GRIT Country Skills Series

RAISING Guinea Fowl on Your Farm

Poultry can make a great addition to your farm or small homestead. In How to Raise Poultry (Voyageur Press, 2011), Christine Heinrichs provides all of the information you need to successfully raise a flock of birds. This excerpt provides information on raising guinea fowl.

Raising Guinea Fowl

Guinea fowl are African birds that are still common, in many species and subspecies, in the wild. The diversity of African climates has influenced development of varied guinea fowl.

Many people keep them as insect-control birds. They eat all kinds of pests, including deer ticks, an important point for those who live in areas threatened by Lyme disease. They consume Japanese beetles, wasps, and other pests, but, unlike chickens, don’t scratch and dig up the garden.

Guinea fowl are credited with killing and eating small snakes and rodents. Sharon Wilson of Texas witnessed them killing a 6-foot snake at a guinea fowl farm. Their screeching alone is said to discourage rodents. Jeannette S. Ferguson has written an entire book called Gardening With Guineas.

Then again, their screeching may discourage you and annoy your neighbors.

My husband finds they’re unbearably annoying; however, R.H. Hastings describes their constant, loud chatter as “A running commentary on the nature of the food” that “will fetch other guineas from many yards away to share the delicacy.”

The positive side of this characteristic is that they serve as excellent watchdogs and will warn you of

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