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Guinea Fowl Production and Management

Gomani, is an Agribusiness Consultant who studied Agribusiness Management

Guinea Fowl Production

Guinea Fowl Production

Guinea Fowl Production

Guinea fowl production is an emerging agribusiness which offers an opportunity for food and income in different countries. The set up capital for Guinea fowl production is very low since they can be kept under the free range system where they can be left to scavenge in searching for their feeds and a little additional feed can be provided in the form of maize grains. Comparing with other poultry birds, Guinea fowl are able to withstand adverse conditions much better and give a better results unlike other poultry birds.

Reasons for raising Guinea fowl

  1. Some people keep Guinea fowl to act as a natural alarm whenever something strange occurs on their farm.
  2. Ability of Guinea fowl to resist pests and diseases. If we compare Guinea fowl and chickens, Guinea fowl are able to withstand diseases which chickens can not be able to resist.
  3. Some people use Guinea fowl as a control tool since they are able to kill and eat pests like mice.
  4. The major reason is that people keep Guinea fowl for mean and market purposes.
  5. Guinea fowl are able to tolerate free range conditions which encourage farmers to keep them under small start up capital.
  6. Guinea fowl produces many eggs, about 100 of eggs each year on average, making them prolific layers.

Three main varieties of Guinea fowl

The three commonly kept Guinea fowl Varieties are; pearl, white and lavender. Pearl varieties are commonly raised by smallholder farmers and its feathers are used for ornamental purposes.


Management Systems

Guinea fowl can be kept under the three management system, namely; extensive, semi-intensive and intensive.

Extensive system (free range)

This system uses low input capital and Guinea fowl are left to scavenge. Guinea fowl sleeps in trees. Under this system, the birds are prone to predators.

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Semi-intensive system

Under this system, a Guinea fowl house is provided and the birds are left free during the day and water may be provided. Supplement feeds are given under this system.

Intensive system

Under this system Guinea fowl are confined to a house and everything is provided to them, thus both feeds and water among others. The system offers full protection to Guinea fowl.

Housing

Make sure you provide a house which is able to provide shelter to your Guinea fowl against cold weather conditions and some predators. Confined Guinea fowl should be given enough space to allow freedom of movement. Make sure you provide feeds to confirmed Guinea fowl. A space of 2 to 3 square feet may be provided to confined Guinea fowls per Guine. Guinea can fly to a height of 400 to 500 ft, even at their early stage so make sure you monitor their movement.

Feeding

Mostly Guinea fowl are able to search their feeds themselves successfully on a free range system. On free range they are able to feed weeds, insects and arachnid among others. When possible, you can provide them with supplemental feeds and clean water. The supplemental feeds can be in the form of maize grains, wheat, sorghum, just to mention a few. You do not need to provide supplemental feeds in case, you are keeping them for pest controls and this will encourage them to eat your targeted pests. If Guinea fowl are kept for marketing purposes, make sure you provide them with all required feeds and water and make sure your Guinea does not allow to go out scavenging. In Guinea fowl production, supplemental feeds in form of pellet is not recommended. Under commercial Guinea fowl production, commercial feeds given to chickens are also given to Guinea fowl. Giving Guinea fowl broiler finisher mash is also not recommended.


Brooding and Rearing

During first two weeks Guinea fowl are prone to dampness after hatching, therefore, make sure you provide a similar brooding system to that of chickens. After two weeks they will be able to start withstanding most of the adverse conditions themselves.

Hatching your own keets

One male Guinea fowl can have 4 to 5 females for breeding. Guinea fowl are known to wander off in pairs for mating, make sure you collect eggs and you can use your local chickens to hatch the fertilized eggs. You can give your local chicken about 30 eggs and this will produce at least 25 keets.


Health

Despite their natural ability to withstand adverse conditions, Guineas are susceptible to the same diseases which attack chickens, same applies to parasites and other pests which attack poultry birds. For this reason you can provide a similar health care to those of chickens.

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