Sunday, 30 October 2011

Guinea Fowls Rearing

Guinea fowls is native to Africa and has  been domesticated in the united states of America and other countries all over the world for food, as pets and as a hobby .Guinea fowls are beautiful birds which come in a variety of colors such as white, grey, pearl grey, lavender and violet. Therefore guinea fowl rearing is innovative and unique non traditional farm enterprise, which can be adopted by the youth in Africa as an agro-tourism activity, bringing visitors to the farm for increased income. However in some African countries like Kenya, guinea fowl keeping is controlled by the wildlife act, and one has to obtain a permit from Kenya wildlife services before starting to rear the bird.

Rearing guinea fowls is very easy as they are able to live with local hens and share the poultry house. Guinea fowls should be purchased as young chicks so that they can get used to their environment in order to get tamed like hens. Guinea fowls can be very noisy when upset particularly when enemies like rats or hawks are in the vicinity, and are a good as early warning system.

Feeding: Guinea fowls are cheap to keep as they eat a lot of grass and other greenery particularly when kept outdoors. They also eat layers pellets used to feed hens which can be mixed with corn for a special treat.Young chicks which are called keets are fed on chick crumbs for the first six weeks, and then growers pellets from 6-20 weeks.

Laying eggs: One guinea fowl will lay 70-100 eggs per year. They are not fussy about where they lay their eggs and it can be in the open ground or in the bush.

Brooding: The easiest way is to use a broody bird to lie on the eggs as it will keep the chicks warm, teach them how to scratch for food and warn them of any danger. Otherwise if an incubator is used the humidity should be kept low, as a change of weather and high humidity can destroy a whole batch of eggs.

Once birds are well grown decide which ones to keep and sell the rest, and you may keep several hens and one cock in a flock. They are quite tame but occasionally will fly up a tree or a roof when disturbed at dusk. You can leave them overnight as they are quite safe off the ground.