Home > Keeping Guinea Fowl
Articles and guides to help you keep guineafowl at home or on a smallholding.
The domesticated guinea fowl has kept much of its wild nature, so don’t thrive being confined to a run. They are popular with smallholders where there is a little bit of space for them to roam. Keeping guinea fowl is useful for removing bugs from the garden because they won’t scratch the ground like chickens, but care should be taken on where they are kept because they can be noisy at times with their calling and can disturb you or your close neighbours.
Guinea fowl originate from West Africa and can still be seen in the wild in Africa to this day.
There is evidence of them arriving in Europe during the 16th century when they were popular as table birds and were prized for their rich-tasting eggs. There are still lots of guinea fowl sold in France for the table, although they are less popular in the UK and you will have to go to the largest supermarkets to find them. Guinea fowl with garlic and rosemary remains a popular dish in France.
Guinea fowl are experts at flying and can fly almost vertically when they want to. They prefer to perch in trees if they can, and I’ve had many failed attempts at catching mine. There have been times where they have spent a night perched on the roof of our house or garage rather than going into their house!
You can clip a wing to stop them flying, but guinea fowl need a reasonable area to roam, so a large run or free range of a large garden or smallholding is usually the best for them.
A small flock of guineas can also be useful as an alarm. They are observant and make a lot of noise if a predator, such as a fox, is in their territory.
Keeping guinea fowl is certainly a bit different from other poultry, but you can gradually introduce them into the same run used by your chickens with care.
The main concern when keeping guinea fowl is making sure they are roosting somewhere safe. If you can provide a hen-house with a high roosting area, they will certainly use this, but if you have tall trees nearby, be careful they don’t end up free-range roosting!
There is further information in Anne’s Beginners Guide to Keeping Guinea Fowl.
Guinea fowl with garlic and rosemary isn’t difficult to cook and makes a great alternative to chicken. It has a slightly gamey taste, but this is very subtle and not as strong as pheasant. Garlic and rosemary work extremely well with this flavoursome meat