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Benefit of Guinea Fowl

While they may seem exotic, with thier beautiful bald blue heads and crazily spotted plummage, there are few birds that are as trouble free and benefical in the garden or on a working farm as the guinea fowl.

Few other poultry provide the insect cleanup, snake and fox alarm security and sheer entertainment of Guinea Fowl.

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The hens are a seasonal provider of eggs much smaller but similar in flavour and composition to the chicken, and the males provide the tastiest escalopes of tender moist meat fit for a king.

Guineafowl are equipped with strong claws and scratch in loose soil for food much like domestic chickens, but are much less destructive in the garden as they seldom uproot growing plants.

Guineafowl naturally consume massive quantities of bugs including ticks, which is one reason they are favoured and sought after in cattle country, particular in Queensland and northern NSW. Their diet consists of a variety of animal and plant food; seeds, fruits, greens, snails, spiders, worms and insects, frogs, lizards, small snakes and small mammals.

Guinea's make loud harsh calls when disturbed. They will raise an alarm when an eagle, fox or dog is in the vicinity and are said to keep snakes at bay (their continuous scratching and moving apparently upsets the snakes desire to bask).

Guineafowl are great runners, and can walk 10 km and more in a day. These birds are terrestrial, and prone to run rather than fly when alarmed. Like most gallinaceous birds, they have a short-lived explosive flight and rely on gliding to cover extended distances. Their flesh is rich and succulent and well suited to braising or gentle pan searing and they are every bit as exotic as grouse, pheasant and partridge. 

Caring for Guinea Fowl Keets

Caring for guinea fowl chicks , called keets, is complex- they need careful feed rations and warmth indoors for at least six weeks-which is why they are expensive birds to buy-but once ready to go out into the paddock the Guinea is trouble free like most medium-sized, mainly ground-feeding domestic or game birds.