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Pearl Guineas

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Guinea hen’s popularity seems to be on the rise. They go by several names, but the most common are Guinea Fowl and Pet Speckled Hen.

These peculiar-looking birds are quite the talk of the town wherever they are seen. Guinea chickens are a strange-looking bird to be sure, once seen, never forgotten.

They are dramatically different from chickens in personality and habits. However, if the owner is prepared, they can make a wonderful bird.

The Guinea fowl belong to the Numida family – they are related to pheasants, turkeys, and other game fowl.

The Guinea fowl belong to the Numida family – they are related to pheasants, turkeys, and other game fowl.

Guineas are highly social with their own kind; where one goes, they all go. If one gets lost, it will call out until the flock comes to find it.

They can co-exist with other species, such as chickens, but you must take care of male Guinea fowl. The males can become very territorial and will run off any roosters in your flock.

They can be bullies to smaller birds, and the pecking order can become very brutal, but if you raise them with chicks, this is usually less of a problem.

Since they are semi-domesticated at best, it is not unusual to find them roosting in trees or other high places come dusk.

Each evening, many folks entice them into the coop with fresh water and a feed/cracked grain mix.

They apparently dislike entering a dark place, so you should keep a low output light bulb until they are all settled in.

If you decide to keep your guineas in confinement, they need 2-3 square foot space per bird. Any less and they are likely to become stressed.

Remember, these are semi-wild fowl and do not generally thrive in confinement.

Guinea fowl are seasonal layers. Depending on your location, they will lay daily between March/April to September/October; on average, a hen will lay around 100 eggs per season.

Their eggs are smaller than chicken eggs and are very hard-shelled. The eggs are light brown and speckled and are also vibrant eating.

Guineas aren’t fussy about where they lay an egg. Anywhere they happen to be will do.

However, when they decide to make a nest, you will be hard-pressed to find it! They prefer woods, long grass – anything that will hide them from predators.

The male will stand guard for the hen and watch for danger during the daylight hours.

Often Guineas are ‘communal’ layers, all laying in one nest until there are sufficient eggs. 50 is not unheard of! The hens can be communal brooders, too, taking turns in nest sitting.

Guinea chickens have almost no health issues to speak of.

This is an extremely hardy bird in most climates but does not like wet or cold snow. They come from Africa originally, so climate problems are to be anticipated.

They whip around, forcing dislocation of the hips or knees.

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