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Guinea Fowl Advantages Vs Chickens And Why We Prefer Guineas

Guinea Fowl Advantages Vs Chickens And Why We Prefer Guineas

We have both guineas and chickens on our homestead. Both are free ranging on 2 acres of land. But we prefer guineas because they are more multi purpose birds than chickens.

Chickens Vs Guineas
Chickens Vs Guineas

Similarities Between Chickens And Guineas

Both chickens and guineas are good for meat and eggs. Both can free range and provide for themselves in summer months. But this is where the similarities end between the two birds. There are many advantages of having guineas over chickens in our experience.

Actually guineas are better for free ranging, in my opinion, than chickens because they rove around the entire property looking for food whereas chickens congregate closer to their coop. When food gets scarce around their preferred area they will look for easy pickings elsewhere. And if chickens find that your garden or flower beds look tempting, they will destroy everything in minutes. Chickens will fly over a fence to get at your tasty garden as well. Guineas are less likely to fly and prefer walking. So any small obstacle in the path of a guinea will cause it to just walk around.

And even if guineas do get into your garden, they will not cause much damage compared to chickens. Chickens will eat anything you do. And they will wipe out everything, stripping both leaves and fruits as they go. Digging and tearing up plants and roots. Guineas will just walk over things looking for tasty bugs and then pass on by to some other location.





Advantages Of Guineas Over Chickens

Guineas are also tougher than chickens in my experience. If you pick up a chicken it will generally go limp and just cry pitifully. If an animal in the night attacks a chicken, most likely it will scream horribly and wait for you to rescue it. Guineas can fight and are hard to catch. I cannot catch a guinea without being scratched up badly. Actually I have not been able to pick up an adult guinea during the daytime at all.

Also guineas have some very sharp claws on their feet. Even young guineas can cut you easily. And from a young age they will fight and honk loudly if you attempt to pick them up. I rarely get away without a scratch from a young guinea.

In my experience guineas are also more hawk proof for some reason than chickens are. Chickens must have shelter from hawks to protect them from above. But our guineas roam the entire property all day without issues. I am not sure why though. It could be their alarming and disturbing noises or maybe they are quick to seek shelter. I have not yet figured it out.

And this brings me to another important point about guineas..





Guineas Are Natural Watch Dogs And Alarms

Guineas have a very loud and disturbing honking noise that is unique to them. When a predator or stranger approaches your property the guineas will alert you with their loud honking. This has allowed me to save my chickens from predators on many occasions. Having guineas along with chickens can give you an early warning before you lose a chicken.

This is also a great advantage if someone approaches that they are not familiar with. The guineas will alert you to intruders. We have some bad neighbors who like to fly drones over our land to spy on us. The guineas will honk and alert me that a drone is here.

So from the ground or from the air, guineas will let you know if there is potential danger.



Guineas Eat Ticks And Can Save Your Life

I call the guineas my soldiers because they march around the entire property every day eating anything that moves. Ticks are one of their favorite foods. Guineas will cover every inch of your property every day. Day after day they march around eating bugs and ticks.

Ticks carry lyme disease and some other pretty nasty diseases. Having guineas around can save your life and that of your family.

I consider guineas to be a very affordable and good type of health insurance. They reduce the tick population to near zero on our front 2 acres of land.



Guineas Are Easy To Herd Around

Guineas are very social birds and like to "herd" with eachother. So much so that they will become distressed if one of the flock falls behind or gets lost. They will all honk in distress until they all get together again.

This is also an advantage because guineas will stick together in a group. You can very easily and gently lead them to bed at night or lead a lost guinea back home. This is very much unlike chickens which will scatter everywhere. It is very hard to chase down a chicken or get it to go somewhere it does not want to. But guineas on the other hand will stick with their group and follow the leader whereever you want it to go.

Chickens will fly away or run randomly around when you attempt to chase it into the coop at night. Guineas are less likely to fly and you can gently coax them to bed with ease.



Disadvantages Of Guineas

The disadvantages of guineas vs chickens are very few. Some people do not like their honking sounds. But then again many people complain about a rooster crowing as well. And a rooster will crow for any reason or for no reason at all. A rooster can annoy you in the early morning hours and there is no sleeping in with a rooster around. But guineas will only honk when stressed. So maybe this is not really a disadvantage but I have to mention it here. They can be loud. And they will continue honking until whatever stresses them out leaves. I consider it a bonus though.

Guineas likely to wander away if they are not fenced in. Guineas patrol the land searching for food. They tend to wander and then find themselves lost or outside your yard. They may honk in distress when they cannot regroup and get back to the others.

Your neighbors may complain about the noise or about them wandering around in their yard. But if your neighbors are smart they may welcome guineas into their yard to eat ticks and nasty insects. Especially considering they do not harm your gardens or flowers much.



Other Notes

If you get guineas you may want to fence in the area where you want to keep them or you could lose them. They are very beneficial birds and worth the effort. If you fence the area around your home, guineas will eat the ticks and other insects, keeping you safer.



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About the Author

Troy Reid


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