Friday, October 9, 2015

Guinea Fowl – A Rather Interesting Bird

Guinea fowl hanging out with wild turkey.

A while back, I wrote a post on a guinea fowl that was hanging out with the wild turkey that were coming through our place, Does This Guinea Think He Is A Turkey? I did some research on this unique looking bird and thought you might enjoy reading some of what I learned. 

The Guinea fowl is native to South Africa where it is commonly raised for food. They were introduced to the US as well as many other countries for their meat which is mostly dark meat with a slightly wild taste. They are also raised for their eggs. Guinea eggs are higher in protein than chicken eggs and are about twice the size of a large chicken egg. 

Close up of a guinea fowls head.

The “helmeted” guinea, such as seen here is about the size of a large chicken. It has a round body and its head is small for its size. It is similar to its cousin the turkey as its head is featherless, however the guinea has a crest on top. It also has bright red waddles similar to the turkey but the guineas waddles are around its beak. Their plumage is quite beautiful with their dark gray or black feather and white polka dots and is very popular in clothing and jewelry.

Guineas are famous for helping control garden pest such as grasshoppers and many people use them instead of chemical pest control. They are also wonderful for reducing the tick population and with threat of Lyme disease we can always use fewer ticks around!

Helmeted Guinea roosting in a tree.

Guineas are also very territorial birds and do not like visitors or any kind. They will “alert” by screeching and let you know when unwanted visitors such as skunks, opossum, raccoon, fox, coyotes or other such predators come around. Guineas have even known to group together and catch and kill snakes. They will also alert you when unfamiliar humans come calling as well!

Guineas watching themselves in a mirror.

 The guinea can be a rather comical bird at times. Watching them as they chase grasshopper and each other around can be quite amusing. Guineas also love to watch themselves in the mirror. I’m not sure if it is because they think it is an unfamiliar guinea and they want to run it off or if they just enjoy looking at themselves, but many people have placed a mirror in their “guinea yard” and watched the birds as they try to figure where this “other” bird is. 

For more detailed information on the Helmeted Guinea, click on the link below:
The Guinea Fowl - Interesting Facts and Information