Guinea fowl is a striking bird, a peculiar appearance of which resembles a Turkey and a chicken. Homeland Guinea fowl of West Africa, and from there in the sixteenth century they were introduced to Europe.
A little later an exotic bird became interested in Russia. At the time it was bred in their yards rich as a decorative breed, so Guinea fowl is still called Royal birds.
Later, on the territory of our country, they were used in agriculture. Although Guinea fowl in backyards can be found very rarely, today this relative of chickens, quails and turkeys is becoming increasingly popular among the breeders of domestic birds. This is not surprising because this species of birds require minimal maintenance and feeding, are resistant to many diseases, with good care it can withstand even heavy frosts. And due to the peculiar appearance of the beautiful Guinea fowl can become an ornament of the poultry-yard.
What kind of bird Guinea fowl – description
Appearance the Guinea fowl retains the features closest relatives, chickens and turkeys. Birds have an oval and elongated body, with soft and thick feathers, a short neck and a small head with characteristic outgrowths. All members of the species have a strong and powerful legs. Guinea fowl can fly, so small age it is usually hamstring.
Females and males are very similar in appearance, but there is a significant difference in their behavior. The most active and aggressive are all males, besides the feathers, they have a lighter color and the Horny growths on the head, more and larger than in female animals.
The virtues of the Royal bird
- Exotic appearance. Bird Guinea fowl very beautiful, bright and attracts attention, therefore, some growers plant them just to decorate their infield.
- Earliness. Young birds grow very fast, by three months their weight can reach 1.5 kg.
- The meat has a delicate taste, reminiscent of game, quite nutritious, but low-fat, contains a lot of protein, hemoglobin and all the necessary vitamins. Judging by the consumer testimonials, it is recognized as the best taste from the meat of all poultry.
- High egg production. Guinea fowl for a year can apply from 80 to 120 eggs. Size them a little less chicken, but the nutritional value and amount of content of nutrients exceeds them several times. These eggs do not cause allergies, as they have a fairly strong shell can be stored in a cool place for about 6 months and it does not affect their taste.
- Birds have a high immunity, their resistance to various diseases is much higher than in other representatives of domestic breeds and can easily adapt to any climatic conditions.
- Destroys harmful insects, worms, caterpillars, and most importantly, the fowl is the only bird that is with great pleasure that eat Colorado potato beetles.
- The feathers of this breed are highly valued, their use for the manufacture of various decorations, including false eyelashes.
Homemade Guinea fowl love to walk in the garden, where they find additional sustenance as various beetles and larvae. Birds don’t need to keep only to the cabbage, otherwise they can spoil, risklevel all the cabbages. On the field, free from sowing, the birds destroy the weeds, pick the remaining seeds. African chickens prefer to dwell in the gardens, where many green spaces with lush grass and lush bushes.
Purchase Guinea fowl, breeding and maintenance in the home, it simple, it always impresses its owners calm behaviour, high productivity and friendliness towards other Pets. But it is worth considering that the weight of the adults and figures of egg production may depend on a specific breed of these birds.
In Russia, farmers often contain the following types of Guinea fowl:
- Gray-speckled. The most common and popular breed today. This species of birds has a very tasty meat, and for the year homemade Guinea fowl can carry about 100 eggs. Color them light gray, and on his head almost has no feathers around the beak are strong growths.
- Siberian white. This breed has excellent resistance to low temperature and harsh climate conditions and egg production in these domestic chickens is very high. The plumage of the birds is white, they are the most docile and calm compared to other members of the species, also very low maintenance.
- Blue. This breed appeared due to the grey-speckled Guinea fowl to. Color in birds is a very beautiful gray with blue tint and black spots on the feathers. A good indicator of egg laying up to 120 eggs per year.
- Volga. The species has great qualities, maturity and the ability to carry over one year 100-120 eggs. Chickens breed is very viable, their survival rates of around 90%. Kind and pleasant color feather bird – pale cream color.
The main advantages of the domestic Guinea fowl that their meat and eggs are wonderful taste and contain large amounts of nutrients, as well as this African chicken has a very original and beautiful appearance, so it is possible to be engaged in its cultivation and for decorative purposes.
The behavior of the Guinea fowl at home
The Royal bird is hardy, active and smart. Their main feature is a strong fearfulness. If they will feed often and stay close always one and the same person, the birds get used to it, accept as his master, and always will. But strangers and animals of these exotic chickens react negatively. If they see about his dwelling place someone unfamiliar, it may be very frightened and raise a shout and the noise.
The contents of Guinea fowl at home is not difficult. They can live in one house in the neighborhood with ducks, chickens, turkeys. With all other types of domestic birds Guinea fowl get along pretty well, but if someone tries to hurt them, then it can protect itself.
African Chicks like to be on the outside, a lot of walking, they need space. If they are constantly kept in a closed barn or, worse, in Kedah birds will cease to breed, so the decision to breed Guinea fowl, you must provide them with all necessary conditions for comfortable stay.
The content of the Royal birds and care for them
On large poultry breeders are successfully coping with caring for exotic birds as well and fans small household without problems contain and have been breeding Guinea fowl in the home. It is slightly more difficult than keeping chickens or ducks and care for them.
The conditions of detention
Guinea fowl to feel comfortable in your yard, fast growing and not sick, when their contents have to consider several conditions:
- The house in which will live Guinea fowl should always be dry, airy and draught-free, and must make way for them. On the floor you can put straw or sawdust to fill. Certainly the presence of drinking bowls with fresh water and feeders. In winter the temperature should be no higher than 10-15 degrees, as at higher temperatures the birds start to lose weight.
- Summer can provide your chickens a spacious aviary, as in an enclosed space breeding will be less effective. The cage must enclose the high grid to the Guinea fowl could not fly it.
- The coop should not be stuffy, the presence of fresh air – a prerequisite for birds. There is always a need to be clean, time to clean cages, feeders and waterers. You should regularly carry out disinfection of the premises, depends on the health of birds.
- Necessarily need the presence of a lit spot in the cage, where the Guinea fowl will come to bask in the cold period. And there must be corners where there is shade to the hens chose their location.
- In one cell cannot contain poultry of different breeds, they can fight among themselves. If you want different kinds lived together, then you need to teach them to each other from a young age.
- The Guinea fowl needed long paddock, they love freedom. In places where they often like to be desirable to put a high and thick grass, bushes, shrubs and trees, you can even make a little shelter from the rain and your African chicken appreciate this very much.
Feeding African chickens
Guinea fowl are very undemanding in food and can eat absolutely everything – special feed for poultry, fruit, vegetables, food waste, green grass. Their most favorite treat – a variety of insects, larvae and snails. This species is very helpful to combat such well-known pests of the crop as the Colorado beetle. They find these insects in the garden and fun to eat.
Most of the time this species spends in the paddock, so in the summer the birds feed mainly on themselves. In the winter they are fed differently cooked porridge, adding to waste meat, give milk, animal feed, and various kinds of grains, fish oil. Typically, adult birds are fed 3 times a day, but if the feeders will always be fresh food, then your chickens can eat when you want.
There are a few rules of Royal feeding birds:
- Note that each cell must be one feeder and a drinking bottle, otherwise the birds will fight with each other.
- Guinea fowl can be fed the same as normal chickens. In the feed, you can add different vegetables, and in winter it is preferable to give milk, dairy products, meat waste.
- This bird species is omnivorous, we can offer our feathered companions all: grain, cereals, fruits and berries, vegetables and herbs.
- Chicks it is better to start to feed chopped egg yolk, mixed with onions, and a few days gradually add to the mix any greens. You can then translate to the younger kids on feed containing grain.
- Adult birds should be feed 3-4 times a day, but if the food is in the feeder, your chickens will be satisfied at any time if necessary.
The breeding of Guinea fowl
If you decide to breed Guinea fowl in the home this will not be particularly difficult. Just need to follow some rules so that this process was more successful and the light appeared healthy offspring.
First, you need to carefully select the future parents for one representative male must have five females to provide a male choice, as they are by their nature quite selective when mating.
In the breeding season it is necessary it is necessary to release the birds in the long paddock and do not keep them in a closed enclosure, otherwise their fertility is significantly reduced.
After collection, fertilized eggscan be stored for two weeks, the sharp ends down. As Guinea fowl are rarely good mothers in the future, the Chicks should develop in the incubator, or enclose eggs chicken hen for hatching.
For the full maturation in the incubator the eggs Royal birds need higher humidity than, for example, chicken or goose. The duration of incubation about 27 days.
How to care for Chicks
Raising Chicks in the brooder, but it is better to choose adoptive mother among chickens or turkeys, because of the king of birds, unfortunately, maternal instinct is rather poorly developed.
Born kids it is best to keep in a wooden box, there must be a hen. To the Chicks is sick, this temporary house must be protected from rain and cold wind.
Two weeks after the birth of little Guinea fowl need to allocate a certain place of residence. Will be very good if there on the floor will be sand, so the chickens quickly learn to walk properly. It is very important to protect babies from cold rain, because they can quickly catch a cold.
To produce on the paddock Chicks can be 10-12 days, you only need to ensure that they were not on the wet ground. Be aware that kids are quite independent in nature and may initially hide from the owner and a foster mom to some secluded place. But if you show patience, to constantly try to plant them under a hen, then eventually they will start to listen and get used to a new way of life.