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How to rear domestic guinea fowls

By Alex Wachira
It takes about six to seven months for a guinea fowl to mature. George Ouma lifts his Guinea Fowl birds at his village in Imbo village, Rangwe in Homabay county. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

 

Domestic guinea fowls are edible and reared for their meat, eggs, and ornamental value.

Their waste also makes good manure which is used on the farm to boost soil fertility.

Guinea fowls’ meat is considered delicious white meat reported to have a game tasting flesh with a heartier flavor and leaner than chicken meat and is enriched with more protein.

They are easy to keep as they eat feed similar to other poultry such as chicken.

A farmer who is willing to rear guinea fowls has to get a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Services with the license going for Sh1,500 and it is renewable every year.

Guinea fowls, however, are very noisy by nature thus not suitable to rear in residential areas.

Major species of guinea fowls reared in Kenya according to online website nafis.go.ke include The red wattle helmet guinea fowl, blue wattle helmeted guinea fowl, and the vulturine or bald-headed guinea fowl.

The red is the most commonly domesticated guinea fowl in Kenya and a more economic type.

The blue is occasionally domesticated and found in fewer numbers among farmers.

The vulturine are rarely domesticated and are found in the northeastern region. They are the largest amongst guinea fowls’ species.

It takes about six to seven months for a guinea fowl to mature.

The common guinea fowl weighs about two kilograms when mature notes livestockkenya.com

A mature guinea fowl goes for about Ksh2500 and above.

Layers lay about 70 to 100 eggs every year. Their eggs are reportedly tastier than chickens’.

Their eggs have a hard shell that provides minimum breakage and low keeping quality.

They start laying eggs after five months and they lay an egg a day.

Guinea fowls lay eggs for three months before brooding. The eggs take 26 to 28 days to hatch.

Domesticated guinea fowls rarely incubate eggs thus need for a farmer to improvise and use incubators or turkeys for incubation.

Guinea chicks are known as keets. Keets need to be brooded for about four weeks to avoid mortality due to chilling highlights livestockkenya.com.

Turkeys are hardly likely to lose their young ones as they are very protective of them.

A farmer who purchases commercial feeds start them with starter mash then growers mash after two months and layers mash for layers a month before they start laying eggs.

Guinea fowls are basically grazers but generally feed on a wide range of food such as grains, insects such as ticks and cricket, vegetables, and kitchen leftovers.

Food should be provided and kept in the house for them to have a reason to return and stay and not fly away.

The farmer should also ensure to provide them with clean drinking water.

Guinea Fowls require a dry coop and well-ventilated cages, raised rails for patching and resting after feeding and that protects them from predators.

Guinea fowls are however roaming birds reared free-range. They prefer to walk around freely thus require a lot of space.

When you get your guinea fowl, keep them locked up for at least 10 weeks so they can get to understand where home is.

They protect other domestic poultry and the home from strangers and predators by making high peached sounds in case of intrusion adds nafis.go.ke.

They are not as vulnerable to infectious diseases like chicken thus the farmer suffers fewer losses.

A farmer should, however, remember to vaccinate them one time to avoid common poultry diseases.

Common diseases that affect guinea fowls are fowl pox and Newcastle.

Deworming should also be done after every three months to keep them free of worms.

Predators that attack guinea fowls that a farmer should be aware of include dogs and hawks.

 

 

 

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