HomeOthersGuinea fowl farming is a potential alternate poultry farming system in Kenya

Guinea fowl farming is a potential alternate poultry farming system in Kenya

Commercial rearing of guinea fowl is at its infant stage in Kenya and this type of farming is generating a lot of interest. Guinea fowls are raised mainly for their flesh and eggs. The meat of guinea fowl is tender and nutritious with a fine flavor similar to other game birds.  It is lean and rich in essential fatty acids. Other people raise guinea fowls for their unique ornamental value. One limitation is that the guinea fowl is an extremely noisy bird and cannot be reared near to residential houses.

 

What are the advantages of rearing guinea fowl?

  • Guinea fowl meat is rich in vitamin and low in cholesterolGuinea fowl
  • They are hardy birds suitable to a wide range of climatic conditions
  • They consumes all non-conventional feeds not used in chicken feeding and have excellent foraging capabilities
  • They are resistant to many common diseases and more tolerant to mycotoxin and aflatoxin
  • They do not require complicated and expensive housing
  • The hard shell of their eggs provides minimum breakage and low keeping quality

Breeds of guinea fowls

Of the three domestic varieties (the pearl, the white and the lavender), the purplish colored pearl is the most common. There are several breeds of guinea fowl, but the most common are:

  • Numida meleagris, the common or red-wattled guinea fowl is a domestic strain of guinea fowl that is widespread throughout the world.
  • Numida ptilorhyncha, is common found in Madagascar and Reunion, both in the domestic and the wild state.

The common guinea fowl weighs about 2 kg when mature. The male is slightly smaller than the female making it less possible to differentiate between the two sexes.

Rearing systems of guinea fowls

There are three common methods of rearing guinea fowls.

Free range

This is the main rearing method and drinking water is provided.

 

Semi-free rearing

In this system a starter house is provided during the first three weeks of life. The chicks are then transferred to a rearing house equipped with perches and finally into an aviary. The structures communicate with a spacious enclosure made of a wire fence 1.5 to 2 m high. Restraining of keets intended for breeding is done to prevent the birds from flying away.

 

Intensive rearing

Intensive systems give better performance. Low light or dark houses are preferred to reduce possible flightiness and allow large number of birds to be raised.  Darkness and presence of perches reduce the bird’s timidity where it likes to hide and to remain motionless when afraid.  The housing can be made of earth floor or in batteries. If on earth floor the densities are from 3 to 5 birds per square metre. In modern breeding units guinea fowls are usually reared in batteries and artificially inseminated.

Breeding management

Guinea hens lay eggs for about 6-9 months. The egg laying period can be extended by using artificial lighting. Breeding birds can be put on free range or confined in houses during the laying period. Guinea fowls mate in pairs if males and females in the flock are equal in number. Some breeders practice artificial insemination to the birds where the birds are kept in cages with males being individually caged. Domestic roosters (Gallus sp.) are often crossed with guinea hens. The offsprings of the cross called “Guin-hens” are sterile.

 

Mating ratio

High fertility rates are obtained in flocks where male to female ratio is one to 5 or 6 females.

 

Feeding breeding stock

A layers mash containing 22 to 24% is given to the birds, beginning about a month before they start laying eggs. It is recommended that birds for breeding should be allowed to grow more slowly and naturally. Clean fresh water should always be available.

 

Egg production

Under good management a hen reared on soil can lay 100 or more eggs whereas caged guinea hens can lay 170 – 180 eggs over a 40 weeks laying period in one year. The hen can produce eggs for 2 to 3 years. Guinea fowl begin to lay eggs as early as 16-17 weeks. Laying occurs during the rainy season and few weeks that follow. A clutch size of 12 to 15 eggs is common. The eggs are smaller than that of chicken and weighs 40 g on average. The shells are very hard making it difficult to test for fertility by candling and may cause problems with artificial incubation.

 

Hatching egg collection

Hatching eggs should be collected four times a day. However, under extremes conditions more frequent collection is recommended. Eggs should be stored in a temperature range of 15.5-18.5oC and a relative humidity of 70-80%. If held for over 7 days before setting, hatchability declines progressively with increasing storage time.

 

Incubation

The normal incubation period for guinea eggs is 26 to 28 days. Eggs can be hatched either naturally or artificially. Natural methods of incubation are generally used in small flocks. For larger flocks, incubators are more satisfactory. Because guinea hens are usually too wild it is common to use chicken hens for hatching a small number of guinea eggs as they are more adaptable.

As soon as some of the guinea keets hatch and begin to move about, the guinea hen is likely to leave the nest, abandoning the eggs that are not hatched. These eggs may hatch if, while still warm, they are placed under another broody hen or in an incubator. Twelve to 15 eggs may be set under a guinea hen. It is necessary that hens are treated for lice before they are set. Forced-draft incubators should be operated at about 37.5 and 37.2oC and 57 to 58% humidity. During incubation, eggs must be turned regularly (minimum of three times) each day for the first 24 days for pure guineas and 21 days for crossbreds.

 

Rearing and brooding

Guinea chicks are known as keets. Keets need to be brooded for about 4 weeks to avoid mortality due to chilling. Day-old keets should be stocked at about 20/m2 allowing enough space to move away from the brooder if temperatures are too hot. Give access to outside pens by 10 weeks of age for birds reared under free range.

All types of poultry brooders are suitable for keets and should operate between 37oC and 37.5oC from day one and reduced by 4oC each week. Keets can be weaned at 4 weeks if the weather is suitable.

The stocking density for guinea fowls in intensive rearing is 10 birds / m2.  Guineas raised in broiler-style housing require about 900 cm2 of floor space per bird up to 14 weeks of age. Use wood shavings if brooding is on the floor. Place a rough cover over the wire mesh if keets are brooded on wire floor to prevent them from falling through. A smooth cover such as paper is not good because it can lead to leg problems.

Feeding guinea fowl

The starter diet should contain 24% protein and should be fed for the first 4 weeks. Grower ration of 20% protein should then be fed until 8 weeks of age and a finisher diet containing 16% protein fed until market age (14-16 weeks). At this age they should have reached average live weight of 2 kg.

In its lifetime, the guinea fowl consumes an average of 43 kg of feed, which is 12 kg during growing period and 31 kg during the laying period. The nutritional characteristics of guinea fowl feed is close to those for chicken, but percentage of lysine and methionine recommended for growth and laying are slightly higher.

Diseases

Domestic guinea fowl do not suffer from many pests and diseases as compared to chickens and other poultry. For example, guineas are more tolerant to NCD virus than chickens. Generally, most diseases of chickens affect guinea fowls.

Marketing

Guinea fowls are sold alive or dressed if sold to the hotels and restaurants. The birds are usually dressed and scalded in the same way as chickens. Guinea fowls are ready for the market at 16 to 18 weeks of age. At this age their live weight is 1.25 to 1.47 kg with dressed weight of 1.02 and 1.25 kg. A guinea fetches Kshs 1000 to 1500 depending on the weight of the bird. Producers need to be certain of the demand before embarking on large-scale production.


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Allan
+7 # Allan 2012-03-15 13:38
how can one get the eggs of guinea fowls. where are they sold?
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OBOTE SAMUEL
-2 # OBOTE SAMUEL 2013-07-24 15:41
I have over 50 guinea fowl eggs. my small farm is in Muhoroni constituency, Kisumu county, NE Kano location, Wangaya II sub-location, Kapiyo village, my phone no. 0721981203.
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chris
+1 # chris 2012-03-29 11:20
thanks so much for this info. am intending to start Guinea farming and didnt have even the basics on where to start. on my emails please send me more info on this subject
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Peter in Nairobi
0 # Peter in Nairobi 2013-01-19 14:21
Contact me on 0729795208 i can connect you to Guinea fowl chicks or even fully grown ones
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brose
0 # brose 2013-04-15 13:58
peter i need chicks if not eggs...
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Nellie Waruinge
0 # Nellie Waruinge 2013-09-30 08:01
Am interested in rearing guinea fowls (chicks) please advise availability and price.
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Dominic
0 # Dominic 2014-06-27 14:50
My name is Dominic,what is the cost of a grown up guinea? I need 2 female and 1 male. Plz reply
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mwangimaina
0 # mwangimaina 2012-03-29 12:34
how can one get the eggs of guinea fowls. where are they sold? how much?
please reply here or
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Josimar
0 # Josimar 2012-04-11 16:39
Where can one get Guines Fowl chicks to begin rearing
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Peter in Nairobi
0 # Peter in Nairobi 2013-01-19 14:17
Contact me on 0729795208 i can connect you to Guinea fowl chicks or even fully grown ones
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moses nzioka
-1 # moses nzioka 2013-08-26 12:57
am intrested in knowing more about this bird and keeping it....how much is a chick/keet
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Rufus Mbiyu
0 # Rufus Mbiyu 2013-12-26 21:54
Can i get a few chicks send a male
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GreenCulture Kenya
-1 # GreenCulture Kenya 2012-05-27 18:39
guinea fowl farming is truly climate resilient and profitable.what the article didnt mention is that one can rear guinea fowl in kenya without the KWS permit because they are classified as wild animals.getting the permit is the real issue.not easy bwana.
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admin
-1 # admin 2012-05-27 19:57
Yes you are right GreenCulture Kenya. You must get a permit from KWS to raise game birds like guinea fowl, quayle, partridges, ostrich and others. But the Ministry of Livestock Development recognize these birds and other game animals as emerging livestock, and in consultation with KWS are working to classify them as domestic animals. Until this is concluded the birds remain under the arm pits of KWS. This notwithstanding, guinea fowl remains a potential poultry farming enterprise.
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josh babu
+2 # josh babu 2012-07-09 13:16
I would like to rear partridges. How would I get them?

Regards
Josh
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beryll foundation
+2 # beryll foundation 2012-05-28 10:36
thats very clear. i dnt know about the consultations with Ministry of Livestock.I'm actually a guinea fowl farmer based in machakos.
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Kahuthu
0 # Kahuthu 2012-07-09 11:03
whats are the procendures of applying for this permit. ie where do i start, i need (permit)like yesterday.
Under the youth employment programme i would suggest that this can make one of the uniquic ways for the youths to get self employment. i have constructed bird hse but i dont want to keep chicken. i need something different
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admin
0 # admin 2012-07-09 11:37
Visit one of the KWS offices near your area. They will assist you in acquiring the permit if you meet certain conditions which they will enumerate.
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alexx
0 # alexx 2013-09-13 18:15
admin, kindly inform me on the kws requirements and conditions for rearing guinea fowl
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Achuora
0 # Achuora 2012-11-15 15:49
Please let me know how I can reach you since am interested in rearing the fawl and am not able to get chicks.
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Peter in Nairobi
0 # Peter in Nairobi 2013-01-19 14:25
Contact me on 0729795208 to guinea fowl chicks
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Mwanzia Stephen
0 # Mwanzia Stephen 2013-12-13 21:28
Kindly give me your number am interested in guinea fowl and would want to discuss the chicks and egg costing for my incubation. My email is
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alexx
0 # alexx 2013-09-13 18:12
greenculture,what are the kws requirements and standards for guinea fowl rearing, kindly get back @
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GreenCulture Kenya
0 # GreenCulture Kenya 2012-05-27 18:57
to rear guinea fowl u require KWS permit.its a game bird.
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NJERI
0 # NJERI 2012-07-16 11:39
where do we sell the guinea fowls
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Sammy Gatere
-1 # Sammy Gatere 2012-08-14 16:57
I like your article! Do you process the meat? Where can I buy some? Do you sell the eggs? can I come visit your farm?
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edith moraa
+1 # edith moraa 2012-08-18 14:00
this is a very unique noble kind of farming i like the article where can i get atleast just two male and female of the birds to start with
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lear mburu
0 # lear mburu 2012-09-26 18:55
hallo where can i visit to see an example of guinea farming in nairobi or can i please get a number i can call...as soon as possible please.thank you.
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Ndunda
0 # Ndunda 2012-09-29 19:29
Hello,

I would like to know more about nganga to start farming in Mwingi. Kindly send me your contact so that I can plan well on how to start.

Thanks for the good work and valuable information.
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Peter in Nairobi
0 # Peter in Nairobi 2013-01-19 14:18
Quoting Ndunda:
Hello,

I would like to know more about nganga to start farming in Mwingi. Kindly send me your contact so that I can plan well on how to start.

Thanks for the good work and valuable information.

Contact me on 0729795208 i can connect you to Guinea fowl chicks or even fully grown ones
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petah
+1 # petah 2012-10-11 12:27
I want to know where i can get the guinea chicken for rearing at least 20
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Peter in Nairobi
0 # Peter in Nairobi 2013-01-19 14:13
Contact me on 0729795208 and i can assist you on how to get guinea fowl chicks. I am in Nairobi
Peter Mwangi
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akiliwi
0 # akiliwi 2012-10-24 15:17
Hi guys,funny we all said everything but the main issue was not clarified. As expected, l revisit it. WHERE DO WE GET THE GUINEA FOWL CHICKS FROM??. It looks like the other breeders raid nests in the wilderness and use chicken to cover them.
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wafchick investment
0 # wafchick investment 2012-11-09 09:08
Wafchick Investments, we are now selling one day old indigenous chicks and improved indigenous chicks @ Ksh. 100 only, we also hatch eggs for farmers, institutions and individual @ an affordable price visit www.wafchick.com email / or call us on +254724669095, +254786669095. fb; Wafchick Investment
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Peter in Nairobi
0 # Peter in Nairobi 2013-01-19 14:15
Contact me on 0729795208 i can connect you to Guinea fowl chicks or even fully grown ones
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Peter in Nairobi
+1 # Peter in Nairobi 2013-01-19 14:16
Contact me on 0729795208 i can connect you to Guinea fowl chicks or even fully grown ones.
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plese introduce me how much would one cost
0 # plese introduce me how much would one cost 2014-02-04 12:44
Quoting Peter in Nairobi:
Contact me on 0729795208 i can connect you to Guinea fowl chicks or even fully grown ones.


Hi
peter need to rear the fowl at how much are you selling a pair HEN And Cock my contact 0720230699
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courage  tongoona
0 # courage tongoona 2013-02-21 19:48
where can i get guinea fowl chicks
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windsor mongare
0 # windsor mongare 2013-03-18 16:09
i am keeping guinea fowl from December 2012. i keep them in an enclosure. when they lay eggs they leave them scattered all over the room. what will happen when the time for hatching comes? currently they have laid a total of 10 eggs.
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Eden Poultry Farm
0 # Eden Poultry Farm 2013-03-23 14:49
Hello am a poulty farmer from mombasa. I keep chicken, ducks, peacock, guinea fowls, turkeys and geese.
I have guinea fowl eggs for sale @1500 per tray. I have white guinea fowls and helmeted guinea fowls.
Intrested to buy call me on 0722107067
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peter m
0 # peter m 2013-05-10 19:45
i am interested in farming the following birds geese, guinea fowls and turkey. my farm is in machakos. kindly give me offers so i can buy. you may contact me on 0721418341.
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Rose
+1 # Rose 2013-05-23 15:09
where can i get the chicks ,how much do they go for.Please notify ASAP
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Stevo
0 # Stevo 2013-07-01 15:52
Hi

Am interested in getting chicks for breeding within Nairobi. Any one willing to supply me?
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peterr
0 # peterr 2013-07-04 13:50
Mature Guinea fowls (Kanga) which are fully Domesticated.They are ready to start laying eggs.
0729795208
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Triza
0 # Triza 2013-10-09 00:17
how much are you selling the mature ones?pls contact me on 0723717540.thanks
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martin
0 # martin 2013-07-22 17:21
call or sms me on 0733252047..i rear and sell guinea fowls and geese and ducks
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Ibrahim Muhammad Mamuda
0 # Ibrahim Muhammad Mamuda 2013-08-09 23:26
Good day Mr. Peter,
I just your comment about farming of Gunea fowl. Please can your send me or text me your phone number. Thanks
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Eden Farm Kenya
0 # Eden Farm Kenya 2013-08-11 09:03
U hv helmeted guinea fowls and white guinea fowls for sale. Call 0722107067
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ax
-1 # ax 2013-09-05 16:04
Hi
How do I get a license from KWS
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petter
0 # petter 2013-09-21 14:23
Hi guys, am selling Fertilsed Guinea fowl eggs. If interested you can contact me on 0753825415
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marxwel
0 # marxwel 2013-11-29 17:12
hello im selling a peacock interested?call my cell 0711406777
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Geoffrey Wambugu
0 # Geoffrey Wambugu 2013-12-14 19:17
A wishing to start guinea fowls farming.
Give some profession tips
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Caroline Mutundu
0 # Caroline Mutundu 2014-01-14 13:34
I am interested in rearing.
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Imran Akram
0 # Imran Akram 2014-03-12 13:51
I am looking for Vulturine Guinea Fowls and Ostrich chicks for my ranch. If anyone is able to supply please contact me. Regards
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SIGONA POULTRY FARM
0 # SIGONA POULTRY FARM 2014-04-02 11:33
SIGONA POULTRY FARM:0722124913
FOR GUINEA FOWLS,KUCHI,KUROILERS,KARI KIENYEJI IMPROVED
facebook.com/.../...
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GuineaFarmer
0 # GuineaFarmer 2014-04-30 13:27
Am selling fertilised Guinea fowls eggs. Am in Nairobi Contact 0735939603
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purchase likes facebook
0 # purchase likes facebook 2014-05-16 06:14
Hi there, I enjoy reading through your article post. I wanted
to write a little comment to support you.
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#David
0 # #David 2014-08-02 07:48
# Kinyua,Looking for KARI improved .
Day old .4 Weeks Call 0721 104410
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