We have 3 different kind of Guineafowl that we work with, Vulturine, Pearl and White Helmeted . Both have their own unique qualities and are new additions to the farm. We hope to be able to offer them both to the public starting in 2019.
The vulturine guineafowl is a large (24–28 in) bird with a round body and small head. Though it is similar in shape to its domestic relatives, it has longer wings, neck, legs and tail. The adult has a bare blue face and black neck, and an unfeathered head that looks particularly like a vulture.
The slim neck comes out from a cape of long, glossy, blue and white hackles. The breast is cobalt blue, and the rest of the body plumage is black, finely dotted with white.
The male and females are similar, although the female is usually slightly smaller than the male and with smaller tarsal spurs. Young birds are mainly grey-brown, with a duller blue breast and short hackles.
The vulturine is social and inquisitive and with a little patience and treats can become quite tame. At our farm their main source of food is a high protein game bird feed and fresh fruits. They are given weekly treats of live crickets which have been helpful in taming them. They have a quieter call then their relatives with a chink-chink-chink sound when alerted and little peeps when they are happy.
They are very content to live in large flocks but pair up during the breeding season. They are seasonal layers of barely a dozen eggs and generally do not start to lay until after their second year.
Being very susceptible to the cold, they need to have a heat source available once the temperatures go below freezing.
Domesticated more than 4,000 years ago by the Egyptians, Guinea Fowl are native of Africa. The helmeted guinea fowl is a large bird with a round body and small head and weigh between 3-4 lbs. The body plumage is blue-gray marked with pearl-like white spots and an unfeathered bluish-white head. It has a light brown helmet, bony knob, and coral red wattles. The wings are large, wide and strong . The body is fairly long, deep and well rounded and it's tail is short and carried low.
Like their relatives, they are a curious and social bird that live in large flocks. They are exceptional tick eaters and love to find any bug or grub and even mice to satisfy their tastes.
They have a very loud harsh call when they are excited or someone or something strange comes near them.
They are seasonal layers and can lay large amounts of eggs if they are regularily removed and incubated.
The American Poultry Association only recognizes 3 Varieties of Helmeted Guinea, Lavender, Pearl and White. We chose to start with Pearl and have been able to acquire some nice birds.