still have them in a very large outdoor pen. 7 of the guineas pick on the 2 others. They will not leave them alone. I can tell were they have pecked them on the top. Is there any way to stop this behavior? I have already enlarged the pen (which would be big enough for 10 more) & have several roosting areas & 2 enclosures in the area. The 7 keep the other 2 behind one of the enclosures & won't let them come out unless I go in & keep the in one area so they can come out. At night they all roost together though. I have not let them loose as I rad somewhere you should keep them up for 10 weeks before letting them loose so they will know to come back to roost. We have every kind of animal area you can think of (coons, opossum, owls, coyotes etc) Any suggestions on how to handle this situation

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