Guinea fowl do sound the alarm when a stranger, intruder or predator invades their territory which can alert the farmer or smallholder to the presence of predators in the vicinity which means that they can make good guard birds.
When guinea fowl free range in open areas where they can see all around them then they are able to see predators more easily and quickly from a further distance. However during the Summer when the guinea hens are laying and the crops are not yet harvested they are more vulnerable.
One reason for this is that the fox or other predator is provided with cover by the crops and since the guinea fowl cannot see them as easily they are unable to sound the alarm and escape as quickly.
Another reason is that the guinea hens like to lay their eggs in the dense hedgerows and sometimes the hens can be taken when they are sitting on the eggs in the undergrowth and are not able to see the fox in enough time.
This is what I think happened to my guinea fowl that were taken. One was taken near the nesting site that my guineas have been using recently and the other was in a field of barley where the hedgerows and field are very dense with growing crops.
During the Spring/Summer the vixen will be feeding her cubs so that means she will sometimes hunt before dusk. This makes the guinea fowl more vulnerable because if the farmer/smallholder locks the poultry away at night it is often later in the evening due to the light not fading until late into the evening. Guinea fowl that roost in trees at night are also vulnerable because they may not roost till later in the evening due to the light.
My two guinea fowl were taken before 6.30pm which at this time of year is quite early as it doesn’t get dark until 10pm and I haven’t needed to get my guinea fowl in until about 7-8pm until now!
Guinea fowl don’t particularly care for flying and prefer to run from a predator. When the crops are so dense, they are unable to run from their predator successfully and also may not see the predator in time to fly away.
During the Spring and Summer months guinea fowl are more vulnerable because their predators are more active in the day and the environment is less safe as there is more cover for predators to hide.
So although guinea fowl can make good predator alerts they can also be vulnerable to attacks from foxes and other predators due to the time of year and the habitats in which the free range.
If you keep guinea fowl and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your guinea fowl then why not join the free farmingfriends guinea fowl forum.
If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale (UK Spring and Summer months).