Guinea Fowl Breeding Behaviour

Signs to look out for to indicate that the guinea fowl breeding season is under way are:

  • Guinea fowl subdividing into smaller groups as Spring approaches. During the Winter months a large flock of guinea fowl will all free range together but during the Spring and Summer months the guinea fowl will move about in smaller groups of about 4-6 guinea fowl.
  • Male guinea fowl starting to chase each other. This behaviour is a way of male guinea fowl trying to show their supremacy over another male and to impress the female guinea fowl. The males will run in one direction with one guinea fowl chasing the other and then will come back in the other direction with the opposite guinea fowl chasing.
  • The male guinea fowl will chase the females and tug on their back feathers.
  • Male guinea fowl mounting a female guinea fowl – guinea fowl breeding doesn’t seem to be obviously and I have rarely seen the guinea fowl mating in the 5-6 years I have been keeping guinea fowl.


There are certain signs that show that the guinea fowl hen is about to start laying eggs.

  • Visiting the same patch of undergrowth daily.
  • Sitting in a patch of undergrowth for periods of time.
  • Digging a hole in the ground to form a nest area in the undergrowth.
  • Male guinea fowl sitting nearby waiting for the hen.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

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).

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Guinea Fowl Hen Sitting On Nest Of Eggs And Hatching Keets

I recently received a comment asking about the management of guinea fowl hen sitting on her eggs and the keets that hatch out.

Hi,
We have a guinea fowl in our garden who has been sitting on her eggs for a long time now and some of them hatched this morning. We built a shelter around her from wire and she hasn’t moved from her nest. Do you think this will be ok for the keets to survive? Does she need to be able to get on and off the nest and wonder around; or do we need to leave food in the enclosure for her and her keets?
Thanks
Bob


My repsonse was:

Hi Bob,
Thanks for contacting farmingfriends and telling me about your guinea fowl. Congratulations on the hatch. Your guinea may not have moved because not all the eggs may have hatched yet and she will be waiting for the others to hatch.
Make sure that the shelter is predator proof and has an area where the keets can shelter from the elements (wind, rain or snow!) Also make sure that the wire is small enough so that the keets can’t get through the wire or rats can’t get in as rats, mink, stoats would get in and kill the keets. I would make sure that their is food and water in the enlosure. The keets will need chick crumbs and make sure that they cannot drown in the drinker, I usually add marbles or pebbles to the drinker so that the keets can still drink the water but can’t immerse their head in it.
Sitting birds may come off the nest once or twice a day to drink, eat and stretch their legs but if she is in the final stages of sitting then she may not.
Once all the eggs have hatched or the guinea fowl leaves the nest and the remaining eggs are not going to hatch the the guinea fowl should show the keets how to drink and feed although they will do this instinctively if the food and water is placed close enough to them.
I hope all the hatchlings are doing well and that the rest hatch soon. Keep me posted. Where in the world are you? I am based in Yorkshire in the UK.
Just to let you know I have a free forum with a section on guinea fowl http://farmingfriends.com/forums/forum.php?id=6
I have also written an eBook about incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets, it mainly discusses incubating the eggs in an incubator as opposed to a guinea fowl hen sitting but also discusses raising the keets to 6/8 weeks.
http://farmingfriends.com/incubating-hatching-and-raising-guinea-fowl-keets-ebook-for-sale/
Kind regards
sara @ farmingfriends

If you have any advice for Bob about a sitting guinea fowl and then raising the keets with the guinea fowl hen then please leave a comment.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

 

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).

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Where To Buy Guinea Fowl In Thailand

I am often asked where to buy guinea fowl in Thailand. My farmingfriends friend Steve who lives in Chiang Mai provided me with the following information about where to buy guinea fowl in Thailand.

On the main highway from Lampang about 15kms towards Chiang Mai on the right side is the country market of Hang Chat which has only one surviving stallholder with poultry.

A few months ago it looked rather disorganised and only had adult guineas and young turkeys but when I returned the new owner had tidied things up but now kept only young guineas, no adults. I paid 700thb for what I hope turns out to be two males and one female, maybe 6-8 weeks old.

Its very likely there would be guinea fowl in Chatuchak market in Bangkok but for me thats a long way to go. Here you may find traders who don’t have them on show but could get them for you on request.

If you know where you can buy guinea fowl in Thailand then please leave a comment.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

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).

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Book About Guinea Fowl

Farming Friends is delighted to announce that we now have Michael Roberts guinea fowl book in stock. If you are a guinea fowl enthusiast, if you keep guinea fowl or are thinking of keeping guinea fowl then Guinea Fowl Past & Present by Michael Roberts is a book that is sure to delight and inform you.

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Male Guinea Fowl Pecking Order

I have quite a few males in my flock of 23 guinea fowl and Charlie the guinea fowl has always been head of the pack. Funnily enough I was watching the 23 strong flock of guineas wander about the farm the other day and I actually said to my husband that it’s nice to see Charlie, who along with Diana and Camilla are my oldest guineas, is still head of the pack.

Charlie The Guinea Fowl

Charlie The Guinea Fowl

Well that was until yesterday, when I observed some different behaviour from Charlie and the other males. There is generally male rivallry in the Spring when the males and female start pairing off for the breeding season. Anyway yesterday when I went to round them up, they were all in the paddock and when I counted them there were only 22. I could hear a guinea calling from somewhere else and upon closer inspection I could see Charlie in the lane, which I thought was unusual as he is head of the flock and always leading all the others about.

Well Charlie rejoined the group only to be chased by one of the other guineas. When I managed to get them all in the hut, including Charlie, who followed later, abit of chasing began again around the hut, which is thankfully big enough for none of the poultry to get hurt.

I went off to get fill the drinkers up and when I came back and entered the hut, Charlie flew at me, well at the door as if  he wanted to fly out and he managed to land on top of the inner door frame.

He eventually cam down and started to cower in the corner, so I am assuming that one of the other male guinea fowl is asserting his authority. I noticed that Charlie kept his distance from the flock again today and he didn’t really want to go int he hut tonight. Maybe one of the other guinea fowl can see that Charlie is getting older. I got charlie, Diana and Camilla about 5 years ago and they were already adults so they must be at least 6 years old.

I will keep my eye on the situation. I have already placed in the hut a tunnel for the guinea fowl to hide under if they need to get out of the way, so hopefully Charlie will be able to get out of the way.

It is very interesting observing the behaviour of the guinea fowl throughout the different seasons. Let me know if you keep guinea fowl and have observed the male guinea fowl pecking order being faught over.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

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).

Curled Toes On Guinea Fowl Keets

On occasions a guinea fowl keet can hatch out with toes that are curled up into a fist shape. Sometimes they may straighten out on their own in the first day or so but if they don’t  you can make a pipe cleaner shoe for the keet to wear which will help to straighten out the toes.

The pipe cleaner needs to be bent into the shape of a keets foot and then attached to the keets foot with a bandaid or elastaplast. Cut three pieces of bandaid to go over all three toes. A larger piece will be needed for the middle toe.

The temporary keet shoe can be kept on for about 8 hours. Remove the shoe and see if the foot has straightened out. If need be the shoe can be refitted to help the keet’s foot get better and allow it to stand properly.

I was recently asked what help could be given to a newly hatched keet with a curled foot.

Gill said that after wearing the keet shoe, “The curled foot is quite good, a little more turned in than the norm but he can now stand properly.”

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

Guinea Fowl Keets eBook Only

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 during the Spring and Summer months.

Guinea Fowl With Leg Problem

Mike from Borneo has some guinea fowl and one seems to have a leg that has reversed itself.

“3 have ‘wonky feet. Once had splayd legs so I tied its legs together with string so that it could walk (sort of). I was then worrried about circulation and found some old ‘chain’ ear rings which I cannibalised so that they became ‘feet shackles’. It seeemd to do the trick and I removed them after a couple of days. It walks ok but has one foot turned out. Anoher keet has slightly inward facing feet but can run quite fast, and one other cant seem to stand up properly (one leg seems very weak), but it scrabbles around. I am going to try bracing the leg so that it is straight……The elastoplast solved the ‘splayed’ legs but now one leg seems to have reversed itself and the keet hobbles around – actually quite fast! The other keet with the weak leg seems to be slowly getting some strength and also moved quickly when startled.”

Mike has sent me some photos.







Mike says that the guinea fowl’s whole leg is dragging behind.

If anyone has come across this leg problem before then please let us know how you dealt with it.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

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.

Humidity Levels – Should You Dry Hatch Guinea Fowl Eggs?

I have been asked about hatching guinea fowl eggs,

“The only query I have is that the man who sold me the eggs said that he “dry hatches” by which I presume he does not put any water in the reservoir – what do you think?  Lesley”

My response was:

Hi Lesley,

I have always added water when I incubated guinea fowl eggs but the hatch rates have varied. The eBook talks about what the incubator normally recommends. I know that it is recommended that you don’t add too much water when incubating quail eggs until the last few days. I recently incubated quail eggs and only put a small amount of water in throughout the incubation period until 3 days before hatch when I topped up the trays and I had 30 out of 42 hatch successfully within minutes of each other. I realise this isn’t guinea fowl but just wanted to pass on the info & experiences I’ve had.

I would recommend keeping a record of water added so that you can look back and see when and how much water was added and then if the hatch is successful you can repeat this but if the hatch is not so successful you have a record of what you did so that you can think about changes.

Guinea fowl eggs have very hard shells so I think I would ask the man who sold you them if he adds water at all or just at the end of the incubation. I thought that the humidity is important in the latter stages of the hatch as this helps the guinea fowl to break through the shell and keep the membrane from drying against the guinea fowl as it starts to hatch.

I will ask about this on my forum and see if anyone has advice about it as well.

I live in the UK and was only introduced to guinea fowl about 5 years ago. I think they are beautiful birds and am always amazed at how they respond to my voice when I want them to go in the hut at night so that the fox doesn’t get them. Their eggs are also delicious.

Good luck with your hatch.

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

Lesley then asked,

Hi Sara,

Thanks for the information.  The guy I bought the eggs from said that he only adds water at the end of the incubation period.   Do you know what your humidity levels were for the successful hatch that you had?  I find it hard to know what to do.
Thanks again.
Lesley

Hi Lesley, Unfortunately I have not kept records of the water added to the incubator when hatching guinea fowl eggs. I will have to listem more carefully to what I am recommend to others!! In the Guinea Fowl Past And Present book written by Michael Roberts it says have the humidity at 65% until day 25 and then up to day 28 have it increase to 80%.

I also have Gardening With Guineas by Jeanette S Ferguson

and she says to keep the water reservoirs water levels maintained throughout incubation and keep them filled to full capacity during the final days.

My incubator has two trays and it says to just fill one throughout the incubation and then for the last three days to fill both.

I have just read Incubation At Home by Michael Roberts

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and he says when an egg is incubating it needs to lose 14% of it’s weight and this is done by losing moisture so it’s important not to put too much water in the incubator. He suggests putting half a cup in at setting and then add no more until the day before hatching and then fill the trays.

I agree it is confusing and I think it is confusing when different sites or people suggest different things. I would look at the instructions on the incubator you have as each incubator is different.

I would also definately try to keep a record. This is something I will do next time so I can look back at what I did!   Hope this information is useful.

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

Any advice about humidity levels and amount of water to put in the incuabtor when hatching guinea fowl eggs would be great or if you follow the dry hatch method I would like to hear from you about how successful you have found it when hatching guinea fowl eggs.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

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.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this incubator or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

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).

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Water For Guinea Fowl

I have been asked if guinea fowl can drink out of a stream.

Guinea fowl drink water but can go for quite long periods of time without water as they originate from a hot, dry country.

When guinea fowl free range they will happily drink water where ever they can find it, so I would assume that they would drink water from a stream if they were able to get close to the edge of the stream.

If you have experience of guinea fowl drinking from a stream then please let us know.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

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.

Can Guinea Fowl Tell If Eggs Are Fertile?

I have been asked an interesting question about whether a guinea fowl hen can tell if the eggs she is sitting on are fertile.

My guinea fowl’s mate died about two months ago, but she’s been laying on eggs for a few weeks now. Would she be able to tell if her eggs were infertile? We also have chickens, is it possible she could have taken over one of their nests? Sydney

Hi Sydney,
Thanks for your question about guinea fowl sitting on eggs. I was under the impression that hens can tell if the eggs are fertile as they can feel movement in the latter stages of incubation, but I could be wrong.

I wonder if the eggs that she is sititng on are the hens, maybe you can move the guinea hen abit to see as I know from experience it takes alot to disturb a guinea fowl hen once she has gone broody so just lifting up her feathers to see the eggs may not disturb her, but I would use a long stick to do this as she may be aggressive and the peck of a broody guinea fowl hurts!

Any eggs that your guinea fowl hen lays are not likely to be fertile if she is not running with any guinea fowl and you say that her mate died 2 months ago which I am sorry to hear.

I posted your question on my forum here http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=190 and one of the members Sarah posted a reply. My ducks definitley sorted out was was good and what wasn’t. They put the unviable ones under the straw as if they were burying them and left them to go cold. Being their first brood, they did unfortunately leave two eggs in the nest that had gone off, but i think that may be because they laid so many in the first place. None of the eggs they discarded were viable. Sarah L
Hope this helps. Let us know how she gets on.

Kind regards
sara @ farmingfriends

If you have any experience of guinea fowl or other poultry working out which eggs are fertile then please leave a comment.

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.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

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).

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