7 Reasons to Consider Raising Guinea Fowl On Your Homestead

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Looking to add a unique and versatile animal with many uses to your homestead? Try raising guinea fowl! Here are 7 reasons why you should consider it…

If you’ve never seen guinea fowl before, you will likely find their appearance quite intriguing.

With speckled black and white feathers, shiny black or bright white heads, and red eyes, these are quite interesting looking birds. Some varieties look somewhat similar to vultures, and others have red “helmets” on the top of their heads. But there is a lot more to recommend raising guineas on your homestead than just their unique appearance.

Here are just a few of the benefits of raising guinea fowl:

1. Pest Control

Guineas originate from Africa where they spent their days with rhinos. They pick ticks and other bugs off of their thick skin that they can’t reach themselves…

On a farm, they continue this behavior by eating bugs off of the ground… These fowl also catch and eat small snakes and other vermin, such as rats and mice. Another positive benefit of them scavenging for pests as a food source is that they get about 90 percent of their meals this way, so it costs less to feed them than other fowl who depend on grains for food.

2. Source of Food

Since guineas are not as protective of their eggs as chickens are, collecting them in the morning is fairly easy. The eggs are smaller than a chicken’s egg. They also have a richer flavor. The guineas themselves are a food source too… Guinea meat is low in fat and calories, which makes it a heart-healthy choice of protein.

3. Easy to Multiply

Guineas produce about the same amount of eggs that a chicken does, and their gestation period is only one week longer. This means you can multiply them almost as fast as chickens if you want to… However, guinea mothers often forget about the eggs that they lay…

So if you want to have a larger flock of this fowl, you might have to help care for the eggs by putting them in an incubator as soon as they are laid…

4. Friends to Other Animals

For the most part, guinea fowl get along well with other animals if they are raised with them. This includes other types of fowl…

5. Protection

It is difficult to sneak past a guinea without it alerting the other members of its flock with its loud call. They have also been known to gang up on predators that are attempting to attack one of them… Together, the fowl can act as an alarm system for a property…

For guinea to be used the most effectively in this way, a flock of more than six of them must be kept, and they cannot be caged up. Guineas are the happiest and the healthiest when they are allowed to roam freely and in a flock…

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6. Fertilizer

When guinea fowl are allowed to roam about and eat insects at their leisure, they produce rich droppings as they go that fertilize areas of soil. Their droppings from barns or hen houses that they are kept in can also be collected for gardens for this purpose. Or they can be thrown directly into a compost pile.

7. Weed Control

Unlike chickens…, guinea fowl generally leave most planted areas alone. However, they do peck at weeds that they find┬ásince they like a little vegetation in their diet. If they are kept in a fenced in yard, they will keep it free from nuisance dandelions or ragweed…

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Since this type of fowl originates from Africa, they are more acclimated to warmer weather. So if you live in a cold region, be sure to give them a heated shelter where they can stay warm and dry. They also need a source of fresh, clean water daily. And though they get most of their food from foraging, this is difficult to do during the winter season when many pests hibernate, so be prepared to offer more grains during this time of the year.

Read the full article at MotherEarthNews.com for more info on raising guinea fowl…

*** Please note that we will be taking a blogging break next week to spend the holidays with our families. We will be back in the New Year to share more helpful sustainable living ideas with you. In the meantime, we wish you a safe, sustainable, healthy, and happy holiday!

 

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