Native African insect and seed-eating, ground-nesting bird in the Galliformes order and the Numididae family. There are two different types of guineafowl known today, Helmeted Guinea Fowl and Tufted Guinea Fowl that are known for their helmeted or horn like heads.
A domesticated male helmeted guinea fowl or tufted guinea fowl may show aggression towards other males during mating season. They will raise their wings upward and toward the side to make themselves look fearsome and they will sometimes rush at one another with an open beak. These birds travel in a large or small flock as a natural protective instinct. These birds are not very social towards humans unless handled when first hatched and continued to be handled by humans on a day to day basis.
Height: 21- 23 inches (53–58 cm)
Weight: 3 pounds (1.3 kg)
A bird coop, much like a chicken coop, should be provided as shelter from the weather or predators. When raising young guineas they will need an area that not predators can get into; rats, vultures, cats, dogs, fox, raccoon etc.. Raising the young in a coop till they reach adult hood will ensure that they known where "home" is. At night they will happily retreat back into their coop.
If provided with a bird coop, it should be cleaned weekly or as needed, change water on a daily basis and make sure any food containers are clean with fresh food. Hay or other bedding should be provided so the birds can make nests inside their coop. Since these animals should be allowed to free roam during the day, there should not be too much to clean up other than in the coop.
Free roaming guineas will eat a natural diet of insects and seeds but make sure they have access to fresh water. It is a good idea to have a pellet bird food or seed mix available as well. Guineafowl are known for eating large amounts of ticks that would otherwise spread lyme disease. A natural diet may consist of any other the following; seeds, fruits, greens, snails, spiders, worms and insects, frogs, lizards, small snakes and small mammals.
Domesticated guineafowl should be able to free roam a large wooded and open yard area so they have access to bug and seeds. Free roaming will provide them with plenty of exercise. These birds are terrestrial and very likely will run rather than fly from predators.
Guineafowl can live as long as 12 years, however, they are prey animals and tend to be picked off before reaching that age.
Guineafowl breed in warm, fairly dry and open habitats. The habitat is normally scattered with shrubs and trees such as savanna or farmland. A nest will be well hidden and will have a clutch of about 6-12 eggs. Nests with a larger amount of eggs are thought to be the result of other female guineas sharing the same nest. Incubation is about 26-28 days long. Domesticated guineahens tend to be poor mothers and will often leave a nest behind, abandoning potential young.
The domesticated guineafowl originated from West Africa at what was once called Guinea Coast. Today's guinea fowl were introduced into Europe during the late fifteenth century and have been taken to many other parts of the world after that.
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