Guinea Fowl

Guineafowl (also known as guineahen) are native to Africa, but the Helmeted Guineafowl has been domesticated, and both feral and wild-type birds have been introduced elsewhere.

This family of insect and seed-eating, ground-nesting birds resemble partridges, but with featherless heads.

Guineafowl are normally monogamous, mating for life. However, occasional bigamy has been recorded for the Helmeted Guineafowl. All guineafowl are social, and typically live in small groups.

Guineafowl generally reside in open habitats such as the savanna or in forests.

Guineafowl have a long history of domestication, mainly involving the Helmeted Guineafowl; in the UK they were usually known as “gleanies”. The young (called “keets”) are very small at birth. The keets are kept in a brooder box inside the house until about six weeks of age, before being moved into a proper coop or enclosure. They eat lice, worms, ants, spiders, weedseeds, and ticks while on range, or they can also eat chicken layer crumbles (chick mash) while housed in a coop. Guinea fowl are sometimes used to control ticks.

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